Activating the Creative Economy: A case study of the Steel Yard and Public Projects

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12 November, 2015

Activating the Creative Economy Webinar1:00pm Eastern Time

Founded in 2001, the Steel Yard sits on the former Providence Steel and Iron complex in Providence, Rhode Island. The non-profit was founded around the idea that people could be reconnected to the process of making which would open up new possibilities for the incubation of industrial arts and small business. An exemplary project in creative placemaking, the Steel Yard leverages the existing assets of this former industrial site and was developed collaboratively over time with grassroots efforts of local artists and community members. Home to many programs serving a wide range of practices, the Steel Yard is preparing to set out on planning the next phase of its evolution. Join us to understand how this successful project is evolving and learn about the exciting Public Projects program and Community Arts Courses that contribute to its sustainability.

Register for Activating the Creative Economy

Featured Speaker

Howie Sneider, Executive Director, the Steel Yard, Providence


Pru Robey, Vice President and Director, Creative Placemaking Lab, Artscape, Toronto

You Will Learn

  • About the Steel Yard’s evolution, purchase and development of a historic site still being used for its historic purpose on a new scale
  • About the spaces and programs that make up the Steel Yard
  • About Public Projects’ innovative revenue generating program that utilizes public infrastructure budgets to fund the creation culturally-rich amenities
  • About working with municipalities and activating the local creative economy by creating jobs for artists
  • About the Steel Yard’s plans for expansion, increased programming and reach

About the Speakers

Howie Sneider

Howie Sneider

Howie Sneider was born in Syracuse, NY. His childhood exploration of the forests and abandoned quarries of central New York encouraged his sense of wonderment and discovery. He moved to Providence in 1998 to attend RISD where he studied sculpture and photography. He is the Executive Director at the Steel Yard, where he has been an active community and staff member since 2005. In 2007 he received a Providence Arts and Business Council Encore award for his public art and community organizing through the Steel Yard’s Public Projects department. He has taught welding, fabricating, sculpture and drawing and has collaborated with over 100 other local artists to create functional and decorative public art throughout Southern New England.

Pru Robey
Pru Robey

Pru Robey is a passionate advocate for the transformative impact the arts and culture have on the lives of individuals and communities. Throughout her career, the development of innovative, multi-sector approaches to support cultural sector development, creative economy activation and sustainable urban regeneration has been a centerpiece of her work. Pru has over 30 years of experience as a consultant, researcher, manager, promoter and funder in the arts, culture and creative industries in Canada and the UK. As Vice President and Creative Placemaking Lab Director at Toronto-based Artscape, Pru takes the lead in new project research and development and on major research initiatives; directs a suite of programs and services designed to build the capacity of communities internationally to undertake creative placemaking; and advises communities internationally on strategies to support city-building through the arts. She designed and teaches Canada’s only undergraduate course in Creative Placemaking for the University of British Columbia and is a member of the Placemaking Leadership Council. 

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