Tag Archives | Culture

Apply for a PopUp Providence Grant

From the City of Providence:

pop-up-pvdPopUp Providence is now accepting applications for Year 3 until March 11, 2015

Click HERE for everything you need to apply.

What is PopUp Providence?

PopUp Providence is an award-winning, urban place-making program that introduces interactive, artistic and cultural displays and interventions throughout the City’s 25 neighborhoods. The program supports quick, temporary and inexpensive interventions that engage residents, workers and visitors of all ages, and enliven the city.

How is PopUp Providence funded?

The Providence Redevelopment Agency dedicated $150,000 for the program in October 2013, in the amount of $50,000/year, for a period three years (2013-2015).

What qualifies as a PopUp?

Installations must fall within one of the following categories:

  • PopUp PLAYSPACE: Indoor or outdoor, recreation or activity-based, projects that promote physical interaction.
  • PopUp PARKLET: On-street parking spaces that are repurposed for public space.
  • PopUp ART: A display of any artistic medium that is appropriate for a public setting, and directly responds to the community in which it is located.
  • PopUp SHOP: Vacant storefronts that are repurposed for community, retail or commercial purposes.
  • PopUp AMENITY: Enhancements to the public realm, for exclusive use by the public (e.g. seating, landscaping, bicycle parking, lighting).

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Joyriders vs. Jaywalkers: U.Va.’s Peter Norton Examines a Collision of Cultures

In 1909, “jaywalker” was an obscure Midwestern colloquial term that referred to a country hick in the city who got in the way of other pedestrians. But with the rise of the automobile, people connected with the auto industry used “jaywalker” to mean a pedestrian who crosses the street against regulations.

“Most people living in cities didn’t think fast cars belonged in streets,” Norton said. “So when cars hit pedestrians, it was always the driver’s fault. Angry city residents wrote letters to their newspapers denouncing ‘joy riders’ and ‘speed demons.’ But some people wanted to give cars a rightful claim to street space. The word ‘jaywalker’ was one way to do this. By casting doubt on pedestrians’ place in the street, it strengthened cars’ claim to street space. Making streets places for cars took not just regulations and devices such as traffic lights — language was also part of the struggle.”

Related to the discussion here.


Inspired Providence Lecture Series

Inspired Providence

Inspired Providence
A Fall Lecture Series Celebrating 375 Years of Providence History
Thursdays, Sept. 29 through Nov. 10
6pm • Free
See below for locations

PROVIDENCE, RI – Roger Williams National Memorial is pleased to present Inspired Providence|a fall lecture series celebrating Providence’s rich cultural heritage from Roger Williams’ “lively experiment” in 1636 to the rise of a “Creative Capital.” Seven evenings of civic discourse and lively debate will take place between September 29th and November 10th at cultural institutions across the city. Each free lecture will begin at 6 pm and is open to the public.

The series, part of the larger Celebrate Providence 375 Years commemoration, kicks off Thursday, September 29th at 6pm at Roger Williams National Memorial. On this opening night, park ranger and local historian John McNiff will examine and discuss the beliefs of Roger Williams and how they were echoed in a truly revolutionary document, the United States Constitution, more than 100 years after Williams’ death.

Each subsequent talk will take on a distinct moment in Rhode Island history from the emergence of Rhode Island’s first portable restaurants in the 19th century, to the Hardscrabble race riot of 1824, to an architectural competition that forever changed the face of the East Side. The series also includes a special family program at the Providence Children’s Museum with storyteller Len Cabral, a public discussion moderated by “Action Speaks” host Marc Levitt, and a presentation of the Latino Oral History Project led by Marta Martinez.

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Providence 375 May Events

May Events

Live Bait: True Stories By Real People
May 6, 10pm
Perishable Theatre • 95 Empire Street • $5

Senator Pell Lecture on Arts & Humanities
May 9, 6pm
Trinity Repertory Company • 201 Washington Street • Free – RSVP Required
Providence Art Culture + Tourism

FirstWorks Presents: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
May 10, 7:30pm
Providence Performing Arts Center • 282 Weybosset Street • $30 – $68

Rhythm & Rebellion: A Meet & Greet
May 12, 6pm – 8pm
Roots Café • 275 Westminster Street • Free

3rd Annual St. Antonio Parade
May 15, 1pm
Line-up At The Vartan Gregorian School • East Street • Free

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Alissa Graham: Providence Independence Trail

Prospect Park

This post was originally posted on Alissa Graham’s blog, Alissa: Adventurer and is reproduced here with permission.

Yesterday, May 4th 2011, Rhode Island’s Govenor Chaffee and Providence Mayor Tavares unveiled the “Independence Trail.” This three mile, downtown Providence trail will “feature 75 sites ranging from a place where George Washington slept to a statue of Civil War General Ambrose Burnside, whose distinctive facial hair coined the word ‘sideburns.'” (

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Capital Ideas: Planning Providence 1636-2020, May 4

Capital Ideas: Planning Providence
May 04, 2011 – June 22, 2011
Providence City Hall Gallery, 2nd Floor
25 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903
Opening Reception and program: May 4 • 5-7pm
Exhibit Times: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Can you imagine zipping around downtown on a monorail train? Rowing a boat in front of the State House? Driving on a freeway soaring above the canal? At one time, these incredible ideas were proposed for our city.

Capital Ideas: Planning Providence” commemorates the history of Providence by presenting design plans drawn from the City Archives. View proposals for never-built projects and imagine the places in Providence that might have been.

What kind of Providence would you design?

Exhibition Opening Event Details
The opening event in City Hall is an all-ages exhibition opening with programming that includes a talk from the City Hall archivist, Paul Campbell, as well as poster-making; visitors will create the imaginary Providence that they would like to see realized. These posters will be laminated and displayed at the Roger Williams National Memorial to serve as a monument to the 375th.


