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. Follow the JAC: Instagram Facebook Twitter
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.
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.
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.
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 conceived in 2007 by a group of Jamestowners passionate about the arts who collectively envisioned a dynamic arts center in the heart of town. 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 a former 5,000 square foot boat repair shop into a beautiful arts center designed by Estes/Twombly Architects. The property was purchased on December 21, 2009, with contributions and support from many generous individuals and foundations and soon after opened its doors as a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space. The JAC now 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. Programming partners include: Heifetz International Music Institute, FirstWorks, RISCA, FabNewport, 10 Thousand Small Businesses, RISD, Manhattan Short Film Festival, SENE Film Festival, Providence Art and Design Film Festival, Island Moving Company, The Jamestown Schools, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, The Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. in Acting & Directing Program and many individual artists and local organizations. The JAC was awarded Best Gallery in Newport County by the Best of Rhode Island 2017 & 2018 readers’ polls. The Jamestown Arts Center has quickly become 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.”
• Maureen Coleman, Executive Director
• Tessa Freas Rodgers, Marketing Director
• Karen Conway, Exhibitions Director
• Seamus Hames, Education Director
• Molly Dickinson, Development + Special Projects
• Donna Defusco, Bookkeeper
• Jon Baylor, Ceramics Studio Manager
• Kara McKamey, Instructor
• Casey Weibust, Instructor
Staff Photo (above):
Molly Dickinson, Karen Conway, Lisa Utman Randall (Founding Executive Director) + Tessa Freas Rodgers
Board Photo (right):
Standing: Diane Harrison, Dianne Grippi, Lisa Utman Randall (Founding Executive Director), Peter Marcus, Courtney Hunter + Susan Hackman
Seated: Karen Benson, Joan Hall, Nell Connelly + Tom Farrell
Missing: Catherine Bowen, Dick Trask + Barry Eyre