About AS220



We, the people of Rhode Island, associate ourselves for the purpose of providing a local forum and home for the arts, through the maintenance of residential and work studios, galleries, performance and educational spaces. Exhibitions and performances in the forum will be unjuried, uncensored and open to the general public. Our facilities and services are made available to all artists who need a place to exhibit, perform, or create their original artwork, especially those who cannot obtain space to exhibit or perform from traditional sources because of financial or other limitations.

Our Vision

AS220 envisions a just world where all people can realize their full creative potential.

What is AS220?

AS220 is a non-profit community arts organization located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. We are an unjuried, uncensored forum for the arts: a space to access tools, technology and knowledge; a space to come together, collaborate, innovate, experiment and take risks. AS220 envisions a just world where all people can realize their full creative potential.

AS220 offers artists opportunities to live, work, exhibit and perform in our facilities, including: four rotating gallery spaces, a performance stage, a black box theater, a print shop, a darkroom and media arts lab, a fabrication and electronics lab, a dance studio, a youth program focusing on youth under state care and in the Rhode Island juvenile detention facility, 47 affordable live/work studios for artists, and a bar and restaurant. 

AS220 cultivates a creative community that continues to have a profoundly transformative impact on the city of Providence. We are dedicated to supporting artists and enhancing cultural opportunities for all the people of Rhode Island. 

Founded by prolific artist, civic leader, and cultural agitator, Umberto Crenca in 1985, AS220 has developed, owns, and operates three buildings (a total of 100,000 sq ft) in Downtown Providence.  AS220 was founded on the principle that freedom of expression is crucial for the development of strong communities and individual spirits. AS220 is credited as a national model for socially responsible urban development, has been recognized nationally for its catalytic role in the revitalization of downtown Providence, and has earned a national reputation synonymous with an egalitarian, accessible approach to creative community. Our three historical buildings represent a $25 million investment in downtown Providence. Each is comprised of a vibrant blend of local and arts-related program spaces including galleries, performance venues, and public-access art studios. AS220 operates under a Co-Director model, alongside Program Directors in charge of stewarding the growth of dynamic creative communities. Each year, AS220 serves over 5,000 artists and is destination for upwards of 93,000 people. AS220 has and continues to play a key role in the revitalization of downtown Providence while advocating for the intrinsic value of artists and artistic practice in community development across sectors. 


The Backstory

Hateration Gets No Toleration

This is the AS220 Youth commitment to respecting and embracing all people. AS220 Youth is a safe place where no person or group should be discriminated against for any reason no matter what they bring with them through our doors –this includes varying races, religions, gender identities and perspectives. All will be treated in a positive manner. Every member of this community is committed to being respectful of our diversity in our words and actions while engaging in open dialogue about these issues. We recognize that we all harbor prejudices, but we are dedicate to challenging ourselves against them. We will not stand for bigotry or oppression. We stand for embracing, celebrating, and educating.

The Original Manifesto that started AS220: Click on the image below.

Photo of Bert circa 1989 Outside Richmond Street

The AS220 Stink Tank: The “Compost of The Arts” Theory!