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For Immediate Release: Barbara Wong to Step Down After 16 Years 

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PRESS RELEASE / Immediate Release

Contact: Barbara Wong, (401) 941-0795 x103, barbara@providencecityarts.org 

April 25, 2016 

Providence CityArts for Youth announced today that Executive Director, Barbara Wong, will depart the organization in July. Wong will serve in an interim capacity to help lay the groundwork for smooth succession through advancement activities and the launch of the CityArts/Sr. Ann Keefe Fund for Creativity and Social Justice endowment campaign. 

“My service to Providence CityArts for Youth and the creative development of young people has been a rewarding and heartfelt journey—life-fulfilling to say the least,” said Wong. “With pride and confidence in the legacy we have established for Providence’s youth and communities, I am announcing my transition from the role of Executive Director after sixteen years, effective July 1. Beyond, I will remain a steadfast champion for the creative rights of young people and the importance of equity and access for all children to have quality arts learning in their lives.” 

Wong has served Providence CityArts for Youth since 2000 as Executive Director. She has overseen an era of remarkable growth and accomplishment, and the fulfillment of founder Sr. Ann Keefe’s vision for free youth arts programs that would “change hearts and lives” in poor urban communities. Under Wong’s leadership, CityArts was awarded the nation’s highest honor for youth arts programs, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities. CityArts has gained prominence in school-community partnerships, including the Highlander and LCCS Charter Schools, PASA/PPSD, Vartan Gregorian Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club of Providence; advocacy for arts-integration and STEAM project-based learning; stewardship of Rhode Island’s only AmeriCorps Teaching Artist initiative in three Providence Public Middle Schools; and efforts to create an Arts in Education Policy for Providence Public Schools. 

This is an exciting new chapter for CityArts. It opens the door to exciting times ahead, as the organization grows to meet the evolving needs of urban at- risk youth. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I offer my thanks to Barbara for her years of service. We could not have asked for a better leader. Barbara’s work with CityArts has and will continue to have deep and meaningful impact on how we think of creative youth development, and the importance of an arts education in helping youth gain the skills and social/emotional confidence they need to succeed in school and in life. We wish Barbara the best in her future endeavors.” The CityArts board will launch a national search for its next Executive Director, and appoint Yesica Guerra as interim director starting in July. 

“I am so grateful for these last 16 years at Providence CityArts,” says Wong. “It was an honor to be part of Sr. Ann’s vision to improve our neighborhoods and empower lives. Engaging in the arts helps youth to become creative, critical thinkers and engaged citizens. After 24 years, CityArts is still meeting an important need, to ensure that no child is left without an opportunity to find their voice. I am thankful to an extraordinary staff and Board, and am confident that CityArts and Sr. Ann’s legacy are secure in their competent and committed care.” 

Providence CityArts for Youth is a national award winning community youth arts organization. CityArts serves over 900 youth in free afterschool, summer and in-school residency programs across the city of Providence, RI. Youth have free access to classes in visual art and design, digital media, dance, theatre, music, and creative writing. Our work is inspired by the creative process of art-making and the exploration of ideas and concepts that shape our communities and everyday lives. 

Download this Press Release as a PDF, here.

 

STEP RIGHT UP and join us at Cirque du ¡CityArts!

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Press Release
April 4, 2016
Providence ¡CityArts! For Youth Contact:
Rebecca Volynsky
Executive & Fund Development Associate
(401) 941-0795 x 113 or rebecca@providencecityarts.org

 

Announcing Cirque du ¡CityArts!

Fundraiser to be held on Friday, June 10 to support arts education programs that help to transform and empower youth.

 

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth is pleased to announce their annual gala fundraiser, Cirque du ¡CityArts!, to be held on Friday, June 10, 7 – 10 PM, at Rhode Island School of Design’s historic Woods-Gerry House (62 Prospect Street, Providence, RI 02906). Funds raised will help support ¡CityArts! nationally-awarded, free arts education programs that help to transform and empower youth.

Event tickets cost $50 for Early Bird Admission if purchased by Sunday, May 29, and $65 for Regular Admission if purchased after Sunday, May 29 until Friday, June 10 (day of event). VIP Patron Donor packages are available for $200, and include: two tickets, admission to a special champagne reception prior to the event from 6 – 7 PM, and donor recognition.

Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite: http://cirqueducityarts.eventbrite.com, or by calling 401-941-0795 x 113. 

