The other morning, I received an alarming note that the Mayor of Warwick is considering the prospect of evicting the Warwick Center for the Arts from their longtime home in order to convert the historic Kentish Armory Building into a municipal office, as according to this article in the Warwick Beacon. Suffice it to say, I do not believe that this is a well considered plan.
The WCOA has long been a vital center of arts and culture . Yesterday, I wrote this letter to Mayor Solomon. I am hoping that my input, along with may others , may help him to find an alternative plan that preserves the WCOA in their historic home.
Dear Mayor Solomon,
My name is Krzysztof Mathews. I am a resident of Warwick, and I am writing to you out of concern for the proposed plans to evict the Warwick Center for the Arts from their home at the historic Kentish Armory building.
The Warwick Center for the Arts plays a vital role for the arts here in Rhode Island. Situated between Wickford and Providence, it provides an excellent space and serves a wide cross section of the arts community. For the youngest emerging artists, the WCOA has consistently offered a robust selection of classes. This is the foundation that can help young people to begin a lifelong appreciation of the arts and their own developing skills and enjoyment of the practice of art. The main gallery is a beautiful space that has been lovingly developed over years of hard work and careful remodeling to create an accessible exhibition venue that has hosted a truly wide and diverse series of shows in every media, and in a substantial range of subjects and themes. Over many years, arts groups such as the SENE Film festival, the Art League Rhode Island, 19 on Paper, the University of Rhode Island Department of Art and Art History, and RISCA have all shared their art, workshops, and events in this space.
And let us also not forget that the WCOA has been a place that offers a location for music and live performance including a local comedy improv group. To find an arts venue that offers all of these benefits to the public is an increasingly rare thing!
I fear that if the WCOA is forced to evict their space, they may well find themselves without a location that allows them to provide the public and the arts community with these opportunities and services, and that would be a serious loss.
158 Sand Pond Road
Warwick Rhode Island