Umberto Crenca, photo courtesy of Pam Murray

Umberto Crenca: The Art of Community 

Friday 13 April6pm – 8pm
Foyer, Puke Ariki, 1 Ariki Street
New Plymouth  , Taranaki 
Free to attend

In conjunction with Museums Aotearoa, National Services Te Paerangi is pleased to support workshop opportunities for arts and cultural organisations around the country to engage with Umberto Crenca.

Meet Umberto Crenca

Umberto Crenca is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of AS220, a non-profit centre for the arts in Providence, Rhode Island.  AS220  was established in 1985 to provide a local, unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts.  The organisation maintains three buildings, providing fifty eight artist live and/or work spaces, four exhibition spaces, a print shop, two darkrooms, a technology lab, a stage, a recording studio, a black box theatre, a dance studio, and a popular bar and restaurant.

An accomplished educator, Crenca has spearheaded efforts to bring more meaningful arts experiences to incarcerated youth.  Crenca was a visual art instructor at the Rhode Island Training School (RITS), the state’s juvenile detention facility from 1998-2004.  In 1999, Crenca established AS220′s youth programme, Broad Street Studio, on Providence’s south side.  Today, the organisation continues to serve and support youth in, and transitioning out of, state care under the banner AS220 Youth. 

In 2011, Crenca was applauded for his role in his city’s economic and cultural development: “Crenca has shown how an arts not-for-profit can be a keystone of urban renewal.  AS220's studio space, artist housing, and café/bar have helped boost a once-seedy area and lift property values” (

Crenca is a visual artist, performance artist and musician with a long exhibition and performance history.  His work is in the permanent collection of both the RISD Museum of Art and the Newport Art Museum.

About the presentation:

The Art of Community discusses how AS220 – along with other projects that Bert has been involved in – have engaged with diverse audiences and found ways to work with multiple communities in an uncensored manner.  The presentation will explore the mechanics of creating vibrant communities by providing space and tools for self realisation through self expression.

The talk will be of special interest to arts organisations, youth organisations, educational institutions, artists, community development organisations, portfolio holders, council staff and representatives from funding bodies.  Puke Ariki will provide drinks and nibbles afterwards to allow for networking and meet & greet with Umberto.

This workshop is free.  Please RSVP to or phone (06) 759 6060.