PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Foundation has announced that four Providence nonprofits
are among 30 organizations that will share nearly $225,000 in grants to fund
community-building projects across the state.
“These grants will create places to gather, build
relationships and inspire new collaborations that will strengthen community
connections everywhere,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the
The funding from the Foundation’s Community
Grants program will support work ranging from helping Southside residents grow
their own food to improving the Trinity Square business district.
“Initiatives like this would not be possible but
for the foresight of those who came before us, the donors who generously invest
in our state and the nonprofits that transform those resources into action,”
The African Alliance of R.I. received
$10,000 to convert a vacant lot at 62 Saratoga St. into an urban farm for
residents of the Southside. The grant covers the costs of leveling the lot,
fencing, irrigation, mulch, compost and material for raised beds.
“Our goal is to help newly arrived refugees and
immigrants utilize their ancestral skills to cultivate specialty crops that are
important to their native diets and generally unavailable in local markets,”
said Julius Kolawole, president.
The Alliance will work with the City of
Providence, Farm Fresh RI, the Southside Community Land Trust and the URI
Cooperative Extension on the project.
“This partnership will improve the food security
of their families, promote healthy diets and generate income through sales at
neighborhood stores, farmer's markets and pop-up markets,” he said.
The South Providence Neighborhood Association received $9,000 to purchase 10 trash receptacles for the Trinity
Square commercial district in partnership with local merchants.
“When people travel through our neighborhood, the
most apparent symptom of its distress is the swirling and mounded heaps of
garbage scattered around the Square. This reinforces a perception that no one
cares enough to keep the neighborhood clean, much less safe,” said Dwayne Keys,
“Local business owners have agreed to take on
stewardship of the cans, emptying the garbage and ensuring that they stay
useable and undamaged. We are certain that these trash cans, which will reflect
the culture of our neighborhood, will improve safety, make the streetscape more
beautiful and perhaps most importantly, will change perception -- as is the
most hallowed function of art -- to show that residents of the Southside take pride
in and care for the neighborhood we call home,” he said.
Doors Open RI
received $5,000 to support its September festival, which will give the public
free, special access to over 20 locations in diverse neighborhoods across
Providence. The festival is expected to involve more than 100 volunteers and 15
“We are guided by the belief that there's a
community behind every door – from the congregation of Son's of Jacob
Synagogue in Smith Hill to the friends who hold together the deteriorating
Atlantic Mills building in Olneyville,” said Caroline Stevens, director.
“Our festival aims to open doors of culturally,
historically, and architecturally significant places across Providence in an
effort to transform residents into advocates and ambassadors. It's by welcoming
the public into a range of sites at the heart of our neighborhoods, meeting
their stewards and learning their stories, that we bridge communities and gain
new perspectives on where we live,” she said.
The College Hill Neighborhood Association,
working in partnership with the Providence Parks Department and the Partnership
for Providence Parks, was awarded $10,000 to support the restoration of the
historic Prospect Terrace.
“The park is heavily used but it is dire need of
renovation. The entire renovation project that we envision will restore and
enhance the park by replacing deteriorated walkways and worn benches, repair
the retaining wall supporting the iconic Roger Williams monument, repair
fences, add interpretive signage and do trimming and other landscape work,”
said Sara Bradford, treasurer.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and
most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2016,
the Foundation awarded a record $45 million in grants to organizations
addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities.
Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in
partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode
Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit www.rifoundation.org.