The Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA) announced today that it will close its doors on Westminster Street in Providence on June 1, 2022 and that its educational outreach program will be absorbed by the Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM).
Founded in 2010, RIMOSA’s mission has been to kindle curiosity and encourage experimentation through hands-on, STEAM-based exhibits and experiences that enable open-ended experimentation, to develop curiosity, motivation, grit, and creative problem solving. The 501(c)(3) organization has delivered educational outreach programs since its founding and opened its physical museum space in 2017.
RICM has been collecting and preserving rare and historically important computer gear since its founding in North Kingstown in 1999. Twenty-two years later, the museum has one of the largest collections of vintage computer equipment in the country, stored in a warehouse at the Quonset Business Park. Disseminating knowledge and encouraging research in computer science by means of visits, lectures, discussions, and publications, RICM aims to inspire young people for the future workforce by saving old and new technology.
When RIMOSA dissolves its organization and closes its museum doors at 763 Westminster St., Providence, its educational outreach program will be absorbed by RICM and courses will continue to be delivered as “RIMOSA Workshops Powered by RICM” from the RICM Learning Lab.
After RIMOSA closes, RIMOSA says in a press release that Executive Director Bonnie Epstein, PhD, and Board member Jennifer Pietros, PhD, will join RICM’s leadership team to help support its educational direction.
Epstein said in a statement, “RICM is an amazing entity – they have built a strong community of coders, makers, and tinkerers and offer a vibrant set of STEM programs. We’ve worked together in the past and found our approaches complementary. We’ve focused primarily on the basis of learning and tinkering that does not involve computers, while RICM picks up in the areas that RIMOSA leaves off. We dovetail nicely. While we are sad RIMOSA is closing, we’re exceedingly happy to continue our mission in another shape, as part of RICM.”
RICM Executive Director Dan Berman said in a statement, “RIMOSA offers an exciting set of programs that blend science and art. Bringing those programs into RICM will enable us to extend our STEM focus to STEAM, which is a wonderful opportunity for our community. With RIMOSA on board RICM will have more workshops and more educational and public programs.”
RICM and RIMOSA are finalizing the “RIMOSA Workshops Powered by RICM” program and will post courses and schedules on the RICM website when they are finalized.
When the RIMOSA space closes, RIMOSA says that most of its exhibits will go into storage at RICM’s North Kingstown warehouse and may appear at pop-up venues and festivals from time to time. Other items will be donated to RI non-profit organizations.
RIMOSA is taking inquiries from non-profit organizations for its larger assets (office/classroom furniture) through May 30 on a first-come, first-serve basis via email, info@RIMOSA.org.
RIMOSA is also offering its remaining recycled materials and art supplies to educators at no charge, which they may pick up at RIMOSA, 763 Westminster St. Providence (masks required) on these days/times: Fridays: May 6 and May 20, 1:00 – 5:00pm; Saturday, May 21, 1:00 – 5:00pm; Wednesdays, May 11, 18, 26, 11:30am – 3:00pm.