"This Ain't Free"
As most of you know, we had to close our doors in mid-March due to COVID-19. What we didn't know at that time was how long it would last. Unfortunately, it would mean remaining closed for the next 5 months (April-August). During this closure, we've received minimal financial assistance due to the many requirements that neglected to consider small, new businesses. We weren't generating any income yet we had to cover all of our normal operational costs without any leniency from our property owner. Therefore, as our lease ends in August, we've decided to vacate our current location.
COVID-19 is still a very real and dangerous threat to our community so it's not like we'd be able to safely operate at full capacity anytime soon. We hope to open in a new location in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, we'll be facilitating numerous projects under our This Ain't Free Fundraiser campaign.
In order to move forward with our business and grow in ways where we can better support artists and community members, we're launching this fundraiser.
Our goal is to raise $16,000 by August 31, 2020:
-help cover overdue bills
-help fund projects in the fall & winter
-help secure a new space next spring
We'd like a space that we can help revive, where we can add value and support to our community without pushing anyone out and this takes investment. And we're asking our community to help us make this happen.
Our This Ain't Free Fundraiser campaign has layers. Running a business ain't free. Creating art ain't free. Supplies and labor ain't free. Together, as a community, we can create a head start for so many emerging artists and leaders. Please help us reach these goals by donating below.
You've got questions, we got answers
Since launching our fundraiser last week, the love and support has been tremendous. The decisions we had to make were tough and hard to share, but that feeling was so temporary because we have our beautiful community pushing us along.
We knew the news would raise some questions, so we answered them in this video.
1. Will you be staying in Olneyville?
Yes, we plan on staying! Of course that depends on availability and if we can't make it happen, we'll definitely be in Providence!
2. What are your ideas for projects during COVID/quarantine life?
We have 8-10 months before we open a new space. During that time, we hope to facilitate 4-5 projects. We'll have a rough outline of what we hope to accomplish with each project but we won't have the details until the artists involved help shape the project. Part of the funds we are raising will help compensate those artists for their work and results may vary. It may be a public art installation or end up for sale on our site.
3. How can we be involved and supportive?
For artists, we'll announce a Call for Artists so you can get involved. And for consumers and supporters of art, we'll post updates on social media and our website, and via email so you can enjoy the results of these numerous projects.
4. How are you and your family? We miss hanging out with you guys!
We miss you too! Public really gave us a space where anyone could stop in and spark a conversation and friendship; and that's been the best part of this experience. However, our family has been great. We're all safe, healthy, and spending lots of needed time together. We really, really look forward to meeting all of our new supporters in person one day soon.
5. Are you going to start an online platform to sell art and books?
Some projects might result in art for sale, but not all. We will use this website as an online store if and when the times comes. We still have tons of books and can get more so we might do a pop-up library soonish!
Thanks for reading - we hope it answers some questions you had too. We are keeping you updated every step of the way so you have all the opportunities to give input and get involved.
A brief reintroduction
In the last few months we have gained a lot of new supporters so we wanted to take a moment to reintroduce ourselves.
1. Who are we ?
We were both born and raised in Providence, RI. We opened Public September 7, 2019 and since then were able to work with a ton of amazing artists. Spocka Summa is a visual artist, musician and event curator. Casandra is an educator, poet, organizer, and also the founder of a community event called On the Lawn.
2. Our mission?
As residents of Providence, we find that it is important to support emerging artist as they develop and show more representation for BIPOC. Through many of our projects we will be creating opportunities in which artists will be paid for their time and work. Our goal is to create an environment for art and people in our community to flourish.
Get to know us a litte better by checking out our bio here!
If you would like to get involved please feel free to email us via or join our update list below.
Public Community Outreach
Until we open a new space in 2021, we will be facilitating some projects in a temporary location. We would love to hear from our fellow community members about their ideas and needs to help guide these projects. Over the next 8-10 months, we are hoping to create a variety of collaborative projects with multiple cohorts of folx. These projects will help us create more opportunities for individuals to learn and create new work we can all experience. The form below will help serve as a planning guide so please feel free to share with anyone you think would like to provide some input.
*Please note: this is not a "Call for Artists" - we aren't there yet. This is just to get input before we begin building cohorts for these projects but we will certainly reach out if you'd like to help lead or participate - just mention this in your form. Thank you!