State legislation creates formal ‘arts district’ in East Providence

Exempts “creative community" from personal income tax on work generated there

Posted 7/16/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — Upon acts sponsored by members of the city’s delegation in the General Assembly and subsequent approval from the entire body near the close of the formal 2021 session, a …

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State legislation creates formal ‘arts district’ in East Providence

Exempts “creative community" from personal income tax on work generated there

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Upon acts sponsored by members of the city’s delegation in the General Assembly and subsequent approval from the entire body near the close of the formal 2021 session, a portion of East Providence has now been designated as an “Arts District,” which will hopefully entice continued growth in the Warren Avenue basin area.

The new designation, written in proposed legislation for each assembly chamber by Sen. Valarie Lawson (D-Dist. 14) and Rep. Brianna Henries (D-Dist. 64), now exempts writers, composers, and artists residing within a section of defined economic development zone within the city, from state personal income tax derived from their art.

According to the administration of Mayor Bob DaSilva, the location was identified an area of the city that historically had challenges with development with a need to incentivize “the creative community to choose to live, create and sell their artwork.”

“Our creative community is on the rise and growth in this district we will help spur development of vacant buildings and underutilized properties,” Mayor DaSilva said

Situated in Watchemoket Square, the area already includes several entertainment venues, eateries and pubs. The location, as well, was recently included by the City Council in a revised ordinance on mixed use overlay zones, allowing for more varied redevelopment of existing commercial buildings and parcels.

“I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to Sen. Valarie Lawson and Rep. Brianna Henries for supporting the addition of Watchemoket Square in East Providence as an official arts district in alignment with existing Rhode Island law,” said East Providence Arts Council Chair Jennifer Cahoon. “This was done with incredible support from the East Providence Administration and our East Providence City Council. It will not only improve the quality of life here in East Providence, but it will also help boost our local economy and help artists who choose to work and live here.”

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