Rhode Island School of Design Reaches Agreement with City to More Than Double Annual Contribution
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Rhode Island School of Design Reaches Agreement with City to More Than Double Annual Contribution

Thursday, July 19, 2012

With RISD agreement, Taveras Administration secures more than $44 million in new additional contributions from universities and hospitals.

Mayor Angel Taveras and Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda announced today that RISD will more than double its annual payments to the City of Providence. RISD will contribute $2.75 million over 11 years, in addition to payments the prestigious arts school is already making under the terms of a separate 2003 memorandum of understanding, which is not affected by the new agreement. To date, the Taveras Administration has secured more than $44 million in additional contributions from six of the City's largest educational and health-related tax-exempt institutions.

"RISD has helped grow Providence's creative capital for years. I am pleased that President Maeda and the entire RISD community have stepped up to the plate to be a part of the long-term solution that will position Providence for the future," said Mayor Angel Taveras. "Our creative economy is strengthened by the graduates, faculty, staff and resources at RISD. A stronger Providence will help build an even stronger RISD. Today, because of President Maeda's leadership and willingness to invest in our shared future, our capital city is stronger."

"We have always believed a fiscally sound and flourishing Providence is the responsibility of all, and important for RISD's own continued success," said RISD President John Maeda. "We remain concerned about Providence's financial situation and are therefore pleased, at this time, to be able to increase our support to the City in a way that benefits both Providence and RISD."

Under the terms of the new agreement, which requires City Council approval, RISD will contribute an additional $250,000 each year for 11 years, bringing the institution's annual payments to more than $425,000 annually - a nearly 250 percent increase over what RISD already contributes. RISD will receive semi-exclusive access to park on certain streets convenient to the RISD campus. A number of the spaces being made available to RISD are currently 'no parking zones' and most of the spaces only provide exclusive access during morning hours.

Under the existing MOU, RISD has contributed $7.9 million to Providence since 2003. RISD has an historic place in Providence and an international reputation among art and design schools. It contributes directly and indirectly to the City's creative economy and provides critical community services. Last year, RISD hosted nearly 12,000 students from across Rhode Island at the RISD Museum for free education programs. Through the institution's Project Open Door program, RISD provides extensive arts education and mentoring for hundreds of Providence teens. RISD has also partnered with Hope High School and helped develop a nationally recognized arts curriculum.

Over the last 18 months, the Taveras Administration has taken measures to strengthen the city's fiscal ground, including forging new partnerships with tax-exempt institutions and reaching a tentative settlement with retirees and active employees that will save the city tens of millions of dollars. The progressive, mutual tentative settlement with retirees and active workers, coupled with the increased contributions from six of the seven largest tax-exempts have helped put the city on stronger financial ground and will position Providence to move forward to create new jobs, improve public education, improve public safety and build a more livable city for all Providence residents.

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