STEP RIGHT UP and purchase tickets for Cirque du ¡CityArts! as it promises to be another fabulous, record-breaking event! The night will feature live music by the New Providence Big Band and inspired cuisine from Russell Morin Catering. Guests can enjoy non-stop dancing, cash bar featuring a signature cocktail, interactive art installations designed by students with a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) twist, photo and video booth by They’re Using Tools, youth art and performances, raffle, and a new live crowdfunding event. Guests will have the opportunity to raise a paddle and pledge their support to ¡CityArts! at varying monetary levels; they will see exactly how their gift will be used through a fun and interactive event led by Master of Ceremony, Congressman David Cicilline.

In memory of the organization’s late founder, Sister Ann Keefe, ¡CityArts! will have a special presentation of the 6th annual Sister Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice. This award honors those who use creativity to inspire social change in their community.

Guests from the 2015 gala raved that “the spirit of the organization, achievements, and youth voice” were all highlighted at the event. Attending this year’s gala, Cirque du ¡CityArts!, will help ensure that ¡CityArts! continues to hold its place as one of the top youth arts programs in the nation.

ABOUT PROVIDENCE ¡CITYARTS! FOR YOUTH 

¡CityArts! is a nonprofit community youth arts organization, founded on the ideal that all children should have access to arts learning as an essential part of childhood and youth development. ¡CityArts! works with over 900 underserved, urban elementary and middle school youth each year, through FREE classes in art & design, music, dance, theatre, digital media, and more! Out-of-school time and residency programs take place at ¡CityArts! Southside Broad Street Arts Center, Boys & Girls Clubs, and schools across Providence.

Through the arts, youth have the power to succeed – to create, express and grow!

In 2014, ¡CityArts! was awarded the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities.

For media inquiries and more information about the event, please contact ¡CityArts! Executive & Fund Development Associate, Rebecca Volynsky: rebecca@providencecityarts.org or 401-941-0795 x 113. 

For more information about Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth, please visit:

www.providencecityarts.org

www.facebook.com/PVDCityArts

Follow the organization via Twitter and Instagram – @PVDCityArts

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CityArts Craft Lab Holiday Popups!

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 The Providence CityArts Craft Lab will host drop-in, holiday craft workshops for kids and families who want to make something special for the holidays this month at the RISD Holiday Sale, Farm Fresh RI Wintertime Farmer’s Market, and The Gordon School! 

Scroll down to see the full schedule and list of fees below.

Choose a one-of-a-kind craft to make as a perfect gift for friends or family, including: holiday wreaths, wearable art, and fabric creatures! CityArts teaching artists will offer hands-on instruction and supplies will be provided. 

Funds raised from these workshops will help keep Providence CityArts after-school and summer art programs free for underserved urban youth. CityArts is a nonprofit youth arts agency, with a mission based on the ideal that all children should have access to arts learning as an essential part of childhood and youth development regardless of socio-economic background. Over 900 youth enroll in CityArts multidisciplinary arts classes at our South Side arts center on Broad Street, Boys and Girls Club in Fox Point, and in Providence public and charter schools. 

Craft Lab Holiday Popup Schedule:

RISD Holiday Sale

Saturday, 12/5, 10 AM – 5 PM

Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street, Providence, RI 02903

Sliding scale of $10 – $15

Farm Fresh RI Wintertime Farmer’s Market

Saturday, 12/12, 9 AM – 1 PM

Hope Artist Village, 999 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860

Unit #708 (Across the hall from New Harvest Coffee Roasters)

Sliding scale of $10 – $15 

The Gordon School

Saturday, 12/19, 10 AM – 12 PM

45 Maxfield Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914

$35 for a two-hour workshop

(To sign up in advance for The Gordon School x CityArts Craft Lab, please email abenitez@gordonschool.org)

 

Join us for #GivingTuesday!

For the first time, we invite you to come together on #GivingTuesday to support the Providence CityArts for Youth community and become part of a larger worldwide movement that promotes generosity this holiday season. 

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#GivingTuesday is an international day of philanthropic giving that follows the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a movement that celebrates and supports charitable giving to nonprofits, organizations, small businesses, as well as families and individuals. Anyone around the world can get involved and give in a way that is meaningful to them!

This past month, we’ve been giving thanks and reflecting on the reasons for why the arts are an important part of our lives! One fundamental reason is Sister Ann Keefe’s legacy as our organization’s founder and her impact on our communities. The CityArts mission is based on the ideal that all children should have access to arts learning as an essential part of childhood and youth development regardless of socio-economic background. 

