Community Partnerships

an illustration of a nurse holding a torch projected against a brick wall, with part of Providence's skyline in the background

Our mission

The Center for Community Partnerships (CCP) helps campus and external partners develop, execute and assess a variety of projects and initiatives, creating a framework at RISD for responsible engagement.

The work of the CCP seeks to make RISD’s assets, opportunities, skills and knowledge accessible to diverse communities while deepening the understanding of responsible civic and academic engagement among students, faculty, staff and alumni.

engage with us

high school students sit at a long table inside the Project Open Door studio

CCP areas of impact

In connecting RISD students, faculty, curators and leaders with people and organizations locally and worldwide, we help advance RISD’s mission to serve the greater good through art and design education and practice, and extend and amplify the impact of our strategic vision.

Learn more about us

Economic Impact Report

RISD enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with the city of Providence, which is also known as the Creative Capital. This is based on shared goals: to enrich local culture and bolster quality of life in Rhode Island’s urban center. Each year RISD publishes an economic impact report to highlight the variety of ways we contribute to the city.

2019 Economic Impact Report

Learn how RISD directly supports the local economy, creates quality of place in Providence and engages with the community through various initiatives and programming.

Center leadership

Supported by the Community Engagement Advisory Committee and with input from across the institution, Executive Director Bethany Costello and Assistant Director Claudeline Chery lead the CCP. Together they develop near- and longterm strategies to increase awareness of RISD’s mission, goals and agendas. Additionally they work with internal and external stakeholders to steward new and existing community partnerships in support of RISD’s civic engagement efforts.

  1. Christina Alderman, Assistant Director of Family and Teen Programs
    Jennifer Bissonette, Interim Director, Nature Lab
    Soul Brown, Director, Research
    Sarah Caggiano, Executive Director of Continuing and Expanded Education
    Claudeline Chery, Assistant Director, Community Development 
    Shana Cinquemani, Department Head of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design
    Deborah Clemons, Assistant Director of Academic and Public Programs
    Bethany Costello (chair), Director of Community Relations
    Kelsey Elder, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
    Karen Harris, Internship Manager, Career Center
    Kate Irvin, Curator of Costume and Textiles, RISD Museum
    Jade Johnson, Assistant Director, Diversity Programs
    Tony Johnson, Assistant Dean of Student Social Equity and Inclusion
    Alicia Luzon, Talent Acquisition Partner
    Jennifer Recinos, Assistant Director, First-Generation Student Support
    Suzanne Scanlan, Senior Lecturer in Theory and History of Art of Design
    Jonenica Wood, Executive Director of Alumni and Family Relations
    Wendy Zhuo, student


    Malika Abbajadel
    Raghav Rmadya Aggarwal
    Ben Roland
    Mei Zheng
    Viola Tan

    K–12 Committee

    Lauren Allen, Associate Director, Project Open Door
    Kameko Branchaud, Grant Writer and Administrator, Research
    Soul Brown, Director, Research
    Shana Cinquemani, Department Head of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design
    Andrew Jacques, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, Continuing Education
    Mariana Lefas-Tetenes, Assistant Director, School and Teacher Programs

Engaging locally and worldwide

Witness Tree 2022 Examines Conservation

Students in this year’s Witness Tree Project studio-seminar create objects out of beetle-infested maple from Vermont’s Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.  

RISD Students Design Microgravity Socks and Other Apparel for NASA Astronauts

The astronauts will wear the designs for a mission to the International Space Station in 2025.

Rethinking the Opioid Crisis

RISD’s Center for Complexity uses the studio process of inquiry, iteration and innovation to envision novel solutions to the nationwide problem.

Drawing People In

Popup installations created by students in a fall Landscape Architecture studio capture the imaginations of Providence residents.

Envisioning a More Secure Future 

A multidisciplinary fall studio allows students to imagine positive solutions to looming global problems and speculate about possible paths to getting there.

What Is the Future of Cities, and How Can We Develop New Solutions for Them?

The Boston Globe reports on RISD’s collaborative research project with Hyundai Motor Group.

Reclaiming the Blackstone

Students in a cross-disciplinary fall studio interpret cultural history and use geo-textiles to restore what was once described as “America’s hardest-working river.”

What to Wear on Orion

Students in a fall Apparel Design studio construct gender-neutral capsule collections for 18 astronauts flying to the moon.