Stories of Impact

Remembering Nicolas Gomez-Hall '13

December 7, 2016

The staffs of the Swearer Center for Public Service and the D’Abate Community School are deeply saddened by the death of Nicolas Gomez-Hall, who passed away in the Oakland, Calif. warehouse fire this weekend. Nick, a 2013 graduate of Brown University, played an integral role in the Swearer Community during his time in Providence. 

Nick graduated Brown magna cum laude in 2013 with a degree in American Studies. An accomplished classical violinist, acoustic/electric guitarist, and percussionist, Nick toured with his Providence band, Nightmom. He worked extensively with nonprofit and youth education organizations, providing arts expression opportunities to underserved Latino and African-American communities. The staff at the Swearer Center and at the D’Abate School were truly fortunate to work with Nick in his role as a Program Coordinator for the Swearer Center’s afterschool program at D’Abate. Nick also worked as an Americorps VISTA with Providence CityArts! and was a community building and development assistant with Olneyville Housing Corporation.   

Nick loved living in Rhode Island and was passionate about the Olneyville community, the Providence independent music scene, and serving children and youth. As an undergraduate at Brown, Nick volunteered through the Swearer Center with Brown Arts Mentoring at the Asa Messer School. Nick was a genuine community builder. He had a natural affinity for teaching and young children flocked to him. Nick was easy going, talented, kind, engaging, and a friend to all.  He will be deeply missed.

Via Swearer Sparks, Nick wrote:  

“I have lived in Olneyville Square and worked here for a little under two years (with Olneyville Housing Corporation), and have spent time in the community for years before that participating in community art and music events, walking and riding my bike around these streets and parks, and eating tacos as often as possible.  I strive to be sensitive and self-aware about the ways I interact in this physical and social space, and though I don’t claim to be able to relate to the lived experience of every member of this community, I do feel that it is important and positive that Olneyville is also my neighborhood, that I am actually a part of it. I can’t even begin to express how lucky I feel to be a part of this neighborhood, and to share it with so many other individuals who care about Olneyville and who are constantly working to grow and improve our community.

In the midst of all the new obstacles and challenges on the road ahead at my position at D’Abate, one that isn’t new to me, is my love of this community.  I already know that I care about Olneyville, about its people, about its parks, about its river, about its structures, about its history, and about its long-term well-being, and in my new capacity as Site Coordinator for after-school programming at D’Abate I look forward to continuing to participate, thank, give-back-to, and improve this community in my own way as best I can.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick’s loved ones, and all those affected by the tragic fire, at this time.