Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

Organizations building community

October 9, 2013 by lauren

We’re hearing lots about the organizations that make Rhode Island special:

Jennifer Canole points to Trinity Rep, Rhode Island’s state theater celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, “and all of other the amazing arts organizations in our state!” Seriously, the arts abound in Our Backyard.

Speaking of which: The Steel Yard “acts as a catalyst in the creative revitalization of the industrial valley district of Providence, Rhode Island. In fostering the industrial arts and incubating small business, the Corporation seeks to cultivate an environment of experimentation and a community strengthened by creative networks.” Ever considered trying your hand at iron casting, welding, or blacksmithing? Check out the impressive lineup of classes (for any skill level!) The Steel Yard offers.

Michael Kelly told us: “One of the great things happening in Rhody right now is that a group of young men, rugby players from the Rhode Island Rebellion, have spent the last three years teaching the sport and life lessons to middle school students in Providence. The program is so successful it is expanding to the high schools this academic year. These youth programs would not have been possible without the Rebellion’s partners, the Providence After School Alliance and the American Youth Rugby League Association.”

Rachel Reeves was inspired to share news of her favorite Rhode Island organization: “Project Goal is right here in RI! Despite being nationally and globally recognized, few people here in RI have heard about this organization that promotes social change and education through soccer. Project Goal is approaching its 10th year now and could really use the local recognition.”

George Marshall points to the Rhode Island International Film Festival, New England’s only Oscar qualifying event. At the 2013 festival, the 17th annual, more than 200 feature length, documentary, and short films were screened – from 65 countries and 36 states. You’ll want to save the date (August 5-10, 2014) for next year’s festival!

Barbara Perino is impressed with the Westerly Innovations Network (WIN). “The Junior WIN team is comprised of six high school students who run a project called Turn Grease into Fuel (Project TGIF). Project TGIF collects waste cooking oil from restaurants and public collection sites and uses the proceeds to assist local families with heating assistance. To date, the students have helped heat the homes of 210 families by donating BioHeat with a value of approximately $80,000, to local charities.” We’re not surprised, Barbara, since Rhode Island has a proud history of innovation!