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Arts & Culture

Maximizing Providence's cultural assets

The convergence of cultures in Providence through its remarkably diverse population, world class artists, cultural institutions and restaurants, and a premier art school makes our city unique and attractive. Our arts and culture organizations are a major economic driver, and the city benefits from a vibrant and diverse night time economy and live music scene. We are rich in creative energy and talent. Yet the pandemic has devastated our arts, culture, tourism, and entertainment industries. With his diverse background in graphic design, music, and theater, Gonzalo understands the important role that this sector plays in making Providence a vibrant and world-class city. As Mayor, Gonzalo will build upon his history as an enthusiastic champion of our city’s arts community to:

  • Support our working artists as critical partners in our city’s quality of life, creative energy, and economic development. This means focusing on basic livability issues — most especially housing affordability. 

  • Establish an Arts and Culture Cabinet with citywide representation responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive arts and culture framework that includes the PVDx2031 Cultural Plan and reflects Providence’s diversity.

  • Establish an Alternative Arts Space program in partnership with local businesses and institutions, to make underutilized private spaces available to artists for a minimum one-year commitment.

  • Invest in public art including committing 1% of the city’s capital budget to public art and enforcing public art investments based on tax agreements, building upon the recommendations of the 2018 Plan on Public Art and elevating the Providence Art in City Life Commission. 

  • Seed an Emerging Artist Tour Fund to create opportunities for local talent and help attract artists to Providence. 

  • Leverage funding for year-round public performances and programs in public parks, recreation centers, and libraries throughout the city through the many local arts organizations that provide excellent arts education programming. 

  • Improve coordination across city government agencies to support Providence’s arts and culture ecosystem.

  • Ensure the long-term success of PVDFest as a venue to celebrate our prominence as a center for artistic and cultural excellence, with a particular focus on promoting our local talent to the world in an equitable way that recognizes, empowers, and appropriately compensates our local artists. 

  • Appoint a senior official to focus exclusively on enabling and promoting a safe, economically, and culturally vibrant nighttime economy. The official will serve as an intermediary between nightlife establishments, residents, and the city. 

  • Partner with public safety and higher education partners to provide comprehensive training and certification opportunities for entertainment and nightlife venue staff around safety and risk management.