To the RI General Assembly:
Don't discriminate! It's only fair to create a Wickford Art District, too!
Wickford is known for its art community, as it is home to one of the oldest art festivals in the country that is recognized internationally. Why then has it been prevented from the same benefits provided to nine other RI communities that have designated tax-exempt art districts? (Providence, Pawtucket, Westerly, Woonsocket, Tiverton, Little Compton, Newport, Warwick and Warren.)
The RI General Assembly declared these areas would "promote economic development, revitalization, tourism, employment opportunities, and encourage business development by providing alternative commercial enterprises.” [RIGL §44-18-30B(6)]. In short, the legislature was giving each of these communities the tools and incentive to develop a portion of its community by helping artists to live, work and contribute to community life, and for art galleries and exhibition spaces to help contribute to the economy of the state and local community."
On to establish a Wickford Art District and an identical bill (2012-H8202) introduced by Rep. Laurence Ehrhardt is now before the House Committee on Finance. As the General Assembly winds down its session, I would like to make a plea to please pass RI (2012-H8202) and designate a Wickford Art District too.
It's only fair!
Five Main Gallery