AS220 was founded in 1985 on the principle that freedom of expression is crucial for the development of strong communities and individual spirits. AS220's vision for a local unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts was launched in a one-room rental above the Providence Performing Arts Center with a budget of just $800. Today, the non-profit owns - and enlivens - three mixed-use buildings, totaling over 100,000 square feet, in the heart of Providence's downtown. Though sizable, AS220 is bursting at the seams with: four rotating gallery spaces, a performance space, a youth program, a recording studio, a print shop, darkrooma and a media arts lab, a high-tech fabrication lab, a black-box theatre, a dance studio, four dozen affordable live/work studios, an AS220-operated bar and restaurant, plus a handful of locally-grown non-profit and commercial tenants. AS220's facilities and services are available to any artist who needs a place to exhibit, perform, or create original work and its classes and public-access studios are among the most affordable in the nation. Each year, AS220 serves over 1,000 artists, reaching an audience 90,000 strong - and growing.
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