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PopUp Providence accepting applications for Year 2 projects

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‘Before I Die’ wall in Kennedy Plaza. Image from Before I die…

The 1st year of PopUp Providence is underway, and we are now accepting applications for year 2!!

In 2013, the Providence Redevelopment Agency dedicated $150,000 for the City’s first tactical urbanism program, PopUp Providence, to be allocated in $50,000 increments over a period of three years. For its inaugural year, the PRA coordinated with the City’s Planning Department and several community organizations to implement a variety of “demonstration” projects.

Visit the Planning Department’s website for more information.

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Christmas WaterFires this weekend

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Sadly, tonight’s WaterFire lighting had to be cancelled due to the weather:


WaterFire will have special Christmas editions of their fires running tonight and Saturday evening (weather permitting):

Enjoy the spirit of Christmas for two days at the 3rd Annual Very Special Christmas WaterFire Weekend benefiting and showcasing the incredible work of the Providence Rescue Mission and as a wonderful gift to the City of Providence! Thanks to an anonymous donor the 41 braziers running from Waterplace Park Basin to Steeple Street will burn brightly with Christmas spirit for two days this year! Festivities will commence in Waterplace Park at 5:00pm on Friday, December 13th and then again on Saturday, December 14th! The fires will be lit from 5:00pm-9:30pm both evenings.

Watch updates on WaterFire’s Facebook Page and Twitter for updates on how this weekend’s storm may impact Saturday’s lighting.

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City kicks off 2013 Buy Providence/Buy Art shopping campaign

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Photo from Mayor Taveras’ Facebook page

Mayor Taveras Kicks Off Buy Providence-Buy Art Holiday Shopping Campaign

Mayor Angel Taveras joined Greater Chamber of Commerce President Laurie White, U.S. Small Business Administration Rhode Island District Director Mark Hayward, business owners, artists and community members in Wayland Square this morning to kick off the 2013 Buy Providence-Buy Art holiday shopping campaign.

Mayor Taveras urged Providence residents and visitors to support the city’s local economy during the upcoming holiday season and declared November 27, 2013 “Buy Providence-Buy Art Day” in the City of Providence. He also announced the rollout of a holiday parking program that offers shoppers two hours of free parking in the city’s commercial and retail districts.

“Providence is an artistic and creative city that is the perfect place to do all of your holiday shopping,” said Mayor Taveras. “The entire community benefits when we buy locally and support our local economy during the holiday season and throughout the year.”

The Wayland Square Merchants Association (WSMA) hosted the kickoff event this morning at The Olive Tap, a small business on Angell Street. Local merchants from across the Capital City attended the event.

“It is important to support small businesses in Providence,” said Wayland Square Merchants Association President and CLAD In Manager Asa Orsino. “Any time we get support from our city and our neighbors, it has a positive impact on our business and in our community.”

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration Rhode Island District Office, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Brown University also participated in the kickoff.

“Small business is the engine that drives our economy. They are also the job creators,” said Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island District Office. “We must do all that we can to support the city’s small business community and provide them with the tools they need to grow and succeed.”

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“PopUp Providence”

Mayor Angel Taveras joined city planners, the Providence Redevelopment Agency and community groups today to announce a three-year, citywide demonstration program called PopUp Providence. The purpose of the program is to enliven city spaces and engage residents, workers and visitors in their community with five projects and three mini-projects that include art installations, music instruction and performance, way-finding signage, and a ‘parklet.’

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Greater Kennedy Plaza summer season programming Survey

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Greater Kennedy Plaza is seeking your input on the outdoor programming that takes place there, see information below:

Many thanks for a great outdoor programming season in Greater Kennedy Plaza! Many of you have told us all season how much what we do improves the place we all share – and your ideas for improving on it – here is your chance to help us learn how to continually improve our programming and our public spaces downtown by filling out this quick online survey. Completing a survey gets you a chance to win one of two Prize Packs which include a membership to the Providence Children’s Museum, Fourpack for free ice skating & rentals to the Providence Rink, and a Dave & Buster’s power card. First winner will be drawn on Friday.

Take the Survey

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy Board.
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Last Burnside Park Beer Garden of the season

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Photo from Greater Kennedy Plaza

After being extended for two more weeks, tonight is for real the last Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series event of the year.

We’ve had a great season featuring a wide array of local music–clearly Providence has a wealth of talent! We have one more night for you on Thursday, Sept 19.

