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The Synergy Between Art and Innovation!

The Jamestown Arts Center is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary facility created to benefit the community of Jamestown, RI, and beyond. Our mission is to engage, enrich and inspire our community through extraordinary arts and educational experiences.

Our facility is fully wheelchair accessible.

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The Mission of the Jamestown Arts Center is to engage, enrich and inspire our community through extraordinary arts and educational experiences.

Residents of small communities shouldn’t lack the opportunities of their big city counterparts to experience art and design that is aspirational, inspirational, challenging, and at the highest level of its craft. We are setting the pace and raising the bar at the JAC every day.


The Jamestown Arts Center’s vision is to be a leading arts and cultural hub, for Rhode Island and beyond, where creativity, ideas and innovation flourish.

Great art is fed by the richness of experiences and the cross fertilization of ideas. We encourage participation of people of all ages, cultures and walks of life, the amateur to the professional. We present the arts in a variety of forms and formats, from the visual to the performing arts, from classes to events.

Our Goal

Our goal is to unite our community by embracing the arts.

JAC provides space for education, exhibition, rehearsal, performance, and interdisciplinary art camps, as well as opportunities for our community including employment, mentoring, outreach, internships, and patronage. By creating the Jamestown Arts Center, we will enrich our essential self-worth individually and collectively for years to come.

Who We Serve

While we are committed to creating out-of-the-ordinary arts and design experiences for Jamestown and our surrounding communities, our center is open to all and enriched by participants from near and far. We hope the art and arts experiences created here will be an inspiration to people worldwide.

Community is the fabric of our being. The JAC exists because members of our community were inspired to create it. That spirit of collaboration and community ownership also sustains it. Everyone is invited to work, to create, to build and to invest here.


The JAC was founded in 2007 by a group of passionate Jamestown artists who collectively envisioned a dynamic center for the arts in the heart of Jamestown, Rhode Island. This committed group became the organization’s founding board members and began working in earnest to make their vision a reality. In February of 2008 the JAC board launched a Capital Campaign to purchase and renovate the property at 18 Valley Street into a beautiful arts center designed by Estes/Twombly Architects. In early 2009, we hired an executive director as our first paid staff member. The property was purchased on December 21, 2009, with contributions and support from many generous individuals and foundations.

The JAC officially opened in July of 2011 as a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that hosts art exhibits, theatre and dance performances, film nights, OutLoud events and concerts, and provides art and design educational programs for people of all ages. Housed in a 5,000 square foot, former boat repair shop, the JAC is also home to the East Bay Met School’s Arts Advisory, an alternative public high school program for young visual and performing artists.  Programming partners include: Heifetz International Music Institute, FabNewport, Worldways Social Marketing, FirstWorks, RISD, RISCA, Art League of Rhode Island, The Jamestown Schools, Newport County Schools, The Brown/Trinity Rep MFA in Acting & Directing Program and many individual artists and local organizations.

The Jamestown Arts Center is quickly becoming a leading arts and cultural hub, for Rhode Island and beyond, where creativity, ideas and innovation flourish.

Founding Board Members & Executive Director:

Kate Petrie, President; Elizabeth Congdon, Vice President; Vivi Valentine, Vice President; Dianne Grippi, Vice President; Joce Donaghue, Secretary; Dori Hirsch, Treasurer; Anne Livingston, Treasurer; Abby Campbell-King; Lisa Utman Randall, Executive Director

As one of our founders, Vivi Valentine so eloquently said, “The founders believed in the idea, mission and goal of the need for a ‘home for the arts’ in Jamestown. They put their personal lives aside, and worked tirelessly as a passionate, committed, collaborative group in order to achieve this goal. They used every resource at their disposal in order to make this happen. They used every skill they had and enlisted those outside the board for those they did not. This group of women became a community working toward one common goal and their original motto kept them going; We believe Art Transforms Lives.”

Who We Are


  • Lisa Utman Randall, Executive Director
  • Tessa Freas Rodgers, Marketing Manager
  • Karen Conway, Exhibitions Director
  • Seamus Hames, Arts Education Coordinator
  • Molly Dickinson, Administrative Assistant
  • Susie Pentelow, Development Associate
  • Donna Defusco, Bookkeeper
  • Jon Baylor, Ceramics Studio Manager
  • Kara McKamey, Instructor
  • Casey Weibust, Instructor

Board of Directors

Eugene Mihaly, Chair

  • BA Harvard; Ph.D. London School of Economics
  • Jamestown Town Councilor 2012-14 and President, Jamestown Philomenian Library 2011 – 12
  • Director, US Peace Corps in Tanzania 1967-69 and Regional Director, Peace Corps Operations in East Asia 1969 – 70
  • Adjunct Professor International Business at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College 1996 – 2002
  • Haas Schon of Business University of California Berkeley, 1988 – 93
  • Chair, Mihaly International Corp 1973 – 2012; Chair, MI Energy Partners 1995 – 99
  • Founding Chair, Rhode Island Public Radio
  • Director of Institute for Study and Practice of Nonviolence; Chair of Global Rhode Island; former Chair Plan USA;
  • Former Chair Rhode Island Council for Humanities

Thomas G. Farrell, Vice Chair

  • BA, Brown University 1978
  • JD, Georgetown University 1981
  • Executive Management, Harvard University 1997
  • Group Executive Vice President, Lafarge Paris 2007-2015
  • Division President, Lafarge Americas 2003-2006
  • CEO, Lafarge India 1998-2002
  • Vice President, Lafarge Canada 1995-1998
  • Vice President, Lafarge France 1990-1994
  • Shearman & Sterling, New York & Paris 1983-1989
  • Director, Rexel SA since 2012 – member of Audit Committee and Nominations Committee
  • Married to Lisa Barsumian (Artist), two children: James and Aiden

