Importance of an Art Center in the Center


To the Editor:
The first time I was asked to speak at the Warwick Center for the Arts, I walked in and thought, “My goodness, what a marvelous gem of a building right here in the center of Warwick.” It had it all: lighting, a stage, coziness, character, color, warmth and, as added value, art, freestanding, on the walls and invading the corners, making everything come alive. More so, it had a convivial group of enthusiastic people, a welcoming committee that made me feel as if I had known them forever – warm, inviting, ingratiating and more than anything, proud; proud of their building, what they had made of it and what they put in it.
Lucky me. I felt a part of a place that is a community magnet. I thought, “Now here’s a place that has made a difference. It encourages people to interact, not only with the arts, but also with the space; a work of art unto itself.
Sure, I am a proponent of the catchy phrase “Ya gotta have art.” We all need art, and not just for high-brow reasons. But ya gotta have it where the people can absorb it, display it, learn it, live it. And what is most fulfilling is to have a building that owns it, loves it, breathes it. It becomes part of a life.
The arts have an essential impact on our lives because it enriches. It matters where it is. It matters that the space is proportionate to the artist, that the space promotes and encourages the artist, that the space says to the public, “Come in. Come in. Look at what we have for you and look at where we have it.” 
Here in Warwick, you have a magnificent venue to enhance all of the above – right here and in a most perfect venue. Celebrate it, advocate for it, participate in it.
Why in the world would you jeopardize it? 

Ed Iannuccilli
Author, Columnist


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So is it the building that is special or the people/art that is in it? It is strange that everyone seems to think that if they moved it would no longer be considered "special". Logically, having the relocated city departments moved to next door would be a very good idea. All city-related offices in one location. I feel like there is a weird attachment to having them in that building that I just don't get. Maybe it has to do with the $1 lease?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

All city offices will not be in one location. The majority of city offices will be at the former Buttonwoods Community Center, with two departments still seeking space. Moving the art center to a strip mall, a large empty school or office space certainly doesn't make for a visually pleasing space for art exhibits, classes, and community functions.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Why couldn't all the departments be relocated back to the same place? The building could be easily repurposed if necessary. I find it very strange that you think people won't still visit and enjoy exhibits because of the outside of the building. If that is the defense for it staying in the currently building then you will have to do better than that.

Honestly, I don't care what is in this building. I think that renegotiating the rent is the important factor.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019