Grupo Sazon, is an amazing Latin band featuring master percussionist Jesus Andujar. This high energy band, with Latin and Cuban influences, have lit up the WaterFire stage twice this season to rave reviews! What a great way to end the park series and usher in Fall.

As always, relax before the show at the Trinity Brewhouse + Revival beer garden – serving locally brewed beer and wine starting at 4:30PM (music at 5:30PM)! Lawn games + food truck fare throughout – including Fancheezical, Lotus Pepper, Noble Knots, Panino Express + Like No Udder.

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Riverzedge Industrial Ball – September 27, 2013

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9/27/13 Industrial Ball/Carnival @ The Plant to Raise Funds for At-Risk Teens

Providence, RI: On Friday, September 27th, 2013 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Riverzedge Arts and The Plant are teaming up to provide DIY fun for a cause. The 2013 Industrial Ball will feature traditional carnival activities with a modern twist as well as music, dancing and food from nearby Cuban Revolution. For the newly low price of $35.00, Ball goers can win prizes through feats of accuracy and luck, get their fortune told, print their own T’s and invest in a more successful future for an under resourced teen.

As David Hasslinger, a Representative of Armory Revival Company, who donated the space at The Plant, explains, “Riverzedge is one of those unsung heroes in Rhode Island, quietly doing amazing work with teens. I am supporting them with space, and I hope others do too by coming to the event. It’s really going to be a special night.”

To join Hasslinger in supporting Riverzedge Arts, buy a ticket on-line and come to the event!

  • Who: Everyone who loves art and cares about urban teens
  • What: 2013 Industrial Ball/Carnival (There might be a beard contest, just saying…)
  • Where: The Plant, Unit 108 – 60 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02909
  • When: Friday, September 27th 2013, 7:00 to 10:00 pm
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Ribbon-Cutting of Burnside Park ‘Imagination Station’ – August 22, 2013

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Ribbon-Cutting by Mayor Taveras of the new ‘Imagination Station’ in Burnside Park kicks off a day of events.

Mayor Angel Taveras, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and Southwest Airlines will unveil and open a new ‘Imagination Center’ in Burnside Park on Thursday, August 22. The Imagination Center, created with a grant from Southwest Airlines, will serve as a new place for children’s activities within Burnside Park.

The Imagination Center is a fun destination for arts and crafts, interactive play and more, bringing the local community together and enriching the current activities in Burnside Park. The Center will be surrounded by picnic tables, beanbags and a wood deck, and will also include book carts, planting beds, and an Imagination playground play set.

Mayor Angel Taveras and representatives of Southwest Airlines and the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy will hold a ribbon-cutting for the new Center at 10 a.m., kicking off a day of scheduled activities at Burnside Park.

Activities include:

  • 10am–10:30am: Official ribbon-cutting
  • 10:30am–11:30am: Join Kidoinfo Storytime with Mayor Taveras, who will read his book, How to Do Well in School, along with guests local illustrator Jen Corace and author/illustrator Alison Paul
  • 11:30am–12:30pm: Participate in a Kidoinfo Art in the Park project based on Dr. Suess’ Yertle the Turtle
  • 12:30pm–1pm: Enjoy complimentary PVD Pops popsicles for participating children, participate in additional art projects and receive complimentary blank books and instructions for how to make your own book
  • 1pm–2pm: Experience the Imagination Playground with free play and table games for children
  • 4:30pm–7:30pm: Listen to a musical performance at the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden, while enjoying beverages from Trinity Brewhouse

Full disclosure, I am a member of the Board of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy.

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Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series is a go for this evening

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Careful, if you ask me to hold your beer, I might drink it.

Slight change of plans. The band will be playing and the beer will be flowing, but it will be taking place inside at Trinity Brewhouse, see you there!

There is a chance of a passing shower this afternoon, but the surprising fall-like chill in the air makes it a perfect evening to drink beers in the park and listen to great music.

Come on out and hear the Criss Cross Orchestra perform in Burnside Park, 4:30pm-7pm. See you there!

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NEA grant to support effort to build “cultural corridor” along Washington Street

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Washington Street. Photo (cc) Sean_Marshall.

Mayor Angel Taveras, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, the Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and FirstWorks announced yesterday that the City of Providence will receive a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant. The $75,000 grant will support a community design effort to create a cultural corridor in downtown Providence along Washington Street, and to establish the FirstWorks Festival on the Plaza as a biennial signature event in Providence.

