AS220 was founded in 1985 on the principle that freedom of expression is crucial for the development of strong communities and individual spirits. AS220′s vision for a local unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts was launched in a one-room rental above the Providence Performing Arts Center with a budget of just $800.
Today, the non-profit owns – and enlivens – three mixed-use buildings, totaling over 100,000 square feet, in the heart of Providence’s downtown. Though sizable, AS220 is bursting at the seams with: four rotating gallery spaces, a performance space, a youth program, a recording studio, a print shop, a darkroom and media arts lab, a high-tech fabrication and electronics lab, a black-box theatre, a dance studio, four dozen affordable live/work studios, an AS220 owned and operated bar and restaurant, plus a handful of locally-grown non-profit and commercial tenants.
AS220′s facilities and services are available to any artist who needs a place to exhibit, perform, or create original work and its classes and public-access studios are among the most affordable in the nation. Each year, AS220 serves over 1,000 artists, reaching an audience 90,000 strong – and growing.
On Empire Street’s communal residential hall, one studio is reserved for a Visiting Artists in Residence pursuing a focused project at AS220. Visiting Artist residencies are typically one month, but are sometimes as short as two weeks or as long as three months. Invited artists make use of AS220′s facilities and share their work with us, inspiring conversation and innovation throughout the larger community.
The vast majority of visiting AIRs are scheduled via invitation by one of our staff members, who serve as both the starting point for a potential proposal and a point person for the visiting artist. Very occasionally, we have been swayed by committed artists who have approached us with phenomenal ideas about projects they wished to see to fruition at AS220.
We do not offer a formal application for our AIR program; rather, we ask that people who are serious about an AS220 residency reach out directly to the staff member they wish to work with and share their ideas, including why the project should be done at AS220, how you feel it would enhance our creative community, and how you could personally benefit from a residency here. Get to know our staff members, a very diverse group of artists, and consider the possibilities of collaboration. All Visiting Artists in Residence must have an AS220 staff member serving as their point person. Serving as a point person is a voluntary commitment and can range from a few helpful duties to full-blown collaborations.
Each project must also have a public component, which can take the form of a zine, a performance, an exhibit or another means of sharing with the community. We are especially interested in innovative, direct collaborations between visiting artists and AS220 staff members and projects that collaborate with multiple aspects of the organization, such as the Printshop, AS220 Labs, the Paul Krot Darkrooms, or our youth outreach program, AS220 Youth. Opportunities for involvement with AS220 Youth include doing an artist talk, crate, demonstration and/or teaching a workshop for young people at the Youth Studio on Empire St or the Rhode Island Training School, the state’s juvenile detention facility.
Questions? Please contact:
cheryl(at)as220.org /// 401-831-9327 x.116
115 Empire St
Providence, Rhode Island 02903-3217