Greater City Providence

Creative Providence Studios – March 3 & 4, 2009

First Annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts + Humanities

Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 5:30pm-7:00pm

Join Mayor David N. Cicilline in celebrating the City’s creativity
Learn more about the Creative Providence cultural assessment and the cultural plan for the creative sector
Listen to Jermey Nowak speak about the role of arts + culture in neighborhood regeneration.
About the First Senator Claiborne Pell Memorial Lecture

Mayor David N. Cicilline invites Providence business, educational, civic and cultural leaders and creative professionals to attend the inaugural lecture in the City’s new series in memory of recently deceased United States Senator Claiborne Pell with Jeremy Nowak, President and CEO of The Reinvestment Fund. The City will also share findings from the Creative Providence cultural assessment with the audience and give an update of the citywide cultural planning process.
Mayor Cicilline initiated the lecture series as a way to honor Senator Pell’s pioneering efforts to recognize the economic and social impact of the arts and humanities. Claiborne Pell represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate from 1961-1997. He made numerous contributions to the nation and is best remembered for being a champion of education, the arts, and humanities. He was the main sponsor of the Pell Grant, a financial aid program for U.S. college students, and establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities Recent research studies document the creative sector’s significant economic impact.

Jeremy Nowak is a nationally recognized leader in urban development. He has written numerous articles, his recent publications examine the role of art and culture in neighborhood regeneration; policy options for distressed cities; and, the role of development finance for older industrial cities. He is currently a Fellow at the Aspen Institute, in a program for entrepreneurial leaders in education, and a member of a Harvard University (Kennedy School) Executive Session on transforming cities through civic entrepreneurship. Nowak holds a PhD. from the New School for Social Research and has also been awarded honorary doctorates from Villanova University and La Salle University.

About Creative Providence
Mayor Cicilline launched “Creative Providence: A cultural plan for the creative sector” in fall 2008 to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the capital city’s creative community. Creative enterprises are a formidable industry in the United States. Rhode Island is home to 2,371 arts-related businesses that employ 12,887 people. (Americans for the Arts, Creative Industries, 2008) In Providence, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations generate $111.81 million annually in local economic activity. This spending supports 2,759 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $55.56 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $11.08 million in local and state government revenue. (Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity III, 2007)
More Creative Conversation After the Program

Networking social to immediately follow the event in the bar area of Aspire Restaurant. Enjoy 10% off at the cash bar and a special drinks menu.

Location: The Hotel Providence Ballroom, 139 Matthewson Street, Providence, RI 02903
Contact: Stephanie Fortunato, 421-2489 x 456

The event is free and open to the public, however, advance registration is required.

Studio: Infuse the economy with creativity

Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 5:30pm-8:30pm

About the Studio
The creative sector is a key part of Providence’s economic recovery. As we develop this plan, Providence is swept up in the deepening worldwide economic recession. The economy is our City’s and our nation’s biggest concern. This plan intends to rally the City’s remarkable creative assets to help stimulate the economic recovery for Providence and contribute to the City’s long-term prosperity.

Facilitator: Charlie Cannon, LOCAL/risd


  • Rebecca Blunk, New England Foundation for the Arts
  • Meri Jenkins, Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Jack Templin, ThoughtCap

Location: Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects | 111 Chestnut Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room
Contact: Stephanie Fortunato, 421-2489 x 456


Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • There’s a big huge uproar over this campaign right now, actually, because the mayor chose some firm from Tennessee to do the research and development for the “creative capital” brand instead of dipping into the multitude of amazing designers we have locally.

  • Corey, yes, I was reading about it over here. I was going to post about the controversy here, but the discussion going on there is good, so I let it be.

Providence, RI
5:10 am8:22 pm EDT
Feels like: 57°F
Wind: 4mph NNW
Humidity: 65%
Pressure: 30.19"Hg
UV index: 0
79°F / 64°F
90°F / 66°F
93°F / 68°F