Providence, which prides itself on being the “Creative Capital,” will certainly live up to its name June 11-14, as it hosts the inaugural Providence International Arts Festival. The Festival will spotlight both local and international artists and the ties between the two.
"We are the Creative Capital and I'm so happy that we'll be celebrating all of the great arts and culture that we have in Providence." said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. "My vision for this festival is for it to grow into a phenomenon and become an international attraction for artists and visitors alike."
The City’s Department of Art, Culture & Tourism is partnering with FirstWorks, a highly-regarded local arts organization that has been developing culturally and artistically enriching programming for the benefit of the community for more than a decade.
“A major tenant of FirstWorks’ philosophy is to shine a spotlight on diverse artists whose strong viewpoints ultimately benefit our community,” said Kathleen Pletcher, FirstWorks Executive Artistic Director. “Our close partnership with Mayor Elorza’s team has enabled us to present a wide landscape of artists from around the corner and around the world that both educates and more importantly entertains.”
The first signs of the event are already evident in the city, with murals commissioned by The Avenue Concept, a local organization that champions and promotes street art, as well as large portrait banners by Mary Beth Meehan, and work by the Providence collective Tape Art.
Other highlights include:
Thursday, June 11
Also Thursday evening, there is an Opening Night Party at the Providence Biltmore, as well as events at local theaters and performance spaces.
Friday, June 12
And Friday night highlights more of Providence’s nightlife, with:
Some venue-based events are ticketed, or charge a cover.
The focal point of the Festival will be Saturday, June 13, with arts and cultural events spanning the entire downtown area and beyond, with more than 15 stages around the city. Daytime activities include the West Side Block Party, the Providence Public Library’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Yard Sale and the Providence Preservation Society’s Festival of Historic Houses. After a procession at 5 p.m., Mayor Elorza and Pletcher will kick off the evening activities. Highlights include:
There will also be a WaterFire beginning at 8:46 p.m. The weekend wraps up on Sunday, June 14 with the Providence Flea and a Fire Camp at the Steel Yard.
This first-annual Festival truly contains multitudes. For the complete lineup, schedule, and maps as well as up-to-the-minute information, please visit www.first-works.org, and look for more details at http://pvdfestival.tumblr.com. Contact FirstWorks at 401-421-4278 or email@example.com.
The Festival is funded with lead support from the Providence Tourism Council, Rhode Island Foundation, NEA/ArtWorks, City of Providence, IGT, MOO, National Grid, and The Avenue Concept. Additional support is provided by Amica, Coastway Community Bank, Textron, Alex and Ani, ProvPort/Waterson terminals, RIPTA, Citizens Bank, University Orthopedics, Verizon, RI State Council on the Arts, Cornish Associates, the Biltmore Garage, Bank of America, CVS/Health, Fidelity, High Rock Development, Paolino Properties, Delta Dental, Scott Volkswagen, Dimeo, Civic Center Garage, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Cox Communications, CFO Partners, Brown University, RI School of Design, Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein and Pierce, Narragansett Beer, and the RI Committee on the Humanities. Official media sponsors are RI NPR, NBC10, Get, Lite Rock 105, Gravity Labs, and CW28. Additional sponsors appear on the festival website.