Arts & Culture

RIC Artist-In-Residence Reaches Refugees Through Art

Dec 26, 2016
Judith Stillman

A Rhode Island College artist-in-residence is helping refugees tell their stories through art. Pianist and composer Judith Stillman says art can help audiences engage with otherwise unimaginable tragedies.

Stillman’s project is called Refugee Artistry. She accepts submissions by and about refugees in all kinds of media, including poetry and music. And Stillman says she’s working with Rhode Island-based refugee artists on an upcoming performance. Stillman says what motivates her is a desire to hear refugees’ stories.

RIPR FILE

The holidays are a time for family, faith, food and lights. At least, that’s what you told us when we asked for your holiday traditions, and what gets you in the holiday spirit. Today we’ll hear about holiday rituals from five different Rhode Islanders. We start with part-time Providence resident Michelle Madsen-Bibeau, the interim pastor at Beneficent Congregational Church. For her, Christmas is a not a vacation.

RIPR FILE

The holiday concert: it’s a rite of passage for the thousands kids in bands, chorus, and orchestras across the country. By Christmas Eve, more than 3,000 students will have performed under the marble rotunda at the Rhode Island Statehouse.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Ximena Conde caught up with North Providence’s Middle School Select Band, as they gave their performance. The students learned that a lot can happen before the show goes on.

Greg Berger directs the band. You also hear the voices of drummer Cameron Geruso and clarinetist Trevor Gaouette. 

Its crunch time to find that perfect holiday gift! If you still have shopping to do, we’ve got you covered with book picks from Nicole Merola, head of the Department of Literary Arts and Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. She joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison with suggestions of books to give as gifts... or gift to yourself!

1. Memoirs of a Polar Bear, Yoko Tawada

This is Merola's suggestion for that person in your life who just can't stop talking about the election.

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence's Wilbury Theatre Group has never avoided doing the controversial.  Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says their current play, “Straight White Men” definitely fits into that catalog.

Markham Starr

Connecticut-based photographer Markham Starr has dedicated almost a decade to documenting New England’s fishing industry. His photos, featured in an exhibit at the Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford, include a type of fishing unique to Rhode Island. 

Narragansett Fishermen Part Of New Photography Exhibit

Nov 28, 2016

The exhibit is now on display at the Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford. Connecticut-based photographer Markham Starr has dedicated almost a decade to documenting New England’s fishing industry. 

Starr photographed fishermen across New England, and says he took a special interest in the trap fishers of Point Judith in Narragansett.

“It’s an ancient type of fishing,” said Starr. “They’ve been doing it probably 150 years in Rhode Island and other traps like it go back even earlier. But there’s only three practitioners left really because it requires a lot of manpower.”

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Playwright David Mamet is well known for works such as “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Speed-The-Plow.” But many think “American Buffalo” is his masterpiece. Bill Gale says the Gamm Theater's production is proof of that.

“American Buffalo” was first done in Chicago way back in 1975, that time – if you can believe it -  of no cell phones , no Facebook.  And Twitter? That was something birds in the trees did.

Yale Art Gallery

For November's Artscape, we visited New Haven, Connecticut, where an exhibit at the Yale University Art Gallery showcases the dramatic artistry of furniture making in colonial-era Rhode Island. Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman talked with the gallery's Curator of American Decorative Arts, Patricia Kane, about Art & Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830.

Ballet Company's Nutcracker Costumes Stolen

Nov 22, 2016
Festival Ballet Providence

A storage facility full of costumes for Festival Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker has apparently been robbed. The Providence ballet company is scrambling to find replacements in time for opening night.

Epic Theater

Rhode Island is currently enjoying a theatrical surge. New theater companies have arrived, often with plays – and ideas – that are far from the usual. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has checked in on a couple now performing works that you are not going to see everywhere.

The Flu Season” continues at the Burbage Theater through December 3rd. James Franco and Me continues at the Epic Theater through November 27. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Festival Ballet in Providence concludes its "Up Close on Hope" series of programs on Friday and Saturday nights, with a unique collaboration between choreographer Ty Parmenter and storyteller Valerie Tutson. The pair teamed up to produce an original dance set to the spoken word piece "How We Got the Stars." 

Originally a story told by the Zulu people, Parmenter has created a dance for four dancers choreographed to Tutson's telling of the story. Parmenter and Tutson spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman about how the piece evolved.

Newport Jazz Festival Opens Early Ticket Sales

Nov 3, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Early tickets for this year’s Newport Jazz Festival went on sale this week. The festival is renowned for featuring big names like Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and Louis Armstrong to Newport since 1954. Danny Melnick, the festival’s producer, said jazz enthusiasts can expect to hear music from a wide range of artists.

"So we're looking at a very dynamic lineup of great jazz, some Latin music, some blues, some soul - you know, a lot of different things that sort of all work at a jazz festival, a lot of music that's related to jazz in many different ways,” said Melnick.

Samuel F. Babbitt / Courtesy MacMillan Children's Publishing Group/NPR

Natalie Babbitt, the 84-year-old author of the popular children's novel "Tuck Everlasting," died Monday at her home in Hamden, Connecticut.

The novel left a big mark on young readers. It tells the story of a magical spring that grants eternal life to anyone who drinks from it – and a girl who has to decide whether to live forever or accept her eventual death. Babbitt told NPR’s Melissa Block last year that she decided to write "Tuck Everlasting" in 1975 after she realized her 4-year-old daughter was terrified of death.

Rhode Island Public Radio is partnering 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’s story is inspired by the StoryCorps podcast. Erin West speaks honestly and openly with her father about his experience with suicide and depression, as well as their changing relationship as father and daughter.

Got a comment on this story? A question? A new idea? We want to hear from you! Send an email to nht@ripr.org.

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