By contributing to Providence CityArts for Youth this holiday season, you are helping keep our after-school and summer art programs free for underserved urban youth. Over 900 youth enroll in CityArts multidisciplinary arts classes at our South Side arts center on Broad Street, Boys and Girls Club in Fox Point, and in Providence public and charter schools. CityArts teaching artists inspire creativity, personal growth and fulfillment, and deep connections to learning beyond art-making skills.

Help us provide opportunities for youth to explore ideas, problem-solve, and discover their creative voice by making a contribution through our Global Giving campaign or PayPal.  

If you make a recurring donation (3 months) to our Global Giving campaign by the end of December, funds will be matched by an anonymous donor! 

If you are unable to give, you can still help us by spreading the word! Follow us and like/share/retweet our posts on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday and #PVDCityArts in your posts!

Thank you for your support!

 

Announcing the 5th Annual Sr. Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice

Press Release
May 1, 2015
Providence ¡CityArts! Contact:
Rebecca Volynsky
(401) 941-0795 x 113

Announcing the 2015 Sr. Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice

Dr. Paul Sproll and Victoria Matthews to receive 5th annual award at ¡CityArts! gala fundraiser on June, 5 2015.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth announces two award recipients of the 5th Annual Sr. Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice. This is a significant time for Providence ¡CityArts!, with national award recognition at the White House presented by First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, and the passing of ¡CityArts! beloved founder and social activist, Sr. Ann Keefe. Award recipients will be honored at the upcoming annual gala fundraiser: the ¡CityArts! MOD Party: A Celebration of Art, Culture & Style of the Modernists on Friday, June 5, 2015 from 7-10 pm at Rhode Island School of Design’s historic Woods Gerry House in Providence, RI. ¡CityArts! is proud to recognize two individuals who exemplify a vision for equity, access and youth empowerment through the arts. The Sr. Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice was established in 2011 to commemorate Sr. Ann’s legacy for the City of Providence and her vision of the arts as a catalyst for social change and transformation. This award is to put a spotlight on individuals who embody this spirit through their ideas and practices—to champion the arts and use creativity to lift our communities to a better place, and to build equity and justice for all children to live free from the barriers of race and class.

Sr. Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice / Recipients

Dr. Paul Sproll is Head of RISD’s Department of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design (TLAD). Dr. Sproll is dedicated to the development of progressive practices in art and design teaching and learning in K-12 schools and community-based settings. He is an ardent advocate for educational reform especially in urban public high schools and has been closely associated with reform and reorganization efforts particularly within Providence Public Schools. Under Dr. Sproll’s leadership, RISD undergraduate and graduate students have an opportunity to gain life-long teaching skills and to directly serve poor urban schools and communities, where arts learning is significantly underresourced.

As example, Dr. Sproll is responsible for forming and endorsing a 12-yr RISD/TLAD and ¡CityArts! partnership since 2003, impacting the lives of over 400 elementary and middle school aged youth through an annual semester-long RISD class called Community Art Project. Dr. Sproll also founded and directs Project Open Door (POD), a free college access program that provides studio education and support services for creative urban high school teens. POD’s Saturday Portfolio classes provide opportunities for individualized mentoring and guidance throughout the college application process.

Victoria Matthews is a ¡CityArts! Alumna and a junior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Victoria grew up in our Southside neighborhoods and from age 8-14, took advantage of as many ¡CityArts! classes, camps and programs made available to her—including community gardening, sculpture, clay murals, creative writing, drumming, puppet-making, painting, lending a creative hand, and so much more. Throughout high school and in college, Victoria demonstrates leadership and creative passion. Victoria pioneered the ¡CityArts! model for youth volunteerism and service. She mentored as a ¡CityArts! studio assistant and became a 2013 Summer AmeriCorps ¡CityArts! Teaching Artist at the Southside Providence Boys & Girls Club. At UMass Amherst, Victoria is majoring in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in African American Studies. She envisions a future of working as a Teaching Artist, public speaker and activist. Victoria is an active member of the Women of Color Leadership Network at UMass and uses her creative voice to advocate for social justice, Black women’s liberation, self-expression, and prison abolition.

ABOUT PROVIDENCE ¡CITYARTS! FOR YOUTH

Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth was founded on the ideal that all youth, regardless of socio-economic background, should have access to quality arts learning as an essential part of childhood and youth development. ¡CityArts! Teaching Artists guide and inspire over 900 urban youth, ages 8 – 14, in multidisciplinary arts classes, free of charge, in out of school time programs and arts integration residencies within local schools. ¡CityArts! provides a positive platform for youth to develop skills and a creative practice, find their voice, and explore ideas to bring change in their communities. In 2014, ¡CityArts! was awarded the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities. The organization is therefore celebrating a momentous year in programming and creative youth development!

