Art in the Neighborhood 

Art in the Neighborhood logo

Call for Artists
Community Libraries of Providence (CLP) + Ministry of Future Access (MFA)

In our third year of partnership, we are happy to announce a new invitation to Providence artists!

This year we are adopting a “Commissioning of New Work” modality, centered on the theme of displacement and gentrification, considering the Lippitt Hill Redevelopment Project as a  relevant example of this issue. 

The Rochambeau Library will serve as the host institution for this year’s program, structured as:

  • A 3-month engagement period between one (1) selected artist, surrounding neighborhood and Rochambeau Library between the months of April through August, 2024.
  • open to types of engagement and artistic disciplines defined by the artist (from a painted mural to a live performance and formats in between will be considered).

The Library will provide:

  • An artist stipend of $4,000, with an additional $500 for materials
  • To honor the important role that community plays in this opportunity, an extra $1,000 is set aside to compensate efforts/time commitments from neighbors to participate/inform the selected project.
  • Modest studio space (8’ x 8’) within the Rochambeau Library for the artist to work at (during library hours).
  • Video-documentation of the final public engagement event.

The commitment for the artist is to:

  • Carry out a creative process informed by issues of displacement and gentrification in the city of Providence, in the discipline(s) of their choice.
  • Engage with the neighborhood of Mt Hope and the Library during the 3-month period of the program. 
  • Offer a final public engagement event of some sort where the artist shares their process/work.
  • Offer a comprehensive written reflection of process and engagement at the end of the program, to be shared publicly in a printed and digital zine.

Other notes:

  • Time commitment: We offer this opportunity with the expectation that the artist will spend a minimum of 20 hours per month during the program period, but the artist is free to spend as much time as they want using library resources.
  • Artist and Library will work together to engage neighbors with the selected project.

Selection process & Deadlines

With hopes of reducing the amount of time required to apply for this opportunity, we offer a two-fold application process.

1st step: Expression of Interest form (we estimate it may take up to 30 minutes to complete)

If this invitation speaks to you, and you would like to submit a proposal, please briefly tell us about you, why this called your attention, and what hopes it sparked in you. Both written and video formats are accepted.

DEADLINE: 11:59pm (EST) on February 18, 2024

2nd step: Project Proposal Offering (we estimate it may take up to 4 hours to deliver)

From those who expressed interest, up to three (3) artists will be shortlisted and paid $100 for offering a proposal. Rather than a concrete finalized project idea, this is a more detailed description of the questions you’d like to engage with, the ways and mediums in which you’d like to explore them, the outcomes and expectations you hold for this engagement, and how you would approach collaborating with the people in the neighborhood where Rochambeau Library sits. 

Deadline: 11:59pm (EST) on March 24, 2024

A reviewing panel consisting of one Library staff, one MFA representative, an independent artist(s) and a layperson(s) from the neighborhood will consider all submissions and select one artist for the program. The selected artist will be announced by April, 2024.

Progress update: notifications have been sent to everyone who submitted an expression of interest form. If you have not received it, please check the spam folder on your e-mail provider –or contact


  • All applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of applying.
  • This call is open to Providence artists. You must live within a 10-mile radius of Providence; have lived in the state of Rhode Island for at least one year prior to the deadline for this call; and remain a resident during the time of this program.
  • Applicants may not be full-time students/enrolled in a degree program. 


Do I have to focus specifically on the Lippitt Hill Redevelopment project?
In the spirit of giving artists freedom to explore the theme of gentrification/displacement as a current struggle in the city of Providence, you are welcome to propose alternative approaches. However, given the physical proximity that Rochambeau Library has with Lippitt Hill, and to honor the lives of people who were forced to leave their homes as a consequence of it, we hope that the Lippitt Hill Redevelopment Project is addressed in one way or another in the proposed projects. 

Where can I learn more about the Lippitt Hill Redevelopment Project?

We recommend looking at the work done by Ray Rickman through The Lippitt Hill Project, as well as this news article published by the Brown Daily Herald. The following quote encapsulates the consequences of this redevelopment initiative:

“In addition to about 659 families — including over 400 African American families — being forced out by the city, 89 businesses were also lost, Ritchie said. “It’s not only about people losing their homes. It’s about losing their livelihoods. It’s about losing their community. It’s about being disconnected,” she said.”

If you are interested, you may also want to learn more about the history of Snowtown, once a neighborhood nearby, through the Smithsonian magazine, or through the Snowtown Project. Both cases inspire us to wonder what would have happened if those communities would have been “left alone”, away from the redevelopment processes imposed.

What can my proposed project look like?

You are welcome to work in any medium: from writing to performing a poetic action, creating a video or a theater piece, mural painting and more. We do ask that you take into account what’s provided with this opportunity; for instance, actual working space in the library may be too small for certain disciplinary approaches (in any case, artists may choose to use their own studio space for production purposes as well). 

Can an artist ensemble apply?

Yes. If you apply as a collective, you’ll decide how to split the artist stipend among the group.