July 26, 2018 – On Thursday, July 26th the Steel Yard unveiled plans for a $2.7 million dollar restoration and renovation of their 12,000 square foot industrial arts studio. Located in Providence, the century-old facility operated as Providence Steel and Iron until its founding as the Steel Yard in 2002. The non-profit’s professional workspace enables community access to equipment for welding, blacksmithing, jewelry, ceramics, woodworking and the foundry arts.
Designed by the award-winning KITE Architects, renovations to the facility will directly address community needs. From basics such as installing heat and replacing a circa-1920’s electrical system to the integration of solar power and the construction of a modern multi-purpose community space, the Steel Yard will be open year round, adding 4 months of operations to each year.
In 2016 and 2017 the Steel Yard reached capacity in nearly all of their programs. Recognizing that their ability to fulfill their mission was directly linked to the condition of their site, the RI State Council on the Arts, the City of Providence, foundations and individual donors invested in the project. With $1.8 million raised towards the $2.7 million goal, the Steel Yard will break ground on studio renovations in November 2018.
The Steel Yard is an award-winning industrial arts center and Providence’s largest and most unique private outdoor venue. The 3.8-acre campus and studio, located in Providence’s Industrial Valley, is a cultural asset that serves as a sponsor and catalyst for innovative approaches to urban revitalization, arts promotion, workforce development, and community growth. The facilities at the Yard are a vital component in the careers of hundreds of independent crafts people and entrepreneurs who would not otherwise have the ability to scale their businesses or perfect their crafts, and also provide space for educators to teach their students new skills in a creative and communal environment. Over the last 10+ years, the Steel Yard has been integral to the arts community in Rhode Island by creating a shared professional workspace, introducing thousands of individuals to the industrial arts, and a creating a broader definition of public art.
Mission: The Steel Yard’s historic campus is a platform for professional artists, makers and the community to practice and learn the industrial arts. The organization fosters creative and economic opportunities by providing workspace, tools, training and education, while forging lasting links to a local tradition of craftsmanship.