Recognized for inspiring work and creative community development of the Capital City, in particular the WaterFire Arts Center project.
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WaterFire Providence

Date: December 7, 2016

Contact: Peter A. Mello, managing director

Telephone: (401) 273-1155 x130 | (401) 639-2099



WaterFire Providence leaders receive 2016 AIA Rhode Island Archistar Award

Recognized for inspiring work and creative community development of the Capital City, in particular the WaterFire Arts Center project.


Providence, RI (December 7, 2016) – WaterFire Providence co-CEO’s, Barnaby Evans and Peter A. Mello, received the prestigious 2016 Archistar Award from the AIAri at their Annual Design Awards Celebration on December 1st at Linden Place in Bristol, RI.


"It is with great pride that our nominees  Barnaby Evans and Peter Mello were awarded the AIAri 2016 Archistar Award for their inspiring work and creative community development of the Capital City, in particular the WaterFire Arts Center, " said Bill Tracey of TRAC Builders, WaterFire Arts Center project contractor.


The Archistar Award honors exceptional individual contributions to architecture by non-architects.


"Barnaby Evans, Peter Mello, and the entire WaterFire organization are the type of clients every architect hopes to partner with - creative, collaborative, and dedicated to the success of the project. They are highly deserving of this year's Archistar Award" said Doug Brown, DBVW Architects, the WaterFire Arts Center architects who presented the project to Annual Design Awards Celebration attendees.


Scheduled to open in March 2017, the WaterFire Arts Center is designed by DBVW Architects, built by TRAC Builders with project management by The Aspen Group. Originally constructed in 1929 as a US Rubber Corporation storage facility, the 38,000 square foot building will be WaterFire Providence’s first permanent home in the community as well as a multi-use arts center that will host events, performances and exhibitions.  It will also house a visitor and education center that will allow WaterFire to engage the public outside of its world renowned art event that takes place approximately 15 times a year in downtown Providence. WaterFire Providence is partnering with Russ Morin Catering to create a premiere large event venue.


Barbara Sokoloff Associates assisted WaterFire Providence in assembling the complex financing package for the $13.7m project which includes Federal New Market Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, Rhode Island Creative and Cultural Economy Bond funds, US EPA and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Brownfields Remediation Grants, and philanthropic support. Project funding partners include Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the Nonprofit Finance Fund.


For more details about the project and to view episodes of Building for the Future: The WaterFire Arts Center Story, visit


About WaterFire Providence

WaterFire Providence is a 501(c)3 independent, non-profit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement, and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy.


Created in 1994 by the artist Barnaby Evans, each year approximately one million visitors come to downtown Providence to experience WaterFire making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the State of Rhode Island. Annually, WaterFire activity creates $114,000,000 in economic output, generates over $9,000,000 in direct tax revenue for the State of Rhode Island, and supports 1,300 jobs for community residents.  


For more information about WaterFire Providence, please visit and  


About AIA Rhode Island

Founded in 1875 and the seventh oldest chapter in the American Institute of Architects, AIA Rhode Island is a professional association representing over 200 professionals and 50 affiliate members. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public, and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. Affiliate members include engineers, contractors, owners/clients, public officials, other allied professionals, students, and others interested in design and the built environment.


For more information about AIA Rhode Island, please visit

WaterFire Providence | 101 Regent Avenue | Providence, RI 02908 | 401.273.1155
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