Brown as a cultural resource

Brown contributes to the vitality of the state’s economy by offering cultural and artistic resources  - a museum, galleries, libraries and performing arts – that make Rhode Island a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

  • Brown’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology contains more than 120,000 ethnographic artifacts – primarily from the Americas, Africa and Southeast Asia. Admission to the Museum is free.
  • The David Winton Bell Gallery, opened in 1971, is Brown’s contemporary art gallery. Each year the Gallery presents four to five major exhibitions, as well as an annual exhibition of works by Brown students in a range of media, including an annual student exhibition. The Gallery does not charge admission and is open to the public.
  • The Sara Doyle Art Gallery, which is part of the Sara Doyle Women’s Center, presents five to six juried art shows each year featuring works by professional artists.
  • The Cohen Gallery, located in the new Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, exhibits works developed in conjunction with interdisciplinary arts programs at Brown, as well as works by visiting artists.
  • The Annmary Brown Memorial exhibits European and American paintings from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, and houses other special collections.
  • The John Carter Brown Library is an independent research library located on the Brown University Library, regularly presents public exhibitions from its collection of more than 50,000 rare books, historical documents and other materials.
  • The John Hay Library houses the University’s collection of rare books and manuscripts and other special collections.
  • The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage seeks to connect the university to the broader community through the arts and humanities. The Center’s Public Humanities Clinic provides free assistance to organizations and individuals engaged in bringing humanities projects to the public. Since 2008, the Center’s Fox Point Community History Project has sought to preserve and present the history and cultural heritage of Providence’s Fox Point neighborhood.
  • Brown’s Department of Music sponsors more than 100 concerts each year, including performances by the Brown University Orchestra, choral groups, jazz combos and other groups.
  • The University’s Department of Theater Arts and Performance Studies presents a variety of theatrical works each year, including both classic and contemporary works presented by the Brown/Trinity MFA program, and Playwrights Rep, a summer program in which emerging playwrights work with Brown/Trinity students to present new works.
  • Rites and Reason Theater, part of the Department of Africana Studies, focuses on the development and presentation of new works, with Brown students collaborating with community and professional actors, writer and directors.
  • Brown University Gilbert & Sullivan is a student organization that presents two Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas each year.
  • Shakespeare on the Green stages outdoor, “site-specific” performances of Shakespeare and related works.

In addition to these cultural resources, the Brown campus includes a number of green spaces that are open to the community, including College Green, Simmons Quad and Ittleson Quad. The University also offers recreational opportunities to community residents, including individual and family memberships in University fitness and recreational facilities.