Providence Recreation Centers to reopen citywide, offer free, socially distant enrichment programming
April 8, 2021
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin (Ward 12), Recreation Director of Support Services Jackie Poulios, Art, Culture + Tourism Cultural Affairs Manager Gina Rodríguez-Drix, local artist Ysanel Torres and community members to announce the reopening of all Providence Recreation Centers beginning Monday, April 12, 2021.
“Our Recreation Centers are often the focus of community life and vital to the physical and emotional wellbeing of our youth,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “It’s critical that, as our state continues to reopen, we prioritize promoting safe and healthy ways for youth to stay active and engaged all year round through enrichment programming and summer employment opportunities.”
The City of Providence will also once again offer youth summer employment opportunities to operate lunch program sites, camps, and water parks across the City, subject to change due to COVID-19. Applications can be submitted through the Providence youth summer jobs portal pvdsummerjobs.com. Youth must be at least 14 years of age as of June 15, 2021, to apply.
“Over the years, our community has learned that when we intentionally create spaces for our youth to play, grow, and create, the entire neighborhood benefits,” said Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin. “I am thrilled to open the doors to Rogers Rec Center and work alongside the community to ensure that neighborhood youth have a space that is wholly theirs. I am excited to work alongside Michael Stephens and Michael Holland, leaders who put youth first to ensure that Madeline Rogers Recreation Center lives up to its name as a community-oriented center for Smith Hill.“
All 11 Providence Recreation Centers will each offer a unique schedule of socially distant enrichment programming free of charge for Providence youth ages 7-15 weekdays beginning Monday, April 12. For a full list of socially distant enrichment programming for each recreation center, please visit providenceri.gov/providence-recreation/providence-recreation-centers. Beginning Monday, April 19, Recreation Centers will resume grab-and-go meals for youth to take away. No food will be allowed in Recreation Centers at this time.
“Now more than ever, the power of art is a force for collecting healing,” said Gina Rodríguez-Drix, Art, Culture + Tourism Cultural Affairs Manager. “Ysanel’s artistic expression makes a powerful visual statement that has transformed the space for Smith Hill residents. By channeling the creative energy of the community, her work will create endless possibilities for shared experiences for years to come.”
As part of the activation of the City of Providence’s Art in City Life Plan, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) established an ongoing Public Art Residency Program that places artists in City facilities. In April 2019, Providence-based artist Ysanel Torres was awarded the City’s first Public Art Residency at Madeline Selim Rogers Recreation Center. Through her residency, Torres, in collaboration with community members and youth from the Recreation Center, co-designed, fabricated and installed a mural of the Recreation Center’s namesake on the center’s exterior wall. Although the installation was completed last winter, the unveiling was delayed due to the public health crisis.
For updated hours of operations for each Recreation Center as well as the updated safety protocols that will be enforced to protect the health of youth, families, and staff, please visit https://www.providenceri.gov/recreation/.