Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Event Types Welcomed

  • Corporate Social Events
  • Family Reunions
  • Professional Meeting / Training / Conference / Retreats
  • Wedding Ceremonies
  • Wedding Receptions
  • Youth Retreat/Camps

Unique Venue Feature

♦ Bring your group to the RISD Museum of Art. Our collection currently contains more than 100,000 works of art and design dating from ancient times to today including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume and textiles, and furniture from all over the world.
♦ Stop by the Nature Lab to examine specimens from the natural world and discover the wonder and complexities of design in nature.
♦ Enroll in a group Continuing Education course and bond in the joy of shared learning.
♦ Head down to Tillinghast Place and enjoy a picnic on the grounds or a stroll on the beach.


Located in the heart of downtown Providence, RISD makes Providence among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. RISD is a top-rated art and design school and shares interest from a wide array of organizations. Supported by unique settings such as the Nature Lab, Fleet Library, and the RISD Museum, RISD is a highly desirable location to host conferences and events. RISD’s ease of access from highway, rail, and air add in making the venue a prime location to host groups, and the campus also provides affordable access to housing during the nonacademic year.

From galleries to auditoriums to conference rooms, RISD’s wide array of spaces can accommodate small and large events such as meetings, receptions, dinners, and lectures. The RISD Auditorium can hold up to 550 guests in traditional stadium-style seating while a smaller, more intimate auditorium in the RISD Museum can accommodate up to 200 people. Reception spaces in galleries and traditional classrooms are also available, depending on your event needs. There are several scenic outdoor spaces that can be utilized for festivities in the warmer months.

RISD’s Campus Services department is available as a resource to assist you in planning conferences and events on campus. The staff has years of experience planning events, as well as knowledge of campus resources and relationships with local service providers that enable them to ensure that any event planned at RISD is a success.

Find Us Online

Meeting & Event Spaces

  • Max Capacity: 500 guests
  • Largest Classroom Style: 100
  • Largest Theatre Style: 550
  • Largest Auditorium Seating: 550
  • Largest Seated Reception: 120
  • Largest Standing Reception: 350
  • Academic Year Largest Group: no
20 Washington Place Auditorium
Room features: Open auditorium allowing for flexible set up, adjustable temperature control, air conditioning, tables, large windows and blackout shades.
AV Capabilites Include: 
AirPlay, one fixed microphone at lectern, five mobile microphones, projector and screen, stereo sound, and dimable lighting.
RISD Auditorium
Room features:  550 fixed stadium seats, stage, lectern, adjustable temperature control, and air conditioning. 
AV Capabilites include: AirPlay, fixed lectern microphone, handheld microphones, stage lighting, house PA system, livestreaming and video capability
Grand Gallery, RISD Museum
Room features:  Room can accomodate a cocktail reception of 200 people, buffet dinner for 120 people, or a seated dinner up to 150 people. Rental includes use of tables, chairs, podium, baby grand piano, and private access to some museum galleries
Metcalf Auditorium, RISD Museum
Room features: Fixed seating for 200 people, full spectrum of audio visual capabilites
  • 200 Theatre Style
20 Washington Place, Room 102
Room features: Lobby space that converts into two separate curtained spaces. 
AV capabilities include: AirPlay, two digital touch screens, projector and screen, and stereo sound. 
College Building, Room 412
Room features: 56 person capacity, lectern, adjustable tempurature control, air conditioning, windows, blackout shades, magnetic white board, pin-up board, track lighting, rolling classroom table and chairs.
AV capabilities include: AirPlay, DVD player, projector and screen
  • 918 Sq. Ft.
Fleet Library, Main Reading Room
The Fleet Library is in the former Rhode Island Hospital Trust Bank at 15 Westminster Street, adjacent to the river. Events are held in the magnificent banking hall that serves as the library’s main reading room. 
  • 598 Sq. Ft.
  • 90 Banquet Style
Ewing Multicultural Center, Room 100
Room features: Conference table for 12 people, lounge area, full kitchen, and outdoor patio.
AV capabilites include: Screen and airplay
  • 860 Sq. Ft.
Tillinghast Place
Beautiful 35 acre outdoor, waterfront property in Barrington, RI 
Tented events can be set up a short walk from the beach! 

