Rhode Island
Profile Type: Cultural Nonprofit
Cultural Nonprofit
Arts in Common

​OUR MISSION “Arts in Common embraces and supports the shared goal, to stimulate, make accessible and sustain ​arts activities and organizations that promote educational, economic and cultural  growth.”​OUR GOALS
Ad hoc leadership of Arts In Commons is energized and activated to work toward two goals:

Redevelopment/rehab of decommissioned schools on Bristol Common: Remediation of the empty Walley School (urgent needs include heating, lead abatement, abstract, accessibility) as well as updates to Byfield and Reynolds schools currently in use by artists, cultural and civic organizations.

Creation of a scalable arts network for Bristol and beyond: Focus of the organization is to foster arts and cultural engagement with the intention not to compete but rather support and amplify. With it’s unique structure of artists, educators, town administrators and community advocates, Arts in Common will network with the creative community, the local museums, the university, the local business community and residents to ensure existing and new arts and cultural programming becomes a vital part of the community infrastructure — easier to know about, access and enjoy. OUR IDEA
Guided by Arts in Common, arts and culture will provide Bristol the imagination and energy to re-purpose three old buildings and to recreate a 17th century town commons into a 21st century space for creative civic life. Going forward, how the buildings are programmed and overseen will be guided by the needs and interests of arts and culture practitioners and their audiences.  Already artists in Bristol have appropriated the schools’ affordable spaces; what’s new is that the town will work with the artists, cultural organizations and the university to upgrade and expand the facilities so the arts can stay and thrive. The arts programs at Roger Williams university will lease space in the buildings for classes and exhibitions, stabilizing the financial future of the buildings. The needs and interests of the local cultural institutions will define space for collaborative programming, as well as a home for joint office facilities and shared resources. Broader cultural interests of students and life long learners will guide what learning opportunities are developed in the three facilities. THE RESULTS
​The difference long term with the guidance and support of Arts in Common:

  • The Bristol town commons will be an enlivened place where people come to have engaged experiences with art, artists and all forms of cultural expression. 
  • The three buildings are fully utilized allowing for a balance of revenue streams to support and sustain ongoing maintenance.  Attendees represent the broad cross section of residents from all areas of town, all income levels and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Artists and staff/trustees of cultural organizations are more integrated into the planning/development affairs of the town, bringing their energy and talents to challenges beyond their own immediate interests.
  • RWU and its cultural programs are more attended by residents, and artists and educators from the university are showcased and engaged with the teaching and learning that goes on in Bristol.
  • Unique and high quality arts education opportunities become a signature of Bristol and draw diverse students from the community and beyond.
  • Artists embrace Bristol and a place where new work can be done and where a community of culturally literate residents engage, challenge and appreciate their art.
  • Local arts organizations are seeing the benefits of collaborating and sharing communications, marketing and organizational development resources.  Shared audiences are expanding community support.
  • Restaurants and shops note the “cultural tourism” that has emerged adds to their business and enhances tourist experience of Bristol.
  • Statewide cultural organizations are partnering with Bristol to join in the collective communication of arts and cultural offerings; local communities are consulting on how Arts in Common might be scaled outward to include more individual towns, the region and even the state.


Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Management Team Member, Communications Chair
Mailing Address: 
235 High St.
Bristol, RI 02809
Physical Address: 
235 High St.
Bristol, RI 02809
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Cultural Nonprofit
Primary Discipline: 
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
Institution/Business Type: 
Arts Service Organizations
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region