The city’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and cultural partner FirstWorks will use the award to continue the transformation of Kennedy Plaza, a key component of Mayor Taveras’ economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work.

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Providence 4th of July 2013 festival and fireworks at India Point Park

Find details about 4th of July 2014 events here.

The City has announced plans for this year’s Fourth of July celebration at India Point Park. See the bottom of the post for information about traffic restrictions and heightened security measures.


Mayor Taveras Invites Providence Residents To Celebrate Fourth of July

Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra performance and fireworks display highlight BankRI Independence Day Celebration in India Point Park

FireworksPROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras and the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism will host the BankRI Independence Day Celebration on Thursday, July 4 at India Point Park.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra will provide entertainment during the celebration, which will be followed by a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and the fireworks display is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. A rain date of July 5 has been set.

“I look forward to the Fourth of July every summer and I am excited to join BankRI to host this important celebration of our liberty and freedom. I invite residents from across Providence and all of Rhode Island to join me at India Point Park as we celebrate with fireworks and a free concert from the Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra,” said Mayor Taveras.

Additional sponsors of the celebration include Lite Rock 105, the Providence Tourism Council, the Providence Federation of Musicians, the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation.

“The Fourth of July is a holiday rich in tradition that so many in our community look forward to. We’re proud to continue our support of the BankRI Independence Day Celebration,” said Mark J. Meiklejohn, President and CEO of BankRI. “In addition to the event’s signature fireworks display, there are activities and entertainment for people of all ages.”

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RFP for art bus shelters

art-in-transitThe City and RIPTA are requesting proposals for bus shelter art installations along the North Main and Broad Street R-Line rapid bus route.

Details on the RFP:

The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and the Department of Planning and Development in partnership with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), invite artists and artist/fabricator teams to submit their qualifications and concepts for art panels and seating to be included in bus shelters along our city’s Broad and North Main Street transit corridors. This is a first of its kind project for the City of Providence and we enthusiastically await artist response.

A total of seventeen sites along these two bus routes will receive art installations as a result of this program and call for art. Stipends awarded to selected artists will range from $8,000 to $23,000 for concept, fabrication, and installation of the bus shelter and seating elements. Past experience in fabrication and public art design is a requirement for this RFP. Artists without such a background are encouraged to team up with the appropriate 3D artists and fabricators.

All proposals must be received by July 8, 2013, 4pm

Visit the City’s website for links to the required documents.

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Tweed Ride PVD – April 28, 2013

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Stylish and well-wheeled gents and ladies enjoy a leisurely bicycle parade through downtown Providence in the city’s first-ever Tweed Ride, complete with tea!

The excursion begins at Greater Kennedy Plaza and ends at the RISD Museum for an afternoon viewing of the Museum’s newest exhibition, “Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion.”

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QUOTE: Rocco Landesman, recently retired National Endowment for the Arts Chair

It probably won’t be surprising that outside of Washington, some of the most rewarding places I visited during my term were places that are very engaged in the arts, that have a great arts infrastructure and commitment to the arts. Providence, Rhode Island, would probably be at the top of the list.

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Holiday events tonight

Craftland BUY ART Nite!

Buy Art235 Westminster Street
5pm-8pm • December 6, 2012

Every night at Craftland we are here for your art buying needs, but tonight is extra special. Join us to celebrate this year’s 5 Providence artists who have their images on the Buy Art Providence buttons. This year’s artists are Heather Annis, Maria DiFranco, Alison Paul, Quintin Rivera Toro, and Matthew Underwood. Come meet them, see their original artwork on exhibit, raise a glass, and of course shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at Craftland.

Are you ready to have fun? RSVP on Facebook here and bring your friends!


Hope Street Holiday Stroll

Hope Street Holiday StrollHope Street between Rochambeau Avenue and Sixth Street
4pm-8pm • December 6, 2012

Come feel the cheer on Hope Street for the Holidays! This year’s stroll will be HUGE! Musical trolley rides, hay ride, petting zoo, food trucks, fire jugglers, The Extraordinary Rendition Marching Band, tree and wreath sales, Children’s Film Festival Outdoor, blacksmithing, glassblowing, carolling, pictures with SANTA, local celebrities, Human Dreidel, Holiday Parade, Bar Crawl and MORE!

More on Facebook

If you plan to take RIPTA to Hope Street, be aware Route 42 will be detoured due to the road closure.

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