The Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island located at 393 Broad Street has a history of community engagement since 1914.
Our exquisite building, located in the annex of Trinity United Methodist Church in Trinity Square, Providence, is a historic gem at the heart of South Providence. Enlisted on the National Historic Register, our building is one of the oldest in the city and has been a home to numerous cultural and civic organizations and communities for generations. In fact, Trinity Repertory Company, RI's State Theatre, began in our third floor theater space pictured above.
The church annex was originally built to serve as a community gathering space and school for the three major working class ethnic groups present in the neighborhood- the Welsh, Scottish, and English. Over the years, the aging building suffered from systemic disinvestment and deterioration, causing alarming issues.
Upon the reactivation of the Trinity Restoration Inc. charter in 2007, Executive Director Richardson Ogidan and a small group of volunteers sought to revitalize and restore the annex building at Trinity United Methodist Church into a cultural hub. The organization's first project at the annex was developing the now independent Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts Charter School (TAPA). Upon bringing the facility to RIDE code, the school was founded and opened in 2009. In order to accommodate a growing number of students TAPA decided to change locations the following year. Trinity Restoration Inc. then embarked upon the first of two strategic planning phases. With support from area universities, private donors, and public investment Trinity Restoration Inc. decided to create a cultural center in the annex at 393 Broad Street. Thus, Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island was born, and our partner tenant organizations and resident theatre company soon came into place.
Photo provided by Elizabeth Succart