Mayor Smiley Announces Summer Arts Programming in Providence Parks

Ely Fund to Support 41 Public Events in Summer 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI—Mayor Brett P. Smiley today announced the 2024 Ely Fund Neighborhood Performing Arts Series of 41 free public events in Providence Parks that will be held throughout the city all summer long. Through the City of Providence Ely Fund, the Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism and Parks Department support and host a dynamic series of free public performances each year. This year’s series, organized by community organizations such as RI Latino Arts, RI Black Storytellers, Providence Children’s Film Festival and more, will run from July 4 through September 30.


“We’re thrilled to kick off a summer-long series of performances that will bring joy to all ages, celebrating the vibrant spirit of our neighborhood parks and communities,” said Mayor Brett Smiley. “The Ely Fund supports local arts organizations and brings people together to enjoy our beautiful Providence parks. I hope you will join us this summer to enjoy a show with your neighbors.”


The Ely Fund was established by Edward Francis Ely, who served as Chairman of the Board of Parks Commissioners from 1907 until 1920, leaving an endowment to the City for the public to enjoy Providence parks as sites of congregation, play and community life for generations to come. The Fund is managed by the Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism and Parks Department, which distribute grants to performing artists and provide venue and logistical support with assistance from the Providence Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Department and the Partnership for Providence Parks.


“The Department of Art, Culture and Tourism is so proud to partner with the Parks Department to provide artists and producers the opportunity to create events that enliven and enrich us all,” said Joe Wilson Jr., Director of Art, Culture and Tourism. “Activating public space through performance is an important part of what makes Providence special and speaks to how we center arts and culture in our lives. This fund has also helped to make programming accessible in neighborhoods throughout the City of Providence.”


Superintendent of Parks Wendy Nilsson noted, “Ely events are a great way to explore our vast network of parks or connect with neighbors while experiencing the vibrancy, diversity and talent of local performing artists.”


The 2024 Ely Fund Neighborhood Performing Arts Series calendar can be viewed on the Department of Art Culture and Tourism website and the Providence Parks Department’s event calendar.