Food & Beverage Options

The Met
The Met is the largest dining room on campus and offers a wide variety of freshly prepared items for guests to enjoy in an all you care to eat facility. The menu of traditional, vegetarian, and vegan recipes features innovative entrées and special creative cuisines, as well as an artisan pizza oven, a salad and deli bar and an array of homemade desserts and pastries made on site.
  • Seating Capacity: 300
Portfolio Cafe
Portfolio Café is a full-service eatery located on the ground floor of 15 Westminster. The menu features bistro-type fare – either to enjoy on site or to grab and go.
  • Seating Capacity: 100
Watermark Cafe
RISD’s Watermark Café offers quick, healthy choices on the go! A wide variety of delicious grab-and-go salads, with vegetarian & meat options, are house-made featuring seasonal locally grown vegetables.
Jolly Roger Cafe
Winner of the Loyal E. Horton award, the Jolly Roger Deli is located at 257 South Main Street and offers fast, delicious artisan sandwiches, chips, fruit and baked goods, as well as favorites such as the house organic fair trade coffee and homemade peanut butter.
Carr Haus
Carr Haus is a student run cafe. The menu includes a wide variety of bagels, sandwiches, juices, coffee, teas and pastries at reasonable prices. It's a great place to take a break and tune into an eclectic range of music. The Café is cashless, with the following methods of payment accepted: dining points, risdbucks, credit cards and Apple Pay. Carr Haus also allows the RISD community the opportunity to enjoy student artwork at the Carr Haus Student Gallery.
RISD Caters
RISD Caters is a full-service catering and event coordination division. Whether you need a small cheese board for a gallery opening, a casual lunch for a meeting or a wedding for 200 people--our team can lend its expertise to assure that your function is flawless from beginning to end. We offer a seasonally-inspired menu for your convenience, and we are happy to work with you to create custom proposals that turn your style, your palate and your vision into a reality. 


  • Total Number of Overnight Guests: 200
  • Number of Overnight Rooms: 200
  • Wi-Fi in Guest Rooms: Yes
Overnight Room Attributes
  • 24-hour check-in
  • Air-conditioned rooms available
  • Linens Provided
  • Kitchen Available
  • Refrigerator
  • Towels
  • Washer/Dryer
  • WiFi


Residential Accomodations
From June through August, RISD opens its residence halls, allowing non-RISD organizations to stay overnight, eat in the campus dining facility and utilize RISD’s amenities. Residence halls are affordable and conveniently located in downtown Providence. 

Accommodations are available with or without air-conditioning, based on your preference and budget. Buildings contain a variety of housing styles, including rooms with one to four occupants, lounges, full kitchens, and shared and private bathrooms. Each room is furnished with one extra long twin bed, one desk, one chair and wardrobe per person. Free campus wifi is available to all guests. 

Featured Amenities

  • Air Conditioning Air Conditioning
  • Bus - Shuttle, Public Bus Access Bus
  • In-House Catering
  • Laundry
  • Linens
  • Near Public Transit
  • Outdoor Space
  • Overnight Rooms
  • Paid Parking
  • Taxi
  • Theater Seating
  • WiFi

Venue Location + Transportation


20 Washington Place,
Providence, Rhode Island 02903


  • BusBus
  • LyftLyft
  • TaxiTaxi
  • TrainTrain
  • UberUber

Nearby Airport

  • Providence, Green Airport - 12 minutes

Nearby International Airport

  • Boston, Logan - 60 minutes


  • Onsite Parking: No

Things to Know


  • Must Use In-house Catering: Yes
  • External Catering Allowed: Yes
  • Can Bring in Own Food: no
  • Food and Beverage Onsite: Yes
  • Do you offer tables, chairs, and linens?: Yes


  • Guest Wi-Fi: Free
  • Onsite Tech Support: Yes
  • Wi-Fi in meeting space: Yes
  • Equipment Available On-Site:
    • Projector Screen
    • Microphones
    • Sound System

Venue Policies

  • Alcohol Consumption: Yes
  • Smoking Permitted: no


I wanted to tell you what an amazing job the entire crew did for our wedding - we are still blown away by everything. They did an exceptional job in every aspect - from Anne seamless planning, Linda going above and beyond with every detail, David’s unbelievably delicious spread, and the scratch-made desserts Stephanie made which people are still talking about. The entire staff was courteous, happy and beyond attentive - they made the whole day absolutely perfect and we, and all our guests, can’t rave & thank them enough. 
Bride, August 2019
Just a quick note to let you know that RISD Caters did our wedding at Tillinghast Farm in September. We had discerning guests such as the owners of Pastiche and Local 121 and everyone said it was the best wedding food they have ever had......and we concur! I even saw someone taking a piece of bread to wipe out the last little bit of the fava bean spread, it was so good. Anne was so helpful and pleasant, it was a joy to work with her. RISD Caters made it the best wedding ever! Thank you!
Bride, September 2018
I recently attended the EPIC2019 conference at RISD and was so impressed with the quality of service the staff provided that I just wanted to let you know. There were multiple instances that really touched me and demonstrated the high attention to detail and genuine caring the team put into the work. Thank you and to the team for helping make our conference comfortable and nurturing.
Attendee, Epic Conference 2019
Thank you very much for such a wonderful event this past Saturday. I could not be happier over how it all turned out. You and your team were exceptional and I can't wait for our next event!
Father of the Groom, July 2018
Thank you very much for all of your support in our use of the 20 Washington Place lobby and auditorium space for the event + exhibition last night. The event was far better attended than we anticipated and we were so pleased to be able to have the panel discussion followed by the reception within the exhibition itself. We really appreciate your support.! 
Event Planner, January 2020
Tillinghast Farm in Barrington, Rhode Island was the beautiful setting for [the] intimate wedding this past Saturday. The day could not have been more perfect with blue skies, a light breeze, and the smiles and laughter from everyone there.
Wedding Photographer, September 2014
We just had our wedding at Tillinghast. The view cannot be beat, and RISD staff is unmatched in hospitality.
Bride, June 2021