The Steel Yard named Champion in Action in Community Arts category

Howie Sneider, Executive Director receiving the BIG CHECK!

The Steel Yard named Champion in Action in Community Arts category
Citizens Bank and NBC 10 provide $35,000 funding, media and volunteer support

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Steel Yard is ecstatic to share that Citizens Bank and NBC10 have named us a 2018 Champion in Action® in the category of community arts! The award includes $35,000 in unrestricted funding as well as promotional/media and volunteer support for our outstanding work. Board Members, staff, colleagues, friends, and partners gathered in our studio on January 24th to learn about and celebrate the BIG news.

The Steel Yard fosters creative and economic opportunities by providing workspace, tools, training, and education while forging lasting links to a local tradition of craftsmanship. Thousands of people come to the Steel Yard each year to learn about and experience the fire-arts, as well as to create functional public-art, and receive job training. A deeply ingrained belief at the Yard is that everyone, regardless of their background, deserves access to the education, skills, and equipment needed to grow and improve their communities.

As a Champion, we can begin to tell our stories in a new way and look forward to continuing to share all that we have to offer, including: courses in welding, fabrication, blacksmithing, ceramics, and jewelry. Our shared studio space that houses our Residency Program, Open Studios, Public Projects, and Weld to Work. And last, but not least, our community gatherings and events like Fire Camp and the Halloween Iron Pour.

Champions in Action is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program designed to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality in local communities. It provides support for nonprofit organizations to recognize their contributions to communities throughout Rhode Island.

“The Steel Yard brings individuals, communities, neighbors, businesses, municipalities, and institutions together to experience the creative process,” said Barbara Cottam, Head of Corporate Affairs at Citizens Bank. “Their work not only enriches private lives and public spaces but also promotes manufacturing and workforce development.”

“We thank Citizens and NBC10 for the Champions in Action award,” said Howie Sneider, Executive Director, The Steel Yard. “Their recognition and support will help The Steel Yard tell every Rhode Islander about the resources and opportunities at the Yard.” 

Steel Yard Staff celebrating the BIG NEWS!

We’d like to also thank Anita Jackson for sharing her inspiring story at the announcement. Anita is a 2017 Weld-to-Work (W2W) 1.0 & 2.0 graduate who has been hired back as a fabricator in our Public Projects Department as well as a Teaching Assistant for two W2W 1.0 programs and one W2W 2.0 programs last season. Anita is a hard worker, inspired, and truly a champion. “Anita embodies the spirit and the future of the Yard…” said Howie.

Thank you to Nick Tomlin, blacksmith extraordinaire, for providing a spectacular demonstration. Thank you to Councilwoman Sabina Matos. And finally, thank you to all our yardies, partners, and volunteers who have joined us inspired us and funded the work that got us here today.

To date, the Champions in Action program has awarded 322 nonprofits more than $8.9 million in contributions and promotional support.

  • As a Champion in Action, The Steel Yard will receive:
  • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens Bank;
  • Media coverage from NBC 10, including public service announcements and television profiles;
  • Volunteer support from Citizens’ colleagues at The Steel Yard events;
  • The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in an “Executive-to-Executive” mentorship with a Citizens Bank executive;
  • Promotional support highlighting the Champion in Action in Citizens Bank branches; 
  • Exposure on the Citizens Bank and NBC10 websites.

For more information about the Citizens Bank and NBC 10 Champions in Action program, visit

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $151.4 billion in assets as of September 30, 2017. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations, and institutions. Citizens help its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas, and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products and asset finance. More information is available at or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
About NBC 10
WJAR-TV/DT is the most watched television station in the Providence-New Bedford television market and NBC 10 News is southern New England’s leading news station. WJAR was first launched as a radio station in 1922 and then became the market’s first television station in 1949.

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