about practice / / practice

Fall 2017 dates announced as November 1st through 4th!
Here is more information on the Fall Session
And more info on our newly available Sustainable Arts Foundation Parent Fellowship!
Applications will be accepted through August 18th.


WHAT? – Practice//Practice is AS220’s professional development program for arts administrators. The program offers the arts and culture field an intensive learning alternative to large scale conferences or semester-based higher-education courses.  

WHEN?Practice//Practice is a 4-day residency program that runs Spring and Fall sessions each year. Fall 2017 dates are November 1st through 4th.

WHERE?Practice//Practice takes place on-site at AS220’s Campus in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

WHO? Practice//Practice is for anyone who works in the arts and culture field regardless of position. From those who identify as arts managers, arts educators, socially engaged artists, program coordinators, community organizers, arts researchers, cultural producers, or any other given title, Practice//Practice seeks to bring a diverse group of practitioners together in a fertile environment to share and learn from each other. Each session, 15 to 20 participants are selected to represent a range of professional phases, from practitioners looking to start non-profits to those working in established organizations. Artistic disciplines represented by past residents include fibers, dance, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, printmaking, installation, making/fabrication music, performance/theatre, painting, sculpture, poetry and nonfiction. Practice//Practice has now hosted over 70 leaders working in the field. Check out a list of our alumni HERE.

WHY? – For 30 years, AS220 has been a living example of innovation in non-profit arts programming, youth programming, community development and creative placemaking.  Growing from a small grassroots collective, AS220 has built a sustainable large-scale organization that now serves as an international model.  AS220 currently owns and operates three buildings representing 100,000 sq ft of mixed use/mixed income space in downtown Providence, Rhode Island.  Our unjuried, uncensored mission ensures a diverse range of artists working across the disciplines of dance, theatre, music, spoken word performance, photography, video and filmmaking, printmaking, electronic arts, fabrication and audio recording – have access to space and opportunity. 

So, how do you start an arts organization in a town where every artist seems to be waiting for the next train to Boston or New York? How does a group of artists put down $800 to rent an illegal loft space and eventually come to own three buildings, representing an investment of over $25 million in downtown Providence? How do you sustain and grow an organization for over 30 years? How does an ‘unjuried and uncensored’ mission cultivate accessibility and diversity? How can any of this be translated for people looking to grow creative communities in other corners of the country and the world?  These questions, and a myriad of others, are fielded by AS220 every day from places as nearby as Newport and Boston, or as far-flung as New Zealand and Kuwait. 

HOW? -Through a series of workshops, presentations, tours and discussions, participants will learn from both AS220 and each other. Practice//Practice offers an intimate setting that encourages personal connections and fosters discussion centered around each participant’s context and goals. Workshops include presentations on artistic and professional work, breakout groups, working sessions and hands-on making with AS220 staff and expert visiting faculty. Topics covered vary from session to session depending on the cohort, but include presentations on AS220’s history and practices, discussions on accessibility (affordability and diversity), as well as general non-profit arts management issues such as, programming, fundraising, mission/vision/values development, leadership, transparency, organizational structure, partnerships, and property management.

Our approach to education and exchange is grounded in AS220’s real world experience of community building, yet seeks to expand through discourse with other practitioners.  We open our doors to those seeking advice, support, information and dialogue, engaging practitioners in discourse that is both theoretical and practical in its application.  AS220’s staff act as faculty for Practice//Practice, giving program participants the opportunity to connect with and learn directly from AS220’s leadership. Faculty includes the organization’s Founder as well as AS220’s Managing Director, Artistic Director, administrative team and program directors. Each session Practice//Practice also features a visiting faculty member. Learn more about our previous faculty HERE.

PRACTICE//PRACTICE GOALS

  • To inspire possibilities and encourage people to think differently
  • To offer information that is transparent, digestible and can inform people’s work
  • To help practitioners set and implement goals for their work through individualized exchanges
  • To facilitate personalized networks of sharing and learning between artists, arts organizations, and community activists that bridge disciplines and sectors

AS220 also offers workshops, tours, speaking engagements, panel discussions and consultations. View our full list of services and costs HERE.

Primary Practice//Practice faculty Bert Crenca, Marina Balko and Ruth Harvey also teach a course titled Art and Social Justice: the role of cultural organizations in building community at Roger Williams University’s School of Continuing Studies, Community Development Program.