FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 17, 2016
Contact: Peter A. Mello, managing director
Telephone: (401) 273-1155 x130 | (401) 639-2099
WaterFire Arts Center Awarded $250,000 Grant by The Champlin Foundations
Major grant helps launch public phase of Inspire, Imagine, Ignite - The Campaign for WaterFire at the Second Annual FireBall
Providence, RI (November 17, 2106) – WaterFire Providence was awarded a $250,000 grant by The Champlin Foundations towards “Inspire, Imagine, Ignite – The Campaign for WaterFire” for the development of the WaterFire Arts Center.
"We are incredibly grateful for The Champlin Foundation's ongoing support, and specifically this leadership gift, as we launch the public phase of our "Inspire, Imagine, Ignite" campaign tonight at our 2nd annual Fireball" said Charlie Meyers, campaign chair, WaterFire Providence board member, and president of MetroPark LTD. "This is an important investment not only in WaterFire's future, but also in the Valley/Olneyville neighborhood, the City of Providence and State of Rhode Island. I look forward to working with other community leaders in making this campaign a great success for all."
Upon the public announcement of the campaign at the second annual FireBall on November 17, 2016, the remaining goal is $3,700,000 over 5 years to complete construction of the WaterFire Arts Center and increase organizational capacity to sustain and increase WaterFire’s significant economic and cultural impacts over the next 25 years. The quiet phase of “Inspire, Imagine, Ignite - The Campaign for WaterFire” was launched in September 2015 at the first annual FireBall.
Scheduled to open in March 2017, the WaterFire Arts Center is designed by Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels 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 http://future.waterfire.org.
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 http://waterfire.org and https://www.facebook.com/waterfireprovidence.
About The Champlin Foundations
Since 1932, The Champlin Foundations have distributed nearly $535M, almost entirely in the State of Rhode Island. The Champlin Foundations are private foundations as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and are exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3).
The Foundations make direct grants to tax exempt organizations, substantially all in Rhode Island, almost exclusively for capital needs. One important goal is to fund tax exempt organizations within Rhode Island that will have the greatest impact on the broadest possible segment of the population.