Making a community impact

In connecting RISD students, faculty, curators and leaders with people and organizations locally and worldwide, the CCP helps advance RISD’s mission to serve the greater good through art and design education and practice.

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

K-12 support

A champion of art and design’s importance to 21st-century education, RISD has been a fixture in local education for decades, engaging with K-12 students through a variety of programs and services. The RISD Museum attracts more than 10,000 K-12 students each year, with many others turning to the Nature Lab to discover connections between art, design and the natural world.

RISD also works with local teens to explore creative practice via Project Open Door, an arts enrichment program for under-resourced high school students in and around Providence, and through various RISD Continuing Education programs.

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Social justice and equity

The Center for Social Equity and Inclusion leads and supports several RISD initiatives focused on issues of justice, equity and inclusion. These include faculty support for related research and pedagogy, workshops and lectures, and the SEI Faculty Fellows Program. The Center for Complexity also engages in justice-oriented research and practice, such as healthcare and public policy reform.

RISD students also discover ways to turn creative practice toward the greater good. Among these are scholarship, grant and internship programs, studios involving area nonprofits and civic leaders, and RISD Museum programs that help increase representation in museum spaces.

Students constructing concrete polygons and submerging them into a river.


Achieving a more sustainable future is central to RISD’s approach to art and design education. This mission is supported by a campus community invested in the pursuit of environmental justice. 

Among our environmentally-focused academic pathways, RISD offers a Nature–Culture–Sustainability Studies (NCSS) master’s program and undergraduate concentration, and a coastal sustainability grad program in partnership with the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs.

The Nature Lab also provides avenues for exploring art, design and living systems, including a National Science Foundation grant-funded biodesign makerspace.