WaterFire Consolidates

| July 26, 2016
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Providence, RI – WaterFire Providence has hired DBVW Architects to assist the organization in further defining and refining its vision for the WaterFire Providence Arts Center. Recently, a bridge-raising ceremony was held to celebrate major progress on the project. Representatives from WaterFire’s board, the building committee, DBVW Architects, and Trac Builders were in attendance.

With this project, WaterFire will consolidate all staff and operations in one location at 475 Valley Street and create the organization’s first permanent home in the community. Additionally, the arts center will have a multi-use exhibition, performance, and event space that will showcase the best that Rhode Island has to offer in visual and performing arts, a visitor center to tell the Providence River Relocation Project story and WaterFire’s role in transforming downtown, and an education center for after-school and summer art and boat building programs for Rhode Island youth.

Twenty years ago, Barnaby Evans first presented WaterFire in Providence as an art installation that celebrated the city and the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence. Since then, WaterFire has become one of the most visible symbols of the city’s renewal.


While the artwork is already an institution in the public’s mind, the 2012 purchase of a historic industrial building sought to provide the basis for long term sustainability for this art through the creation of an “Arts Center” for the organization. The building will be the foundation to increase WaterFire’s significant community impacts for future generations.

Annually, it creates over $114 million in economic impact for local businesses, generates over $9 million in tax revenue for the State of R.I. and supports nearly 1,300 jobs in the community. Since 1994, more than 15 million visitors have visited downtown Providence to experience the artwork with up to 100,000 in a single evening and one million over the course of each WaterFire season.

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Category: All, Municipal