For 39 years, Island Moving Company (IMC) has served as a cultural attraction, creative catalyst and educational resource for residents of Newport County, and accessible to all Rhode Islanders.
IMC has exceeded the capacity of its facilities for its community & educational programs, and access to appropriate space for our professional company’s work becomes more constrained with each passing day. IMC’s physical plant limitations and challenges mean that we can no longer meet community demand, nor offer classes to all the children who qualify for our scholarship program at the Newport Academy of Ballet (NAB).
The ability to offer expanded classes for children and community programming for adults, along with our ability to attract and retain talent for our professional company, is not only essential to our long-term vision and to IMC’s future financial health but is also critical to the community’s well-being.
IMC’s is working toward a permanent home in Newport, A Regional Center for Dance & Education, that can accommodate IMC’s needs and meet the area’s growing demand. Our new home will be located in the heart of the community we serve.
After years of site visits and planning charettes involving dancers, staff, students, patrons, community members, designers and architects, the former Triplett School on Broadway in Newport was identified as an ideal property that meets all of IMC’s key criteria for furthering our mission and vision. Furthermore, at 435 Broadway, the site settles IMC in the heart of the community we serve and represent, and relies on a financing structure that is within the means and resources of the Company.
Our project also aligns with Newport’s Comprehensive Community Plan, which was adopted in 2017 with participation from over 20 organizations, multiple municipal agencies and thousands of participants. The summary from the City’s Comprehensive Plan informed the basis for much of IMC’s early project planning and design. Our proposed new home will advance IMC’s mission and programs by:
- Meeting growing demand by accommodating more students and offering more classes
- Enabling IMC dancers and NAB students to train and perform in state-of-the-art space
- Achieving financial sustainability for the company by generating more earned revenue
- Attracting and retaining high-quality artistic staff and dancers for the company
- Providing increased access to programs for underserved populations
- Providing needed rehearsal and performance space for other local non-profit organizations
- Increasing economic impact in our community
- Adding cultural arts value in our community
- Inspiring more people in our community by the art of dance
Our goals include remaining a presence in Washington Square, using our current studios for additional classes and for rehearsals by visiting companies at the Newport Performing Arts Center at the Opera House. Community engagement and partnerships are key to our growth; the ability to offer an expanded schedule of classes for children and adults is not only essential to IMC’s vision, but a base for our future financial health. In our current space on Charles Street, we cannot meet community demand, nor offer classes to all the children who qualify for our scholarship program. Plans for our new home provide for three studios, each of which is larger than what we can currently offer our friends and neighbors.
To date, all reviews and hearings before the City’s boards & committees charged with overseeing and approving the project have unanimously and enthusiastically approved the project. Here is a timeline:
- Project received initial approval purchase & sales agreement and demolition permits from the Newport City Council in July 2019
- Project received Master Plan approval from the Newport Planning board in Sep. 2019
- Project passed out of the Planning board initial design review in January of 2021
- Project was reviewed and passed out of Technical Review Committee in March 2021
- Zoning board preliminary hearing: Part 1 was held May 11, 2021
- Final zoning board approval given on June 14th, 2021
- Planning board hearing and final approval anticipated in July/August, 2021
- Close on the Property: Anticipated in September, 2021
For more information, to get involved, or to become an investor, contact Capital Campaign Manager Michele Berard, MBA, CFRE at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 263-4902.