Year of the City
The Providence Project

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Year of the City: The Providence Project is an unprecedented year-long exploration of the history, life and culture of Providence’s twenty-five neighborhoods through exhibitions, performances, walks, lectures, and conferences produced by more than 50 different curators.

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Untitled (Walking)


  • Across Providence's 25 Neighborhoods (map)

Untitled (Walking)
An arduous 2-day, 20-mile walk through all of Providence.  Level: Moderate / Strenuous / Very Strenuous.

Join us on a two-day collaborative walk through Providence. We are ditching the guide books and traditional walking tour format to create a make-as-we-go experience that will take us through every single one of Providence’s twenty-five neighborhoods over two intense days. And yes, you can sign up for just one day!  This is the registration link.

Who will map our route? Passers-by whom we encounter in the streets.  We will set out on Saturday, May 4 with 5-10 locations across the city that we intend to hit that day.  We will ask passers-by to recommend our walking routes between locations based on specific prompts (for example -- What is the route that will have us encounter the widest variety of sounds? What is a route that bypasses places that have particular meaning to you or your community?).  Our walk will be shaped by the people we encounter along the way. Some may even join us for part or all of the day.

How will we shape this experience? Together, we walkers will pick the city locations that we want to visit, contribute prompts that will generate our route from passers-by, and bring or conceive of one activity that should be done by the group en route.  Each walker will serve as the group’s Cartographer for short stints over the two days as we record the path of our walk, the question that prompted the route, and the name/s of the passers-by who suggested the route.

How will we decide as a group which locations we want to visit? Some of you may suggest a site you’ve never been to, but have heard about; others of you might pick a random location; and others still may choose a site that has significance in the history of the city or in your own life -- it could be a toxic site or brownfield, a location associated with redlining, a location where city and nature collide, or a site associated with past struggles and difficult histories.  It’s up to you.

Why walk? Walking is an important but often invisible part of art-making -- think about the Impressionists, carrying easels and art supplies through meadows and fields to arrive at the perfect spot, the mileage that went into “street photography,” and conceptual art practices that use walking to produce art or produce walking as an artistic medium.  Walking has long been a powerful tactic in social justice movements for uniting individuals in common cause and symbolizing the progress that is being fought for. Walking has special resonance today, with the rise of forced or strategic migration, as walking can often be the only way out of traumatic places. We will consider all of these reasons for walking as we shape our walk, together.

Would you like to be part of this? Please register here (this is free, but registration is required).  And please plan to attend a planning meeting on Wednesday, May 1 from 5-7pm to get to know each other, to pick our locations, and to create our list of route prompts.

Questions? Contact Marisa Brown (marisa_brown@brown.edu) or Molly Pailet (molly_pailet@brown.edu).

This event participates in Jane’s Walk Providence.