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“Canstruction” Returns to Prov. Place Mall to Benefit RI Food Bank

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Mallgoers ambling down the Skybridge Concourse from March 8th to 21st can expect to be greeted by the dreamlike sight of massive art installations made up of scores of food cans soaring up from the mall floor.

The pieces, made by dozens of professional architects, builders and volunteers, are constructed solely out of non-perishable cans of food. The free exhibit will be open to the public for almost two weeks.

Known as Canstruction®, the exhibit is constructed as part of the effort to fight hunger in Rhode Island by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, in conjunction with community partners.

Canstruction® will ultimately yield thousands of pounds of healthy food after the exhibit closes. All of the donated food will be picked up by the Community Food Bank, who serve 68,000 people every month through their network of food pantries. In the past year, the Food Bank distributed 9.9 million pounds of food through its statewide network of 223 sites.

Before the food is harvested, the Canstruction® RI sculptures will be evaluated by a panel of independent jurors. Awards will be presented for Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Jurors’ Favorite, and Honorable Mention. Members of the viewing public contribute too, determining the “People’s Choice” award.


The seven teams competing include:
• Construction Leadership Council of the R.I. Chapter of Associated General Contractors, Providence
• Dimeo Construction Co. and Vision 3 Architects, both based in Providence
• Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, Providence, GTECH Corporation, Providence, Herrick & White, Cumberland, and Odeh Engineers, Providence
• Gilbane Building Co., Providence, and Jo Ann Bentley Architect, Inc., Fall River
• LLB Architects, Pawtucket, Shawmut Design and Construction, Providence, and Fuzion Design, Pawtucket
• Northeast Collaborative Architects, Newport and Providence, Veri-Waterman Associates, Providence, Building Engineering Resources LLC, North Easton , Mass., and Kasabian Construction Inc., Providence
• Saccoccio & Associates, DiPrete Engineering and E. Turgeon Construction Corp., all based in Cranston

The Canstruction® Rhode Island exhibit is organized by the American Institute of Architects-Rhode Island chapter, and supported by many other volunteers and donors as a joint public service activity. Among other major sponsors is the R.I. Associated General Contractors, which helped to form teams that raise additional money to buy the cans of food as well as to build the sculptures that the architects on each team design. Canstruction® is a national food charity of the design and construction industry, sponsored by the Society for Design Administration.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. The Food Bank solicits, stores and distributes food products donated by supermarkets, wholesalers, food processors, local farmers and community food drives. For more information about the Food Bank, please visit www.rifoodbank.org


Related Slideshow: 7 Strategies for Rhode Island Economic Development in 2014

What will it take to move the Rhode Island economy forward in 2014?  GoLocal talked with elected officials, candidates, and leaders for their economic development plans in the coming year. 

Below are key elements of the economic priorities for Governor Lincoln Chafee, Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, House Minority Leader Brian Newberry, gubernatorial hopefuls General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Ken Block, and RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity's Mike Stenhouse.  

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Governor Lincoln Chafee

"My goal is to have the state continue to focus on the fundamentals.  We will invest in education, workforce development and infrastructure , and provide aid to  cities and towns to lessen the burden on property taxpayers.  I’m confident that these investments and our focus on the basics will allow Rhode Island to exceed Moody’s predictions.”
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Speaker Gordon Fox

"Among the many pieces of legislation the House will address will be issues of higher education affordability, expanding apprenticeship opportunities, and offering help to our manufacturers.  We will also look closely at our tax structure to make sure we are competitive with our neighboring states, including the corporate tax and the estate tax, and I will carefully review the recommendations of the commission studying our sales tax.”

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Senate Pres. Paiva-Weed

Greg Pare, spokesperson for the Senate President, said that the Senate is planning to issue recommendations soon on workforce development initiatives to address the skills gap among Rhode Island job seekers.

"An example of a proposal anticipated in that report is the elimination of state’s Indirect Cost Recovery on the Job Development Fund, which is about $1.2 million this year. Those funds would be directed towards job training and skills development programs to provide immediate impact and help workers gain the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy."

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Gen. Treasurer Raimondo

"To grow our economy, we need to make Rhode Island a leader in manufacturing again.  Great things can happen at the intersection of government, higher education, and the private sector.  Rhode Island is lucky to have thriving institutions in each of these three sectors, and we need to foster collaboration among them to find solutions to our challenges, and spark our economy.  

By promoting partnerships in high-growth areas, [Rhode Island Innovation Institute] will help grow our manufacturing base, and create new, high-quality jobs."  

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Ken Block

"First, we need to fix Rhode Island’s broken Unemployment Insurance program. The state’s Unemployment Insurance tax, paid by employers, is ranked worst in the country by the Tax Foundation. It is one of the factors that makes Rhode Island an uncompetitive place to do business. Also, it is inherently unfair that a large group of businesses are effectively subsidizing the payrolls of a small group of businesses who misuse the system. There is a simple change to state law that can fix this problem."

"Rhode Island’s temporary disability tax (TDI) is broken, and places an unnecessarily high tax burden on Rhode Islanders. This tax, paid for by employees, will be reduced by changing the way we manage the program. As Governor, I will substantially reduce the cost of purchasing this insurance by requiring that Rhode Island’s program adhere to national norms."

"To best encourage new job creation, I propose the following tax incentive: exempt from future capital gains taxes any new investments in Rhode Island-based businesses. This change would create a powerful incentive for investors who are deciding where to locate a new business, or where they relocate an existing one. This proposal has the potential change the economic playing field for Rhode Island."

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Minority Leader Newberry

“It would be overly ambitious to set being #1 as a goal right now, but we think 25, the middle of the pack, is a reasonable goal to set, one we think we should pursue, and one we can achieve,” said Newberry. "One of the initiatives is a requirement that every bill receive a fiscal evaluation before it can be heard by committee, better insuring that legislators know the real cost of the legislation they are acting on."

"Another proposal would exempt social security income from RI state income tax, making Rhode Island more tax-friendly for our seniors and keeping them here rather than migrating to more tax-friendly states."

“Strong action is way overdue here. Nearly 60% of Rhode Islanders now believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction. We think they’re right, and our central goal is to get it turned around."

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Mike Stenhouse

"As part of the Center's 2014 Prosperity Agenda we recommended that the state:
Repeal or rollback of the state’s regressive sales tax; or the requirement that families have no choice on what schools best educate their children; or punitive estate taxes that drive wealthy people to other states; or restrictions on out-of-state companies to sell health insurance in RI; or the minimum franchise tax, which stifles entrepreneurship; or corporate welfare, to level the playing field; or even renewable energy mandates that drive up costs for every family and business …"

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