At Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island, the supportive power of extended family in all its definitions is embraced; as is the belief that the spirit and energy of community and our participation in it, empowers and transforms. The heartbeat of its Southside, West End, and Elmwood neighborhoods, SCCRI nurtures the voices of artists of color and cultivates leaders who lift up our people. The warmth, enthusiasm and unity of our cultural hub echo throughout Rhode Island, and serve as an example of inclusive art-making, kinship and cultural expression.
Divine Providence, Collective Wisdom
Richardson Ogidan, the SCCRI Executive Director, often speaks about the power of divine providence and trust in collective wisdom. This couldn't be more true for Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island at this moment in its organizational development.
That same year, Artplace America awarded the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and LISC RI $300,000 to lead a creative placemaking initiative called Illuminating Trinity in Providence's Trinity Square, a neighborhood gateway that connects the Upper South Side, West End, and Downtown neighborhoods of Providence. Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island is a proud partner in this initiative. To date, Illuminating Trinity has provided SCCRI with capacity building and technical assistance, enhanced neighborhood strategic partnerships and brought a RISD design build into our parking lot, where SCCRI performers, audiences, and partners can soon share outdoor space. The Community Innovation Lab, an Illuminating Trinity project facilitated by EMCArts, has brought community members, social service agencies, municipal workers, public safety, community organizers, and artists together at SCCRI to talk about social and systems change in the neighborhood.
In early 2016, SCCRI was awarded with three major competitive capital improvement grants: Community Development Block Grant, RISCA State Cultural Facilities Bond, and Historic Preservation funds to develop critical improvements to our facilities, including the sound proofing of our main performance spaces, historic window restoration and replacement, and the building of an elevator. These critical developments will make our center more inviting to artists and audiences alike, and we are thrilled to be able to bring light to our institution and through us, the neighborhood.
Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island has partnered with several area universities since it’s inception, providing students and faculty opportunities for learning and skills development in a robust, diverse and creative setting. Through partnerships with Johnson & Wales University, Roger Williams University, and Rhode Island School of Design, SCCRI has provided a canvas for project-based learning while attaining pro bono support in areas of marketing and communications, strategic planning and feasibility studies, technical writing and operations support, and research and design and construction. We continue our commitment to our partners in higher education by providing continuous opportunities for learning, growth, and mutual exchange. If you are a student or professor at a local university looking to explore ways to build SCCRI into your curriculum or project, please contact our Executive Director, Richardson Ogidan.
Photo of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers. Photo provided by Elizabeth Succart