THE DIRT PALACE AT THE WEDDING CAKE HOUSE
Overview: The Dirt Palace at the Wedding Cake House is an ambitious restoration project of the historic 514 Broadway property last occupied by the Tirocchi sisters and the couture design business that they ran from the location from 1915 to 1947. The renovation will develop artist in residence quarters which will complement the feminist residency program and facilities at the Dirt Palace’s current location in Olneyville Square.
Our programing at 514 Broadway will provide support to 20 - 50 artists per year. Artist residencies serve as research and development laboratories for the arts, providing artists with the critical time, space, and support for the creation of new work and the exploration of new ideas. Rhode Island is home to an incredible community of artists, but has a distinct lack of residency platforms. Our goal of supporting mid-career individual artists through this program addresses realistic challenges in RI’s celebrated arts landscape. The planned expansion of the Dirt Palace artist residency program will address this gap - deepening support for local artists while also inviting rich creative exchange among local, national, and international artists.
Our mission is to enhance the cultural life of the neighborhood by building relationships between artists and the public as well as creating visibility for female-identified artists and people historically marginalized within the arts. The Wedding Cake House project will ground innovation and creative entrepreneurship in a historical context by building out a site that connects the region’s history of design and textile manufacturing to current practices in arts and design fields, while showcasing Rhode Island as a place steeped in design thinking and visionary approaches. Developing a residency program at this site, that connects to the public and is focused on our mission of gender and cultural equity, encourages the arts community to grow in ways that address historical and structural social inequities.
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Public programing on this site will complement and support the artist residencies by connecting audiences and artists. Arts patrons will have the opportunity to stay in unique short term rentals alongside of resident artists, allowing for audiences exploring the area to learn about the regional culture and history while directly supporting the creation of new work by our artists in residence. These immersive spaces, filled with local art, will also include audio walking tours, connections to arts programing on site and throughout the city, and will encourage the public to experience both regional history and contemporary art, while intersecting with working artists.