Barry Eyre, Treasurer

  • BS, Finance, New York University 1990
  • MBA, Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, 1995
  • Financial Analyst – Kidder Peabody, NYC – 2 Years
  • Derivatives Trader – Deutsche Bank, London, England 6 Years
  • Managing Partner – Putney Realty Providence, RI 3 Years
  • Managing Partner – Saint John Stone – North Kingstown, RI 4 Years
  • VP Business Development – KTP Advisors, Newport, RI 4 Years

Catherine Bowen, Secretary

  • Advertising at Young & Rubicam NY; Saatchi & Saatchi NY; Weightman Group, Philadelphia
  • Publishing at Rodale Press at Men’s Health magazine, Prevention magazine and Rodale Books
  • Bowen Brophy Communications (‘98+) working on national, regional, local, for- and non-profit organizations
  • Adjunct Professor at Salve Regina University: Writing for Public Relations, Marketing, Event Management
  • Worked with a variety of non-profits: Island Arts, Newport Int’l Film Festival, Newport Art Museum, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Ballard Park, Flying Kites, Academy Players
  • BSBA Villanova University

Nell Connelly

  • The Lawrenceville School, ’02
  • BA Boston College, ’06
  • MA Boston College, ’08
  • ESL teacher – Prague, Czech Republic, 2008 – 2009
  • ESL teacher – Boston, MA, 2009 – 2011
  • English teacher at Jamestown Middle School, 2011 – Present

Dianne Grippi

  • Fairleigh Dickenson University, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Television and film production company
  • Public Relations, Stylist, Commercial Visual Manager
  • Island Realty, Realtor
  • Set Designer, Mixed media artist

Peter Marcus

  • Printmaking, Scuola del Libro, Urbino Italy
  • M.F.A., Brooklyn College 1964
  • BS, NYU 1962
  • Parsons School of Design, Industrial Design 1960
  • Prof. of Art: Washington Univ. 1967-1999
  • Prof. of Art: State Univ.Wisconsin-Stout 1965-1967
  • Prof. of Art: Queens College, New York 1964-65
  • National Endowment for the Arts Senior Fellowship,1985
  • Exhibitions: Newport Art Museum 2015, Jamestown Art Center 2013, Steinberg Art Museum, St.Louis, Mo. 2011, Contemporary Art Museum St.louis, Mo. 2007
  • Collections: Newport Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, St.Louis Museum of Fine Art

Stacey Mihaly

  • BA Boston University
  • Program Director, Bronner Slosberg Humphrey (Digitas), Boston, MA,1980s
  • Account Supervisor, HBM/Creamer Direct, Boston, MA, 1980s
  • Group Vice President, Marketing, Plan International USA, Warwick, RI, 1990-2000
  • President, Mihaly International Corporation (strategic consultancy for local, national and international nonprofits), Barrington, RI, 2000-2012
  • Senior Director, Development Marketing & Communications, Lifespan, Providence, RI, 2013 – (current position)

Maria Montanaro

  • MSW, University of Illinois, BS, University of Massachusetts
  • Director of the RI State Department of Behavioral Health and Hospitals, 2015-2016
  • CEO of Magellan Behavioral Healthcare Plan, Des Moines, Iowa, 2012-2015
  • CEO of Thundermist Health Center, RI, 1997-2011
  • Past board/committee service includes- Shoulder to Shoulder International Healthcare, RI Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Overdose, RI’s State Improvement in Healthcare, RI Community Health Center Association, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, American Academy of Family Practice- Robert Graham Center for Policy Study, Festival Ballet of Rhode Island
  • Lives and works (private sector consulting, health care industry) in Jamestown, RI
  • Married (David Warner) with three adult children and one grandson

John Austin Murphy

  • LaSalle Academy, 1963
  • BA Boston College 1967
  • MA Boston College 1969
  • JD Boston College Law 1973
  • Law Clerk, US District Court 1973-74
  • Prosecutor, RI Department of Attorney General 1975-84
  • Managing Partner, Morneau & Murphy
  • Past President, Federal Bar Association
  • President, Jamestown Lions
  • President, National Tennis Club
  • Town Moderator, Town of Jamestown
  • Board Member, Bridges, Inc.
  • Treasurer, Taylor Point Restoration Association
  • DJ and program host, WRIU 90.3FM
  • Married to Mary Jane Abbott, two children, Emily and Leah, and four grandchildren

Richard Trask

  • Finance Committee of Conanicut Yacht Club
  • Board Member of Jamestown Fitness Club and Bridges Inc.
  • Citigroup (1973 – 2012): Began as a corporate banker, ended up as Senior Risk Manager in charge of approving (1) bond underwritings worldwide and (2) Leveraged Buyouts and other highly leveraged transactions.
  • Columbia Business School (1973): MBA
  • University of North Carolina (1964-1968): BA in American History
  • US Army (1969-1972) including a tour in Vietnam.
  • Family: Married to Cindy Trask and have two sons: Jake, 27 and Will 25 years old.
Our Staff

Jamestown Arts Center | Location: 18 Valley Street, Jamestown, Rhode Island 02835 | Mailing Address: PO Box 97, Jamestown,
Rhode Island 02835 | for more Information call: (401) 560-0979 or email


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