City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism (ACT)


ACT envisions a Providence that is a global destination for arts, humanities, and design, where neighbors celebrate diverse cultural and artistic experiences, and where all residents and visitors feel that a relationship to arts practice, making, and culture is a part of their everyday lives.

ACT is responsible for co-producing PVDFest, a massive destination arts festival, as well as for developing collaborative public programming in neighborhoods throughout the city. The Department provides a centralized support system for the City's creative sector by spearheading sector-wide research, cultural planning, and policy initiatives and promotes arts, culture, and creativity as an economic development strategy through the Turnaround Arts Providence and PVD Young Makers initiatives. It works closely with the Department of Planning and Development to ensure that all place-based development initiatives have robust cultural engagement components.

Recognized internationally as The Creative Capital, Providence is conveniently located in the heart of one of the most populous and economically powerful corridors in the United States. The City is well equipped to capitalize on fast-growth industries that naturally align with its core strengths in design, tech, food, health and wellness.


The Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism (ACT) ensures the continued development of a vibrant and creative city by integrating arts and culture into community life while showcasing Providence as an international cultural destination.

Reason for joining GCDN

As a municipal agency affiliated closely with planning and development in the City of Providence, ACT benefits from the research and reports generated by GCDN and its other members. The Department also relies on guidance, support, and inspiration offered by its peers in the network as it develops its policy, placemaking, and production work.


Brett P. Smiley

Mayor of Providence


Joe Wilson, Jr.

Director, Art Culture and Tourism


Created: 2003
Joined GCDN: 2016

District Size



Providence, Rhode Island, USA


Residences, Library, Festivals, Amenities, Office space, Opera, Ballet, University, Dance spaces, Amphitheatre, Multipurpose spaces, Rehearsal spaces, Artist studios, Retail, Restaurants, Sculpture Park, Artist live/work spaces, Museums, Co-working spaces, Concert halls, Public Spaces, Music Venues, Cinemas, Comedy and Live Music, Public Plazas, Bars, Art Galleries, Theatres