Located at 155 Angell Street, Churchill House was built for the Rhode Island Women’s Club in 1907 and named for Elizabeth Kittredge Churchill, the founder of the club. The building is now home to Brown’s Department of Africana Studies, including the Rites and Reason Theatre.
The Department of Africana Studies provides the intellectual center for faculty and students interested in the artistic, historical, literary, and theoretical expressions of the various cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora. The Rites and Reason theatre is a research and developmental theatre dedicated to giving expression to the diverse cultures and traditions of continental and diasporic Africans and the vast Africana experience.
The Africana Studies department program has evolved, experiencing program and faculty growth. Based on the outcome of a comprehensive study, a substantial renovation to the existing building, as well as a two-story addition located to the east was approved.
Design work commenced in November 2021. The current approved design includes a ~3,000 sf addition as well as a new terrace on the South Walk and accessible entrance to the west side of the building. The program is in alignment with Brown's strategic plan Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown (2013).
Construction is expected to begin in July. Construction completion will occur by August 2023 with the departments occupying the building for the start of the fall 2023.