Dear Yardie,

As you know, it’s the people that make a place special and unique; people are the heartbeat of the community. As a place-based organization – it’s the people who work at The Steel Yard that shape the organization’s character, uplift and guide our mission, and forge the way for an equitable and accessible future for the industrial arts. Our lived experiences and involvement with local organizing informs how The Steel Yard moves intentionally to expand our community. We take great pride in our work and hope you will join us by making a year-end gift today.

Our staff are oftentimes alumni of our education, residency, workforce programs, or longtime event partners. From the moment they step into our studios or offices, we encourage our team to infuse their whole selves into their creative and professional practices. Our authentic connections to programs inform how we show up to our jobs on a daily basis – strengthening our commitment to improving the conditions of our environment, cities, and neighbors through our work.

I didn’t learn how to drive until last fall and had a really undignifying and isolating experience as a pedestrian during my first years in Providence. The colorful Public Projects benches, gates, and bike racks I found sprinkled along my long, cold commutes were proof that someone believed that I deserved dignity and beauty and creativity throughout my day. It’s been a dream to be in the shop this past year learning to make those amenities for others. To be able to grow from a participant in The Yard’s Workforce Training Program into a full-time team member and utilize my program management experience to get more accessibility, more transit options, more creativity, and more dignity to those in public spaces is going to be really meaningful work for me. I’m excited to get started!

Ti Dinh, Client Relations Manager and former workforce participant

In my role as studio manager I’m pushing the studio forward in the same ways that I support the community as an organizer of the Queer Trans Zine Fest. Making art can be intimidating, and there are so many barriers to studio access such as finances, time, comfort, or ability, and I want to use my skills and experience organizing in the Providence community to expand that access.

Whether it’s making stools that are comfortable and steady, stocking the snack bar with more nourishing food, or making sure there’s a lower table in a welding bay for students who use wheelchairs, I’m constantly dreaming up ways that the studio can be a comfortable and fun place for people who are traditionally left out of industrial spaces.”

CJ Jimenez, Studio Manager and former workforce participant and events partner

‘As a former student and scholarship recipient, I was struck by the intentional way The Steel Yard approaches creating a welcoming, accessible environment, and how clearly I felt the organization’s care as a program participant. I was drawn to The Yard’s belief in the importance of community access to creative spaces and the value of artistic expression. As a new member of the team, I’m excited to support that work and vision by ensuring we have the resources to continue broadening access to these important programs.’

Zooey Kim-Conner, Development Director and former student and events partner

With your support in 2023, we have so far been able to offer over $50,000 in scholarships, host 621 students, and taught 54 youth. We created fifteen public projects that went into neighborhoods throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. We provided 2,000 paid hours for working artists and fabricators. We hosted 24 events, which welcomed 15,000 community members to enjoy our site during cultural events.

We hope you’ll join us in supporting the work of The Steel Yard by making a financial donation today. Your gift will enable us, the staff, to continue to facilitate meaningful programs that impact and uplift our participants. Your gift will create more public amenities for our cities and towns. You will ensure that our studios and sites are physically and emotionally accessible to all. Your donation will make sure that we can continue to offer scholarships and discounts for our educational programs, and paid welding training programs.

Thank you for your continued support,

Howie Sneider
Executive Director

Ben Filchak
Studio Director

CJ Jimenez
Studio Manager

Denise Meza
Finance Director

Zooey Kim-Arnold
Development Director

Asaad Miller
Communications Manager

Spocka Summa
Community Engagement Coordinator

Islay Taylor
Associate Director

Adam Chuong
Education Director

Haley Peters
Education Coordinator

Tim Ferland
Public Projects Director

John Nguyen
Workforce Projects Manager

Kendra Plumley
Public Projects Studio Coordinator

Ti Dinh
Client Relations Manager