Culture & Civic Life
The Providence Athenaeum
For over 200 years, the Providence Athenaeum library and cultural center has welcomed acclaimed writers, illustrious thinkers, and zealous learner...
Launching in 1994 near the streets of Providence, artist Barnaby Evans presented his piece "First Fire"– an installation of eleven bonfires floating atop the newly uncovered rivers to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night in Providence. Due to the Providence community's high demand for the return of this extraordinary art experience of the, Evans transformed these installations into WaterFire Providence, a 501 c 3 nonprofit arts organization with the mission to artistically inspire and bring light to a city in the midst of revitalization.
The organization focuses on celebrating this unique community and its beauty. Its installations and events have grown to attract nearly one million visitors per year, through ever-changing themed celebrations to raise awareness for various causes faced by the local and national community. The transition of an individual artistic event into a local cultural institution, The WaterFire Arts Center was purchased in 2012 and serves as the organization's headquarters. The Arts Center functions as a multipurpose arts hub, hosting various events and rotating exhibitions throughout the year.
General Operating Support