About the WaterFire Arts Center

As the result of a strategic planning process focused on capacity-building, long-term sustainability and the transition from an artist-led improvisational activity into a cultural institution, WaterFire Providence purchased the Center in 2012 and began fundraising and rehabilitation for the vacant, historic, industrial building in the underserved Olneyville/Valley neighborhood of Providence. Initially built in 1929 for the US Rubber Company as a multi-purpose manufacturing facility, WaterFire Providence completed renovation of the WaterFire Arts Center in May 2017. The 37,000 sq. ft. multi-use arts center has become WaterFire’s first permanent home in the community.

The WaterFire Arts Center serves as our headquarters, production complex, and multi-purpose arts venue as well as a social enterprise platform strengthening the organization’s long-term financial sustainability. One of the unique features of the WaterFire Arts Center is the Main Hall which provides 15,000 sq. ft. of uninterrupted exhibition, performance, and production space with a 40 ft. ceiling. Previous activities in the building have included the production and performance/exhibition of Megan and Murray McMillan’s Coal Bin Project (2013) which was featured in MassMoCA’s Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder exhibition (2015), the 5 day Providence Fringe Festival (2017-18), and “The Rosa Parks House Project” art installation by Ryan Mendoza (2018).

While Rhode Island is rich with cultural assets and resources including art museums and galleries, there is currently no contemporary art center in the state that can host large installations or surveys. The WaterFire Arts Center is a flexible venue that will fill that void. Work exhibited in the WaterFire Arts Center will align with WaterFire Providence’s mission to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city while valuing contributions of all artists, reflecting true diversity of the contemporary art field, and highlighting women, artists of color, and underrepresented practitioners. The WaterFire Arts Center will further our agenda of providing arts and culture opportunities and experiences for all, regardless of social, cultural, or economic background.

Upcoming Events

Art to Transform the Community

The WaterFire Store

Open weekdays 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

At WaterFire Providence, our mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. The WaterFire Store allows visitors to bring a piece of their experience home with a WaterFire inspired gift. Find handmade glass ornaments and custom tea light holders from our neighbors Gather Glass, apparel designed by WaterFire staff and interns that are locally screen printed by SWG Promotions, and a curated book collection from Symposium Books

All proceeds from your purchase at the WaterFire Store are used to support the continuation of this free event within our community. Go here to find more ways to get involved.

Visit us at the WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02908. Our hours are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday. Follow @waterfireartscenter on Instagram for special events hours.

Our Partners

Building Community, Together


The latest updates from WaterFire Providence and the WaterFire Arts Center.


  • The Store is open til 7 PM tonight. Come stop by and see Jen!
  • Almost ready! @finefurnishingsshows will open at 5:00 PM tonight. Tickets are $10 at the door. ..
American made handcrafted furniture and accessories.
  • We cannot wait for visitors this weekend to be wowed by the incredible craftsmanship showcased @finefurnishingsshows !!
See our dear friend, Jenna Goldberg’s work in the WaterFire Arts Center Store including this beautifully intricate and colorful jewelry box.
#bethere #industrialspace #craftsmanship #furnituredesign
  • My Méz (@mymezusa) offers the opportunity to celebrate a special memory, with a photo mounted on a table or tray (they also can hang on a wall!). These pieces depict two beautiful displays of WaterFire, perfect for adding character to any home. They will be one of 100 vendors at this weekend’s Fine Furnishings Show (@finefurnishingsshows)!
  • We love classics and best sellers 😍 open till 5! 
M-W 10-5
475 Valley St
  • Here’s a burning brazier to warm you up on this chilly day. #keepingwarmbythefire 🔥
Our production staff designed and built three individual reflection pools in preparation of last Thursday’s FireBall. Levy, Zack, Angel, Dan, Henry and Kevin feed the fires outside the Arts Center all night long! 🔥🔥🔥 #FireBall2018
Photograph by @erin_cuddigan @waterfirephotogs
  • Come pop in and check out our records, curated by @symposiumrecords + @symposiumbooks 😇 open 10-5 today! (hours: M-F 10-5)
  • Tonight @arielle_extreme will host “DELUSIONAL" Rhode Island (& New England's) FIRST & ONLY interactive Halloween Party for Adults!
Dancing, DJ, drinks, PLUS live cirque style aerial performances. + Haunted insane asylum exhibits and best costume! 👻
Don't miss the most "demented" event of the haunted season.
**Suggested 18+ event.
Photograph by @waterfirephotogs Jen Bonin.
  • Leave the silk where it hangs. All cleaned up from last night’s FireBall with more to come by @arielle_extreme who will host “Delusional”, a Halloween Party in the main hall tomorrow night! #industrialspace #aerialsilks
  • The sun is shining ☀️ post 🔥🔴 & the WaterFire Arts Center Store is open til 5! @symposiumbooks galore and more!
  • Starry, Starry Night 🌌 @waterfireartscenter !! Come see the mini installment at the FireBall !!
  • Through these windows is a 37,000 sq. ft. multi-use arts center and home of @waterfireprov .
See it at its best this Thursday at FireBall 🔴 Get your tickets today! Click the link in our bio. 🔺
#artscenter #home  #windows #creativeplacemakers
  • You’re invited! Performance art, delicious food and drink, and swing dancing. FireBall is an exciting evening celebrating the work of @waterfireprov 🔥🔴 Ticket link is in our bio. .
Photograph by @waterfirephotogs Erin Cuddigan @erin_cuddigan
  • #FireBall2018 is 1 WEEK AWAY! Don’t miss out on the party of the year! Aerialists, Swing Dancing, Dinner, Silent Auction + Surprises (in @waterfireprov style 🔥) Buy your tickets today ((🔗 in bio)) 🔴
  • Come explore our store @waterfireartscenter ((Open til 5 PM)) @symposiumbooks has curated an awesome collection of arts books recently organized by our Visitor Support and Store Clerk Volunteer, Duane Brouillette! Come visit Duane on this cloudy day!
  • Hello neighbors! @unfi town hall meeting in the Main Hall this afternoon.
  • Join us at FireBall 🔴 on Thursday, October 18th! Dinner by @morinscatering .
Dancing with @erbband .
Celebrate @waterfireprov with emcees from @therhodeshow @michaelajohnsontv + @willgilbert .
Purchase your tickets today! 🔺🔗in bio! 
Thank you @pvdmonthly for your Comet 💫 Sponsorship!
  • Rhode Island Department of Education (@ridepted) had gathered up for their monthly meeting here today at WaterFire Arts Center. Keep up the great work!


  • I love it. The potential in there is endless, you can do anything from a small, intimate performance to some really epic stuff… It’s completely flexible — the kind of thing you look for in any space.

    Josh Short, artistic director
    The Wilbury Theatre Group
  • We use the Creative Capital moniker when we sell our destination to both meeting and leisure visitors, and quite frankly, that WaterFire Arts Center fits right into our branding. They have a venue there for a large event but also a place where they’ll be able to tell the WaterFire story…

    Martha Sheridan, CEO
    Providence-Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • They’re going to bring the community into the building and that’s why we were attracted to this project–connecting to the community and being a resource for the community. There are intangible benefits of drawing people into the projects. It will be amazing.

    Jeanne Cola, executive director
    LISC Rhode Island
We're in Olneyville!

Open Weekdays

10:00 am – 5:00 p.m.

We're currently closed.

See our calendar for events and holiday hours.