A Letter from Ashley Paniagua

September 2021.

It’s with so much love that I share this news with you all. I will be leaving New Urban Arts at the end of this calendar year. I am grateful and humbled to have worked with incredible people at an organization that has been in my life for 20 years. New Urban Arts has shaped who I am and has consistently given me hope during the roughest of times. I have learned so much about making space for art, awkwardness, emotion, humanity and love through the last 8 ½ years. The NUA community is vital and Providence is lucky to have it.

To my colleagues through the years, thank you for showing up, doing the work and thank you for everything you’ve taught me. When I think about living in love and abundance, I think about all of you. Your friendship means the world to me.

To all the young people that have walked through the doors, thank you. Thank you for trusting us, thank you for sharing space with me and most importantly thank you for being you. No matter what, please remember that there is so much space in this world, so take it. Also, don’t forget that you are loved just as you are. Just as I will take NUA everywhere I go, NUA will always be for you.

New Urban Arts is the best place I have worked and the best work I’ve done in this world. Thank you for letting me in.

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Call for Artist Mentors

Become An Artist Mentor at New Urban Arts

Each fall, New Urban Arts selects 20 Artist Mentors to participate in our interdisciplinary art studio on Westminster Street, across from Classical and Central High schools. Artist Mentors volunteer October 2015 through May 2016 to mentor high school students in developing a creative practice they can sustain throughout their lives. Arts mentoring at New Urban Arts is a wonderful opportunity for artists and educators to learn how to effectively work with high school students in a community setting. In 2009, New Urban Arts was honored as one of the top youth arts programs in the country on behalf of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, receiving the nation’s highest honor for the field of out-of-school time arts and humanities programs.

Mentor Applications can be downloaded here. 

In the past, Artist Mentors have been college students, graduate students, and artists from the community. Because New Urban Arts emphasizes peer-to-peer and participatory learning in our studio, Artist Mentors must be able to connect on a personal and artistic level with teenagers.  

Artist Mentors are nurturing, resourceful, flexible under pressure, open to taking risks, willing to learn, and able to commit 6 hours per week during an entire school year. Artist Mentors participate in a yearlong professional development program to support their growth as an artist and educator and are required to attend two weekend retreats held in the Fall and Winter.

We also offer Artist Mentor positions through off-site work-study programs for eligible university students. 

This year, New Urban Arts is looking for artist mentors in the following disciplines: drawing, painting, fashion design, sewing, printmaking, screen printing, sculpture, installation, film/animation, graphic design, web design, song writing, music, sound recording, radio, painting, drawing, poetry, mixed media, spoken word performance, digital and darkroom photography, dance, yoga, mixed media, bookmaking and textiles. We are not limited to these media and are open to accommodate other media in our studio. 

2015-16 Artist Mentor Applications now available at www.newurbanarts.org. To have an application mailed to you, please contact New Urban Arts at 401.751.4556 or info@newurbanarts.org.  Applications are due September 4,  2015.

“I first came to the studio to share what I know about making comics.  Now it feels like a second home. I have a new understanding of what it means to be a creative person.”   – Melissa Mendes, Artist Mentor, 2006-2008

Friday, May 16th: Art Party

Art Party:  A Year-End Celebration Event

Join us in celebrating the creative voices of Providence youth!
Art Party marks the end of a yearlong collaboration between Providence artists and high school students at New Urban Arts.  Hear a moving tribute ceremony for graduating seniors and volunteer artist mentors at 4pm.  The festivities culminate with a parade of puppets, fashion and music (by the What Cheer? Brigade!)

End of Year Celebration: A Tribute Ceremony

Art Party: An Interactive Exhibition & Parade

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Spring 2014 Conversations on Creative Practice

New Urban Arts is excited to announce the Spring 2014 series of Conversations on Creative Practice, organized and curated by Arts Mentoring Fellows Rick Benjamin and Eli Nixon. The seventh annual series will be held at our art studio, located at 705 Westminster Street in Providence. All events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, April 17th:  Moving Architecture, Simultaneous “Real” and “Staged” Performance with Megan & Murray McMillian, facilitated by Eli Nixon.
Find this event on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 23rd: Conformity, Deformity and Change: Finding the Beat and the Beast with Michelle Bach-Coulibaly & Erminio Pinque, facilitated by Rick Benjamin.
Find this event on Facebook.

Monday, April 28th: The Politics of Trouble Making, Pushing and Getting Pushed Back with Ian Cozzens & CJ Jimenez, facilitated by Eli Nixon.
Find this event on Facebook.

Conversations are made possible through funding support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.


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2014 Sandra Olson Award – Call for Nominations

New Urban Arts is now collecting Sandra Olson award nominations. New Urban Arts introduced this annual award in 2002 to recognize individuals and organizations who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to New Urban Arts. Board members, staff, artist mentors and students can nominate candidates, people who share extraordinary contributions of time, expertise, money, energy or support—often without solicitation—going beyond what is asked of them in support of New Urban Arts and its mission.

New Urban Arts has grouped the candidates as follows:
1. Individual Volunteers: board members, volunteers, consultants, etc.
2. Organizations & Businesses: corporations, small businesses, foundations, community organizations
3. Full-time staff, artist mentors, students, and/or alumni

Each year, New Urban Arts gives a Sandra Olson Award to one individual or organization in each category. Under special circumstances as determined by the review panel, more than one Sandra Olson Award in each category may be given.
Awards will be given at the Annual Campaign Event, April 10, 2014.

Sandra Olson Award Nominations are due Monday March 14, 2014 to Tamara Kaplan via email, tamara@newurbanarts.org
Subject “Sandra Olson Award” 

 Please submit the following:
· Name and category (see above) for the candidate you are nominating;
· Your name;
· The reasons why you are nominating this candidate;
· Additional information that the review panel should know.

Nominations will be kept anonymous.


Past Winners of the Sandra Olsen Awards include: 
2002 – Peter Hocking, Jephry Floral Studio, Marly Louis, Echoing Green Foundation
2003 – Kathleen Connolly, Jason Yoon, Gasbarro’s Wines
2004 – Jesse Banks III, White Electric, Craftland
2005 – Michael Fournier, Kedrin Frias, Jennifer Rice, Cornish Associates
2006 – Priscilla Carrion, White Whale Web Services, Tamara Kaplan, Judy Vilmain
2007- John Tabor Jacobson, Mary Adewusi, Esther Chak, Simon Moore, Jack Richter
2008 – Sarah Meyer, Myrth York, Aneudy Alba, Andrew Oesch
009 – Deborah Obalil, Mathias Arling, Vilmain Inc., Erik Gould
2010 – Rosalia Velis, Angelo Manioudakis, Andy Cutler
2011 – CJ Jimenez, Jane Androski, Susan Smulyan, Jay Glasson, Virginia Branch
2012 – Sara Bergman, Emily Ustach, Site Specific, Emmy Bright, Noel Puello
2013- Daniel Schliefer, Adrienne Adeyemi, John Risica & Family, Holly Ewald, Caitlin Cali 

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Friday, February 14th, 5pm – 7pm Mid-Year Makings Opening Event

Join us for an interactive art exhibition featuring new works by students at New Urban Arts, a nationally recognized community art studio and gallery where emerging artists and high school students practice powerful mentoring relationships. Witness brainstorms, beginnings, and the bloomings of mid-year makings.

RSVP to our Facebook Event.


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