Arts & Culture

Emily Wooldridge / RIPR

State Department officials are meeting with artists at the Rhode Island School of Design this week for a series of workshops on design and public policy.

RISD head of continuing education Greg Victory said good designers consider a variety of perspectives. He thinks that approach that might improve things like public policy and legislation.

“Often times the times the process doesn’t really include for lack of a better term the user, until late in the game, and at some points, that’s too late.”

The 19th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival kicks off Tuesday. Judges sifted through more than 5,700 entries to winnow down this year’s festival  to 250 films.  The films will be screened at a dozen venues across the state.

Executive Director George Marshall said after nearly two decades the festival is gaining international recognition.

“Things are starting to coalesce with folks internationally discovering who we are as an organization and as point of exhibition for quality films that reflect filmmakers’ visions from across the world,” said Marshall.

National Cheese Society Convenes In RI

Jul 31, 2015
RIPR file photo

More than 1,000 cheese lovers have descended on Providence for the American Cheese Society’s annual conference. 

This is the first time in more than a decade that the national conference has come to New England.

Winners of the 2015 Cheese Competition will be on display at a cheese festival scheduled for Saturday.  Norah Weiser from the American Cheese Society said the event will feature more than 1,700 different types of cheese. 

Rebels And Redcoats Set To Storm Sturbridge Village

Jul 31, 2015
John Collins / Old Sturbridge Village

The Revolutionary War returns to New England soil this weekend in Massachusetts. The annual reenactment known as Redcoats and Rebels is thought to be the largest war reenactment in the country.

Event Coordinator Jim O’Brien says it features more than 1,000 soldiers in full period costume.

“You forget about today,” said O’Brien. “You really forget who you are. For that moment, you are back in the 18th century. It really is just a unique experience that has immediate gratification.”

Kenneth C. Zirkel / Wikimedia Commons

The Providence Athenaeum has appointed a new executive director. Matt Burriesci comes to the non-profit following work with the director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. He’s also the author of two books, including one novel.

The Providence Athenaeum is an independent library and cultural center, founded in 1836.

Burresci and his family will move to Providence this month from the Washington D.C. area. He begins his tenure at the library and cultural center on September first.

Matthew Clowney

A Providence-based photographer has been documenting a family with a transgender grandparent. The photos are part of an exhibit destined for the Boston Children’s Museum in the fall.

Newport Jazz Festival To Salute Miles Davis

Jul 29, 2015
Tom Palumbo/Creative Commons License

This year's Newport Jazz Festival marks the 60th anniversary of legendary trumpeter Miles Davis' first performance at the festival.

Plans for the celebration include musician tributes to Davis and other events, according to festival organizers.

John Bender / RIPR

The 56th Newport Folk Festival is in full swing this weekend. Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports from Fort Adams State Park.

A marching band played as fans waited to enter the Newport Folk Festival. The event sold out well in advance, so thousands turned out before the gates even opened,  eager secure a prime spot on the lawn at Fort Adams State Park.

Rhode Island-based band “Haunt The House” opened the festival with a heart-felt performance before a rapt audience, including family members, and local fans.

Live Audio From The 2015 Newport Folk Festival

Jul 24, 2015

Can't make it to the Newport Folk Festival? Listen to the stream right here.

Broadcast schedule below...


(all times eastern)

11 a.m.: Haunt The House

12:25 p.m.: Bahamas

2:30 p.m.:The Lone Bellow

3:15 p.m.: Calexico

4 p.m.: The Tallest Man On Earth

5:05 p.m.: Heartless Bastards

5:50 p.m.: Watkins Family Hour



50 years ago, Saturday, Bob Dylan made history by playing an electric guitar with a blues band at the Newport Folk Festival. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of that night Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender looks back at the iconic moment in music history.


Fifty years ago this week, on July 25, 1965, a young folk singer named Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival and transformed himself from a defender of the folk tradition into a leader of a new breed of popular musician, the rock and roll troubadour.

This year’s Newport Folk festival kicks off Friday, and it will include a tribute to this moment in rock and roll history.  Rhode Island Public Radio host Chuck Hinman asked  Newport Folk Festival Founder George Wein to remember the iconic performance.


Clam lovers celebrate a Rhode Island favorite, the quahog, this weekend at the annual quahog festival in Warren.

The hard shell clams, which live mud flats from Canada to Florida, are considered a local delicacy on Narragansett Bay. Matunuck Oyster Bar’s head chef Jeffrey Cruff prepares more than 100 stuffed quahogs a day.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theater

The Ocean State Theatre in Warwick is reviving one of the big musical hits of the 1950s, “Gypsy,” a story about family, show business and the life of the striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee.  Bill Gale says that despite some problems “Gypsy” is still worth seeing, one more time.

That's right. For you see “Gypsy” is one of those musicals you could call a “But, still . . .” piece of work.

Introducing A New Generation To Kites At Newport Festival

Jul 11, 2015

Hundreds of kites will fly over Brenton Point this weekend for Newport’s annual Kite Festival. The festival has been going on for more than twenty years.    

(From festival organizers, this video showcases a kite race from the event in 2011.)

Festival organizer Ron Kitt says the event is a way to expose people to the sport of kiting.

Can Providence Restaurant Week Spur Summer Business?

Jul 11, 2015
Go Providence

Reservations at local restaurants are filling up for upcoming Restaurant Weeks in Providence. Over 100 restaurants are participating in the two-week long event, which offers special menus at discounted prices.

Anna Thompson of New Rivers Restaurant says the event helps spur business during the slow summer months.