Vision, Mission, Values

Creativity, Equity, Justice mural by Shepard Fairey, 2019. Photo by Jonathan Furlong.

Our Vision

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

Mission

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.

AS220’s Values

A value is a deeply held belief, ideal or principle that inspires action.

Creative at our core: we believe all people are born creative and that everyone is an artist.  We embrace an expansive view of art and resist narrowly defined, Westernized and commercialized definitions of art and its value in society.  We experiment with new ideas and alternative models that help us adapt to our staff and communities’ evolving needs.  Our own creativity as artists informs all we do at AS220.

Building community: we believe there is magic and power in bringing people from different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, identities and perspectives together.  We work to build genuine, reciprocal relationships with our artists, audiences, peer organizations and community collaborators, and to honor the connections we make.  We nurture a spirit of volunteerism: we welcome and thank people who use their skills, knowledge, expertise and time to build community with us.

Freedom of expression: AS220 was founded on the principle that freedom of expression is crucial for the development of strong communities and individual spirits.   We strive to facilitate opportunities for people to discover, explore, and nurture their own creativity and share their unique artistic voice.

Collective impact: we believe artists play a critical role in shaping our communities and together are a force for change.  We bring our voices together to advocate, inspire, dream, dissent, engage and vision for the future we want to see for ourselves and our communities.

A just world:  AS220 has a vision for a just and equitable world where all people can realize their full creative potential.  We recognize systems of oppression — such as racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and economic and environmental injustice — are active in our communities, and we strive to work against their root causes while centering and celebrating the unique perspectives that help shape AS220’s community.

Racial justice: we believe that racism is the bedrock of our nation.  Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPoC) continue to be adversely impacted by the social systems present in our communities.  AS220 is committed to examining how each dimension of racism shows up within our organization, and to work alongside those most impacted by racism to transform AS220 into an anti-racist space where BIPoC are not only centered in our work, but are shaping where we’re going in the future. 

Facilitating access to artistic opportunities: we believe access to artistic opportunities can transform communities and change lives.  We believe that providing access to knowledge, space, tools and technology supports people to come together, collaborate, experiment and take risks.  We recognize different people need different forms of access to participate: we work to make full participation possible for our artists and audiences.

Intergenerational, lifelong learning: transformative learning happens when people have a sustained relationship with people and place.  We work to provide opportunities for people to live and grow at AS220, and to bring their families into our spaces.  Together we create an environment where people of all ages can participate, teach and learn from one another. 

Generous and generative: AS220 generates ideas, opportunities, creative expression and community.  We are dedicated to generously sharing our knowledge and expertise with others, supporting them to foster their own ideas, opportunities, nonprofits, creative communities, and more.

The power of process: as artists, we know the process is as important as the outcome.  We value the learning, collaboration and potential for evolution — both personal and organizational — that exists in the process of doing, and reflecting on, our work.  We seek to create inclusive processes and space, and to work collaboratively with our staff and communities.  We strive to ensure that our values, initiatives, and decisions reflect the will of our communities while recognizing the inevitability of differing perspectives and ideas.

Transparency: we strive to be open with each other and our communities about how we do our work, and where we need to improve.  We challenge ourselves not to be defensive, and to work towards a culture of openness, honesty, responsiveness and mutual accountability.  We know there is no such thing as perfection: we encourage ourselves and others to learn from mistakes.