Arts & Culture

With the start of the Newport Folk Festival on Friday, thousands of music lovers will pack Fort Adams State Park for the next three days. Then the following week, more people arrive for the Newport Jazz Festival.

As these festivals have grown in popularity, so too has the profile of the historic fort, which sat nearly empty for decades. Rhode Island Public Radio's John Bender took a tour of the fort to find out how large crowds and popular festivals are changing the historic landmark.

Rhode Island’s waters teem with tasty fish. But we’re not eating most of them. That’s partly because much of it gets shipped overseas, and partly because Rhode Islanders just haven’t developed a taste for fish many consider trash – or “bycatch.” A group of chefs, scientists, and fishermen want to change that. 

After a trip half-way around the world to Kazakhstan, Newport's Island Moving Company is home and holding it's annual Great Friends Dance Festival.

John Bender / RIPR

Trinity Repertory Company is touring a new production of Romeo and Juliet this summer. The production is a first for the company; it’s being performed in both English and Spanish.  

  “Damn Yankees” is a musical from the 1950s that's not really about the New York Yankees. Instead it’s about being faithful, caring and decent. 

Eva Rinaldi Celebrity/Creative Commons

"The Polka King," starring actor and musician Jack Black is scheduled to begin filming in Rhode Island later this summer. State officials have announced principal photography slated to begin in mid-July and last through mid-August at "various locations" in the state. 

“With our unique locations in close proximity and an organized talent pool of local artists and professional technicians, Rhode Island is the perfect place to make a successful movie," said Governor Gina Raimondo in the official announcement.

Celebrity gossip blogs are speculating that Taylor Swift plans to spend the Fourth of July in Westerly, where the pop star owns a beach house.

Last year, Swift hosted a star-studded holiday bash in Rhode Island, drawing attention on social media. The singer has blogged that the Fourth of July is one of her favorite holidays.

A fashion superstar from the 1990's, Todd Oldham is the subject of a dazzling retrospective at the RISD Museum, All of Everything: Todd Oldham Fashion. Oldham drew inspiration from everywhere: from his native Texas to the streets of Tehran and New York, and even  The Three Stooges.

A national push to memorialize enslaved Africans who passed through America's slave-trading ports is underway in Rhode Island. Monday night the local committee involved in this effort convened a meeting to get public participation in the design and placement of a memorial in Providence.

Providence-based band the Low Anthem has just released its fourth full-length album,“eyeland,” the group’s first major release in 5 years.

There’s something new at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, opening Wednesday June 22. Visitors to the RISD Museum have been unable to use its Benefit St. entrance since mid-April, but that entrance now has been re-opened, as RISD unveils what it’s been working on these past few months: its first café, called Café Pearl, after one of the museum’s most dedicated and long-serving docents, Pearl Nathan. RIPR's Chuck Hinman talked to the 102-year-old Nathan at her home in East Providence, about her long association with the RISD Museum.

RIPR file photo

Downtown Providence will be busy this weekend with a major music festival, RISD commencement and the Southern New England Heart Walk. Most of the streets in central downtown will be closed to cars and bus routes will change to accommodate all the activity.

Street closures begin with a few smaller roads on Friday, and by Saturday, most of central downtown will turn pedestrian. That includes several major arteries in and around Kennedy Plaza, the state's largest public transit hub.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority plans to re-locate all bus stops.

This weekend the city of Providence puts on its second International Arts Festival, PVD Fest. The festival turns downtown Providence into one giant block party, featuring dozens of bands, dance, art installations and more.

The Tomaquag Museum in Exeter, RI, was honored on Wednesday morning in a ceremony at The White House hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. The museum's Executive Director, Loren Spears, said the institution was among 10 finalists for a 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor a museum or library can receive for its service. The medal comes with a $5,000 grant.

Now Here This: The Karaoke Singer

May 27, 2016

Rhode Island Public Radio is starting a new series in partnership with Now Here This, a storytelling group at Brown University. On the last Friday of each month we’ll bring you a new story.

Today, we meet a woman from North Providence who raised seven kids, overcame alcoholism, and became a regular on the Providence karaoke scene. Sophie McKibben from Now Here produced the story.  


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