Arts & Culture

Thomas Nola-Rion

Ah, yes, definitely. You could call this “Up Close” wide-ranging. Then again you could say, ahh, it’s a mixed bag. But, fortunately, this show has enough fine work – some powerful dancing, and one emotionally charged piece – to make it worth recommending.

What artistic director Misha Djuric has done this time is turn basically to his own company for inspiration and dances. The result shows work from young dancers that are sometimes amusing, sometimes not so much. Then again Festival’s stronger veterans also put forth some fine work.

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is taking umbrage with a new report claiming taxpayers are paying for tasteless and offensive art.

The report from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity claims taxpayer money was used to fund an erotic holiday party, underwear art, and an international film festival that shows movies some would consider “depraved.” But RISCA refutes those claims saying it didn’t fund any party or underwear art, but gave a grant a few years ago to an artist mentioned in a blog about those events.

Courtesy: Jeff Toste

“Haven Brothers: The Legacy of the American Diner” tells the story of the food truck that has been parked outside Providence City Hall for as long as most people remember.

Jeff Toste makes his directorial debut with the documentary that explores the food truck’s beginnings and how it was almost lost.  The documentary makes its Providence debut at the Columbus Theatre in Providence on June 6th.

Rhode Island Public Radio weekend host Chuck Hinman sat down with Toste to talk about the iconic food truck and capturing its history.

The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame has announced the class of 2014. There are nine inductees, who range from folk and jazz musicians to R&B to club owners. The museum located in Pawtucket's Hope Artiste Village will hold a series of events next month to induct the musicians.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch caught up with the museum’s Rick Bellaire for a few stories about these musicians from Rhode Island who made a name for themselves around the world.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Richardo Pitts-Wiley and his wife Bernadette are being recognized with an award of special distinction by the Pawtucket Foundation for their work at Mixed Magic Theatre. The couple founded the theater as a way to create a diverse acting community.

He joined Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman in the studio to talk about theater, diversity and the arts.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

St. Joseph's Day Means Zeppoles For Many In RI

Mar 19, 2014
Kyle Bruggeman / flickr

It's March 19th; St. Joseph's day, and for many Rhode Islanders that means just one thing: time for zeppoles. That's Italian pastry made from circles of dough similar to an eclair, filled with pastry cream, often dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a maraschino cherry.

Micheal Dellagrotta of La Salle bakery in Providence said the entire staff has been working since the early morning hours to make the thousands of pastries they expect to sell Wednesday.

Bryant University

Rhode Island actress Viola Davis is talking about her latest project, a television pilot for ABC.

Davis plays ambitious defense attorney Annalise Keating, who also teaches law students at an ivy league university.

"She teaches them how to defend a criminal case in a practical manner by allowing them to help her solve a murder investigation," Davis said, adding there's more than one mystery to be solved after a murder takes place on campus.

The show, "How to Get Away with Murder," takes place in Philadelphia. 

An Australian museum official will meet with Rhode Island archaeologists to discuss a way to partner in the search for the wreck of Capt. James Cook's ship Endeavor.


British explorer Capt. James Cook traveled on the ship Endeavor to the east coast of Australia in 1770, thus Australians consider Cook their founder and the Endeavor their founding ship.


The Endeavor changed hands and was renamed the Lord Sandwich, which sailed to Rhode Island only to be sunk in 1778 during a British blockade of Narragansett Bay.


Rhode Island Artscape: Designing Better Ballots

Feb 27, 2014
John Bender / RIPR

In Rhode Island a group of design students barely old enough to vote are working on projects that could potentially affect the future of Presidential elections.

For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender profiles a class that is trying to tackle the problem of a better ballot.

On the third floor of a building in downtown Providence, a group of a dozen or so students from the Rhode Island School of Design, also known as RISD are giving their final presentations for a class called VoteLab: Designing for Democracy.

Mark Turek


It certainly is. With a book, and music and lyrics, by the era’s one-time

wunderkind, Lionel Bart, “Oliver!” received 23 curtain calls opening night and

sailed on for six years in London’s West End. Then it became a Broadway hit and

there was a very successful film, too.


Later on, producer Cameron Macintosh took over and ran successful revivals.

Many theater fans loved “Oliver!” for its gutsy, and plucky, drive. It’s wistful

happy ending helped, too.


Wikimedia Commons

The Providence French Film Festival is back! Presented by Brown University, the 2014 festival is the 19th edition, with 20 films playing at the Cable Car Cinema now through March 2nd. 

Rhode Island Public Radio's weekend host Chuck Hinman talks with the festival's co-director, Richard Manning. 

Salve Regina University

A huge, century-old painted canvas was discovered in Newport, hidden under two layers of paint on the ceiling of a Salve Regina University building. Visiting conservators were scraping off a layer of ceiling paint when they accidentally exposed the work of art underneath.

Salve Regina professor and chair of university’s cultural and historic preservation program Robert Russell described the moment of discovery:

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence Children's Film Festival is now in it's fifth year, and has recently expanded to eight days of programming.

Anisa Raoof, the executive director of the festival sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio's weekend host Chuck Hinman to speak about the festival, and what makes a good kid's film.

The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society is presenting a lecture this Saturday on the state’s African-American culinary traditions. It will be given by actor Robb Dimmick, who is best known for portraying Abraham Lincoln in reenactments across the country. President of the Rickman Group, Ray Rickman, says he hopes the lecture will bring awareness to African-American influence on Rhode Island cuisine.

Mark Turek

That is for sure. Playwright Lynn Nottage, a Brown graduate, has called “Intimate Apparel” a “meditation on loneliness.” Surely that is a more exact, more piercing description of this lovely, incisive and heartbreaking work at Trinity Rep.

“Intimate Apparel” is one of those plays that will have you confused sometimes, a little bored perhaps, and then will suddenly strike, make you fall for the people involved and for the ideas being put forth. It’s a play most worth seeing, and thinking about.