In Providence, like in many other cities in our country, young people—particularly low-income youth and those in communities of color—are systematically denied access to high-quality, creative learning opportunities. This climate, alongside current economic trends, means that organizations like New Urban Arts are under increased pressure to meet students’ learning needs in the arts. Our free, year-round out-of-school youth programs are an innovative response to that need. 

Each year, we serve over 1000 high school students and 2,000 visitors to our studio, through youth programs, professional development workshops, artist residencies, public performances, and exhibitions. 

2019-2020 Overview

Our 2019-20 program year was interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic; in mid-March we pivoted to virtual programs, after which student enrollment and participation dipped significantly:

1168 students enrolled in our youth programs at 705 Westminster Street and Central High School.

187 students attended 30 or more days over the course of the year.

13 artists 2 tutors (Study Buddies) volunteered to mentor Providence area high school students.

225 hours of summer programming offered paid internships in the arts for 24 youth.

907 people came to public events at our space at 705 Westminster before our gallery season was cut short.

2019-20 Demographics:
Of the 847 students that enrolled in our studio programs:

  • 82% qualified for free or reduced price lunch.
  • Students’ race and ethnicity was as follows: 32% Latino, 20% Multiracial, 24% African American, 16% White, 5% Asian American, 1% Native American.
  • 35% of students identified as LGBTQ.

Program Evaluation

New Urban Arts is deeply committed to the rigorous collection, analysis and sharing of both qualitative and quantitative data. We evaluate and monitor both the impact and quality of our programs through a variety of strategies including detailed demographic analysis, attendance enrollment and participation tracking, student self-assessment, written and verbal reflections, and regular public exhibitions and performances of student work. We do all this to hold ourselves accountable to the public and communities we serve, to identify new and emerging needs in our community, and to improve our work. Below are several evaluation tools we currently have in place:

The Participation Index
 is an equation to assess studio usage that takes into account how the number of active students correlates with the frequency of their participation. We begin by tracking student participation daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. This information is then cross-referenced with student demographics. 

Student Registration Forms allow students to reflect on their creative practice in an open-ended, written format at the start of each program year.
End of Year Surveys are distributed each May in order to collect qualitative and quantitative feedback from Artist Mentors and students. As a bookend to the Student Registration Forms, students are asked to reflect in an open-ended, written format about the development of their creative practice during the program year.
Written Artist Statements accompany each studio exhibition and provide a platform for students to reflect on their process and learning throughout the program year.

Program Evaluation Reports please visit our Publications section to view our entire collection of yearly Program Reports.