About AS220



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.

Our Vision

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

What is AS220?

AS220 is an artist-run organization committed to providing an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts. AS220 offers artists opportunities to live, work, exhibit and/or perform in its facilities, which include several rotating gallery spaces, a performance stage, a black-box theater, a print shop, a darkroom and media arts lab, a fabrication and electronics lab, a dance studio, a youth program focusing on youth under state care and in the juvenile detention facilities, four dozen affordable live/work studios for artists, and a bar and restaurant. AS220’s facilities and services are available to any artist who needs a place to exhibit, perform, or create original work and its classes and public-access studios are among the most affordable in the nation. AS220 was founded on the principle that freedom of expression is crucial for the development of strong communities and individual spirits. AS220’s vision for a local unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts was launched in a one-room rental above the Providence Performing Arts Center in 1985 with a budget of just $800. Today, the non-profit owns – and enlivens – three mixed-use buildings, totaling over 100,000 square feet, in the heart of Providence’s downtown and represents a $25 million investment in downtown Providence. AS220 has earned a national reputation synonymous with an egalitarian, accessible approach to creative community – offering an alternative to the obstacles of conventional presenting venues. We provide an inclusive forum for any and all Rhode Island artists to share their original artwork, embracing the full spectrum of the arts: theatre, dance, poetry, photography, music, printmaking, creative “hacking”, painting, puppetry, and beyond. AS220 is credited as a national model for urban revitalization and has been recognized nationally for its catalytic role in the revitalization of downtown Providence. We recently completed our 3rd, award-winning historic restoration project bringing us to a total of 100,000 square feet of lively, mixed-use space. Each of our buildings is comprised of a vibrant blend of local and arts-related program spaces including galleries, performance venues, and public-access art studios. AS220 has and continues to play a key role in the revitalization of downtown Providence while advocating for the intrinsic value of artists and art practice in the role of community development. Each year, AS220 serves over 1,000 artists and is destination for upwards of 93,000 people.

The Backstory

Hateration Gets No Toleration – AS220 Youth Policy

This is the AS220 Youth commitment to respecting and embracing all people. AS220 Youth is a safe place where no person or group should be discriminated against for any reason no matter what they bring with them through our doors –this includes varying races, religions, gender identities and perspectives. All will be treated in a positive manner. Every member of this community is committed to being respectful of our diversity in our words and actions while engaging in open dialogue about these issues. We recognize that we all harbor prejudices, but we are dedicate to challenging ourselves against them. We will not stand for bigotry or oppression. We stand for embracing, celebrating, and educating.      

The Original Manifesto that started it all: Click on the image below.

Photo of Bert circa 1989 Outside Richmond Street

The AS220 Stink Tank: The “Compost of The Arts” Theory!


Thank you for your support

Thanks so much for your support!

Live Arts Venues

Main Stage:
The AS220 Main Stage hosts over ten events a week and is a 200 capacity performance venue and gallery space. The venue contains 4 powered main speakers, three monitors, in house compression and efx, projection / dvd capabilities, and a 6 foot screen. A full inventory can be viewed here.  While the Main Stage hosts a wide array of artistic programming, it primarily is used as a concert venue. It is located at 115 Empire Street.


Black Box:
The Black Box is an extremely versatile 90 capacity performance theatre. It has a surround sound system, Subwoofer, digital projector with 8′ X 12′  screen, and full theatrical lighting. The space focuses on theatrical and dramatic works and encourages users to customize the space to suit the needs of their production. The Black Box is on the first floor of 95 Empire Street.


Dance Studio:
The dance studio hosts regular dance, yoga, and fitness classes and is available for rental for rehearsals and private instruction. The Dimensions of the marley floored room are  28′ X 42′ and it is equipped with mirrors, ballet barres, an easy to operate sound system and sunlight!

Dance Studio image

Psychic Readings:
Psychic Readings is an intimate and mysterious multi-purpose room. It has a capacity of 45, but also has an “Annex Room” which moonlights as an art gallery. Psychic Readings is run in conjunction with the AS220 Artists in Residence on the third floor of the Empire Street building.