"We're very excited to welcome Jack Reed and NEA (National Endwoment for the Arts) Chairman Rocco Landesman to start their tour at RiverzEdge," said Rebekah Greenwald, executive director of the arts - based youth development non-profit. RiverzEdge gives educationally and economically disenfranchised youth (ages 12 to 24) in northern Rhode Island an opportunity for paid employment in the arts and a voice in their community.
Greenwald said she hopes to have time to help the Senator and NEA Chairman to screen print a few T-shirts. She said her organization is a daily example of the power of the arts to work for the community.
That's a theme they hope to expand on to the city's benefit. Woonsocket is seeking to strengthen its creative community and is applying for a federal NEA “Our Town” grant. During the tour, city officials aim to give Landesman a firsthand look at their plans to use the arts to boost economic development on Main Street and increase community vibrancy, according to a release from the NEA.
Earlier this week, $100,000 in federal funding was made available to Woonsocket for the competitively awarded “Main Street Livability Plan,” which will be put to use enhancing Main Street by improving traffic flow and making it more pedestrian friendly with new public art, bike racks, and other streetscape improvements.