In a city that puts great value on its cultural life, success stories by arts nonprofits are a welcome sight. The Providence Black Repertory Company’s 10-year anniversary is of particular note because the organization has shown a great deal of entrepreneurial spirit in accomplishing the feat.
In the last five years, the Black Rep has opened a café/performance space, gone from one night of programming per week to six, bulked up to about 30 staff people, and grown into a budget of $1.4 million. And it is the driving force behind Sound Sessions, the week-long summer music festival in downtown Providence.
Artistic and executive director Don King likens the group to AS220, the downtown arts collective/performance space/café and soon-to-be live/work space, rather than Trinity Repertory Company, a more straightforward theater company.
The only thing missing from the Black Rep success story is a broader recognition of its success. Mr. King is reaching out to the state’s corporate community for that last piece of the puzzle. Given his success to date, we have no doubt he will get where he wants to go.