About the JAC
About the Jamestown Arts Center:
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 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 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.”