For more information about the event, please contact Rebecca Volynsky: rebecca@providencecityarts.org; 401-941-0795 x 113

For more information about Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth, please visit:
www.providencecityarts.org
www.facebook.com/PVDCityArts
Follow the organization via Twitter and Instagram (@PVDcityarts) 

The 2015 ¡CityArts! Mod Party

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Press Release

April 6, 2015
Providence ¡CityArts! Contact:
Rebecca Volynsky
(401) 941-0795 x 113

Announcing the 2015 ¡CityArts! Mod Party
Fundraiser to be held on Friday, June 5th to support arts education programs that help transform and empower youth.

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth announces their annual gala fundraiser, the ¡CityArts! Mod Party: A Celebration of Art, Culture & Style of the Modernists, to be held on Friday, June 5th, 7 – 10 PM, at Rhode Island School of Design’s historic Woods-Gerry House in Providence, RI. Funds raised will help support ¡CityArts! nationally awarded, free arts education programs that help to transform and empower youth.

Event tickets cost $50 for Early Bird Admission if purchased by May 26th, and $65 for Regular Admission if purchased after May 26th until the day of the event. VIP Patron Donor packages are available for $200, and include: two tickets, admission to a special champagne reception prior to the event from 6 – 7 PM, and donor recognition. Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite: http://cityartsmodparty.eventbrite.com, or by calling 401-941-0795 x 113.

From Calder and Warhol fans to Mad Men sophisticates, the ¡CityArts! Mod Party promises to be a fabulous event with live music by the New Providence Big Band and catering by RI Monthly’s “Best of 2014 Party Pros”, Easy Entertaining. The night will include dancing under the stars, cash bar, interactive art installations, photo and video booth by They’re Using Tools, youth art and performances, art lotto, and silent auction in a gorgeous setting! Auction items include pre-season Patriots football tickets, passes to the Providence Performing Arts Center and Trinity Repertory Company, gift certificates and items from hip local restaurants and shops, and much more!

In memory of the organization’s founder, Sr. Ann Keefe, ¡CityArts! will have a special presentation for the 5th annual Sister Ann Keefe Award for Creativity and Social Justice. This award honors those who use creativity to inspire social change in their community. Guests are sure to have a memorable night out for a great cause and a lot of fun. Support during this event will help ensure that ¡CityArts! continues to hold its place as one of the top youth arts programs in the nation.

ABOUT PROVIDENCE ¡CITYARTS! FOR YOUTH

Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth was founded on the ideal that all youth, regardless of socio-economic background, should have access to quality arts learning as an essential part of childhood and youth development. ¡CityArts! Teaching Artists guide and inspire over 900 urban youth, ages 8 – 14, in multidisciplinary arts classes, free of charge, in out of school time programs and arts integration residencies within local schools. ¡CityArts! provides a positive platform for youth to develop skills and a creative practice, find their voice, and explore ideas to bring change in their communities. In 2014, ¡CityArts! was awarded the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities. The organization is therefore celebrating a momentous year in programming and creative youth development through the NAHYP award!

For media inquiries and more information about the event, please contact Rebecca Volynsky: rebecca@providencecityarts.org401-941-0795 x 113

For more information about Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth, please visit: www.providencecityarts.org
Follow us via FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

The ¡CityArts! Mod Party is sponsored by: Home Loan Investment Bank, FSBOmni Development CorporationMills Coffee Roasting Co., Stanton Electric Inc., Cox Communications, Washington Trust Bank, Hanson Curran LLP, Providence CollegeMcLaughlin & Moran, Sodexo, BankRIEasy Entertaining Inc.They’re Using Tools, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Host Comittee: Barbara Wong, Rebecca Volynsky, Kah Yangni, Garry Bliss, Aleida Benitez, Kevin Murphy, Brigid Nee, Mia Thompson, Sierra Barter, Emily Coutu, Michael DeMatteo, Ambuja Magaji, and Janice DeFrances.

 

CityArts wins the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award

On November 10th, 2014, CityArts won the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs. The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognizes the country’s best creative youth development programs for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment. The 14 awardees—chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists—are also recognized for improving literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness.

First presented in 1998, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The awards are presented annually in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

In addition to their recognition at the White House, each of the 12 community-based programs will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity-building support from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. For more information about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, visit www.pcah.gov.

Check out our commemorative poster by artist Rebecca Volynsky:

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