about us
  staff & advisory board



The Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island (A&BC/RI) is an arts service organization that works to promote cultural and economic growth through leadership, partnerships, and programs that link the arts and business sectors.

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Through its local and national programs, the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island will continue to recruit and bring expertise, resources, educational opportunities and leadership talent from the business world to build the capacity of the state’s non-profit arts and cultural organizations. The A&BC/RI will deepen relationships with our current program partners and forge new partnerships in support of additional program opportunities within Rhode
Island’s emerging creative economy cluster, assuring Rhode Island’s economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Corporations and businesses that partner with the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island benefit through meaningful volunteer opportunities for employees, improved workforce and professional development opportunities, greater access to arts resources, and the opportunity to be part of a community enhanced by the presence of a vibrant arts sector.

Since 1989, the programs and services of A&BC/RI have helped to increase the capacity of arts and cultural organizations across the state to enable them to expand and thrive. A&BC/RI will continue to build a vital arts community for Rhode Island while it works to promote new partnerships to expand the role of the emerging creative cluster's impact on Rhode Island's economic, new business and tourism development.

The Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island is a program affiliate of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Chamber of Business & Industry with additional support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island is one of 23 affiliates of the Arts & Business Council/USA network, which collectively provides the largest national volunteer network serving the arts and cultural community.


In 1989, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) approached the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) to develop an affiliate of the Business Volunteers for the Arts Program in Rhode Island. BVA/RI was created as a partnership between the GPCC, RISCA, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC). Each partner was to contribute resources to help operate the program. The primary mission of BVA/RI was to help create and nurture arts and business partnerships, and to assist arts and cultural organizations in building organizational capacity and stability.

 By 2000, the BVA program had provided over 6 million dollars of consultancy and direct services to over 145 arts and cultural groups across the state.

Arts, cultural, and design sectors were growing rapidly in RI, but lacked critical support services. Recognizing this need, and having seen the impact that BVA made in the community, the board and staff restructured the organization as the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island (A&BC/RI) in January 2001. This was done to broaden the scope and impact of existing programs.

This restructuring created a strong link between the Rhode Island affiliate and the national parent organization-- the Arts & Business Council, Inc. In fact, A&BC/RI's impact was so significant that the national office selected it as one of 12 local sites around the country for two nationally funded programs- the National Arts Marketing Project (funded by American Express), and the MetLife Foundation National Arts Forums Series.

 A&BC/RI now provides eight distinct programs, services and events that serve to fulfill its mission as well as to help better advocate for the arts and cultural sector and itís vital economic development role in Rhode Islandís future. To read more about these programs,
click here.

About Us | History/Mission | Advisory Board