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January 11, 2016

(Providence, RI) The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) is thrilled to announce that their partners at ONE Neighborhood Builders are recipients of a competitive RISCA Cultural Facilities Grant to transform unused space at the 116,000 square foot Paragon Mills in Olneyville Square into a community theatre space. The Manton Avenue Project will manage the space, presenting their four annual play festivals to public audiences, and holding afterschool classes, Teen Voices meetings, and rehearsals in the new space. MAP will also be charged with programming the space with other local performing arts groups seeking space to present their works and offer community classes.

“This grant represents a giant first step in realizing MAP’s dream of a neighborhood theatre space where we can produce our play festivals, to give our young playwrights an artistic home right in the heart of their community,” says MAP’s Executive Artistic Director, Meg Sullivan, “This space will mean so much for our future – a future in which our playwrights’ and their families can be even more involved with productions, and a future which puts Olneyville on theatrical map in Rhode Island. On the heels of our recent strategic planning process, we are eager to begin this next phase of our organization’s development. We look forward to working with our partners at ONE Neighborhood Builders to create a flexible performance space for our students to let their imaginations soar, and an affordable and accessible space for other local performing groups to express their creative voices with our community. In the coming months, MAP will host community meetings at our Clubhouse, aimed at gathering feedback as we develop plans for this much needed space.”

“We are over the moon,” says MAP’s board chair Kelly Seigh, “We are so grateful to RISCA and ONE Neighborhood Builders for believing in MAP and in our future. The Manton Avenue Project has long been seeking a theatre of our own to professionally produce our amazing young playwrights’ works. We are excited to work with ONE to create a thriving performing arts space in Olneyville. The future continues to brighten for MAP and for Olneyville.”

About RISCA’s State Cultural Facilities Grant Program: The State Cultural Facilities Grant Program (SCFG) was created because state lawmakers and voters recognized that many significant cultural properties in our state need extensive repairs or restoration, and that these organization contribute significantly to the state and local economy.  These facilities and the organizations that enliven them contribute to the quality of life in Rhode Island and insure that our arts and cultural activities continue to inspire new generations.  Moreover, the arts and cultural sector creates jobs, stimulates tourism, and builds and revitalizes our downtowns, neighborhoods and communities throughout the state

About The Manton Avenue Project: The Manton Avenue Project (MAP) offers tuition-free afterschool playwriting programs in Providence, RI, aimed at empowering young voices and giving young people tools to forge ahead to become tomorrow’s creative thinkers and community leaders. MAP is committed to nurturing the unique potential of young people in Olneyville, one of Providence’s lowest income neighborhoods, by unleashing their creative voices and uniting them with professional artists to create original theatre. We see theatre as a specifically powerful tool for social and personal change. MAP’s long-term programming offers supports and opportunities needed for positive and creative youth development, strengthening students’ resilience and self-efficacy – two indicators of healthy adulthood. MAP is changing lives, one play at a time.

About ONE Neighborhood Builders: ONE Neighborhood Builders’ (ONE NB) mission is to work with residents to build a safe, healthy and stable community.  We accomplish our mission through four lines of business: (1) creation and preservation of affordable housing, and development of commercial real estate to spur economic development, (2) ONE Neighborhood Works – our social enterprise which prepares young people for work while providing landscaping and maintenance services in the neighborhood’s public spaces, (3) individual asset building to prepare families for homeownership, and (4) community building and organizing to strengthen the neighborhood’s social fabric.


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