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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Nine Artists Awarded Providence Commemoration Lab Commission

City of Providence, RI Historical Society Announce Artists Selected for Prestigious Monuments Initiative

Providence Commemoration Lab Supported by $1M Mellon Foundation Grant

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PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism and the Rhode Island Historical Society today announced the selection of nine local artists and artist teams for the Providence Commemoration Lab. The project, generously supported by the Mellon Foundation, reimagines the city’s approach to monuments and public memorials to more fully reflect the city’s diverse history and

“The Department of Art, Culture and Tourism is proud to have been selected by the Mellon Foundation to steward such important work,” said department director Joe Wilson Jr. “The ways in which we determine who and how to commemorate have become such important conversations in our social and political landscape. The Department of Art, Culture and Tourism in collaboration with our cultural partners, artists and community stakeholders will have the opportunity to explore these questions and create a model for commemorative works that is rooted in collaboration, transparency, purposeful reflection and joy.”

The artists selected for the Providence Commemoration Lab, chosen through a rigorous process by a panel of local experts and approved by the City’s Art in City Life Commission, are Shey Rivera Rios; Valerie Tutson; Lu Heintz; Edwige Charlot and k.funmilayo aileru; Eli Nixon; Moy Chuong and Dana Heng; Raffini; Sheida Soleimani; and Linsey Wallace. Over the next eighteen months, artists will work closely with communities to develop works at three sites in South Providence: Columbus Square; Public Street, and Roger Williams Park.

“The Rhode Island Historical Society is thrilled to partner with the City of Providence in support of such a deeply community-based effort,” said Richard Ring, Deputy Executive Director for Collections and Interpretation. “As a history organization, memory is our business. We are excited to see the ways in which the Providence Commemoration Lab will create new ways of expressing memory through public commemorative works.”

The initiative is made possible by a 1 million dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation, which has been at the forefront of efforts to rethink and expand the narrative of American history through art and public memorials. An additional $400k is allocated to this project from American Rescue Plan funding.

Artists will host a series of public engagements and workshops this summer and fall to gather community input and ideas. For more information, visit