News & Notes

I want to bike and walk but… [Coalition for Transportation Choices]

For Earth Day 2010, CTC member Audubon Society of RI challenged students grades 3 – 12 to respond to the lead-in “I want to bike and walk but…”

The students addressed their essays, poems or raps to their town’s mayor and submitted their work individually or had it selected by teachers from 27 classrooms in 19 municipalities. The students wrote about barriers encountered in walking or bicycling to school or visiting family and friends and suggested solutions.

City exploring slimmer, trimmer roads [Chicago Tribune]

Like a bulging waistline, Chicago streets have gotten fat over the years, growing wider from curb to curb to handle more vehicles.

With that additional girth, traffic-related dangers have expanded, too, especially for pedestrians and transit riders trying to cross busy streets and bicyclists sharing the road with cars and trucks. Sidewalks, meanwhile, often have been narrowed to accommodate more traffic lanes.

The unfortunate upshot is that the high priority placed on accommodating vehicles over other forms of transportation has in many cases backfired.

Do urbanists hate the automobile? Not this one []

But for me driving is a little like chocolate. It’s a wonderful indulgence that is easily overdone. When everyone drives a lot, things get out of hand: traffic congestion, air pollution, storm-water runoff, oil spills, greenhouse-gas emissions, oil dependence, foreign-policy complications that sometimes lead to wars, sprawled development, redundant infrastructure, drive-through lifestyles that lead to bad nutrition and obesity | all of these things can be laid, at least partially, on our need and desire to drive excessively.

Better Transit, Even on the Cheap, Doesn’t Always Come Easy [The TransportPolitic]

With the rise of bus rapid transit and the increasing movement for better bicycling facilities have come a new form of community protest | a sense of indignation among some members of the affected areas about abandoning parts of the road they they had once assumed were to be entirely reserved for cars. From New York to Berkeley to Eugene, places more typically known for their liberal politics are becoming battle grounds over the right and wrong ways to use the street.

Case Studies of Latino New Urbanism: San Ysidro [The City Fix]

They are places that are layered and altered from the ground up, as opposed to being single-use and organized. James Rojas, an urban transportation planner, describes “Latino New Urbanism” as the sort of place that “derives its character” not from “structures, codes and designs” but from the way Latinos have transformed and adapted American suburban or urban environments to fit the needs of their communities.

Streetcars vs. Monorails [Slate]

So the future we thought we were going to get somehow seems antiquated, while the past looks increasingly, well, futuristic. Why is the trolley ascendant as the monorail declines?

Flood [City of Sound]

An extensive account of the Brisbane flood from someone on the ground.


Park Series starts tonight

PARK SERIES is Providence’s FREE Waterfront Music Series in the newly designed India Point Park!

This event is part of the “Celebrate Providence!” Neighborhood Performing Arts Series and is presented and sponsored by the City of Providence, David N. Cicilline, Mayor, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the Parks Department and Friends of India Point Park.

Bring your dancing shoes, a blanket or a boat and enjoy a cold beer tent and the hottest House, New Orleans Bounce & Dubstep DJs as well as Live Bands in India Point Park!!

Thursdays August 12th, 19th & 26th 5-10pm
Park Series on Facebook

Who Is Playing?
Micah Jackson (Aug 26th)
DJ Full Frequency (Aug 26th)
Extraordinary Rendition Band (Street Marching Band) (Aug 26th)
Raw Lip (Aug 19th)
Riff Parade (Aug 19th)
DJ Bees Knees (New Orleans Bounce) (Aug 19th)
Thirsty Sounds (Aug 12, 19 & 26)
DJ Lively Experiment (Aug 12, 19 & 26)

What else is Going On?

  • A Providence Food Truck Meet-Up and Tweet Up is running concurrently with Park Series.
  • Trinity Beer Tent will be on the pier!!
  • Boaters and kayakers are welcome and can tie up on the main pier where the stage will be.
  • Wooly Fair Decompression August 26th!! Feeling fully woolied from Wooly Fair but want some more?? Us too! Bring your costume back and come on down to India Point Park to decompress, reminisce and bring back your wooly dream state.

StreetFilms at COP15

Tens of thousands of people from nearly every nation on earth have descended on Copenhagen this month for the UN climate summit. As the delegates try to piece together a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they’re also absorbing lessons from one of the world’s leading cities in sustainable transportation. In Copenhagen, fully 37 percent of commute trips are made by bike, and mode share among city residents alone is even higher.

Come see “the busiest bicycling street in the Western world”, and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars.

Copenhagen wasn’t always such a bicycling haven. It took many years of investment in bike infrastructure to reclaim streets from more polluting, less sustainable modes. Last week, I was able to squeeze in a whirl-wind tour with Mikael Colville-Andersen, the bike culture evangelist behind Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic, to get a taste of the city’s impressive bike network and cycling amenities. Watch this video and see how Copenhageners flock to the streets by bike even in December, when average temperatures hover just above freezing.



Leon Krier lecture (12/03)

krier_lectureLEON KRIER
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Lecture & Book Signing

De Ciccio Family Auditorium (Salomon 101)
Brown University Main Green
Providence, RI 02903

Leon Krier is one of the most influential architects and urbanists practicing in the world today. In lectures, writings and design projects, he has developed a vision of traditional form for human settlements for contemporary society. In his latest book, The Architecture of Community, he provides a contemporary road map for designing or completing today’s fragmented communities. The book contains descriptions and images of the author’s built and unbuilt projects, including projects in Seaside, Florida, as well as the town of Poundbury in England, which was commissioned by the Prince of Wales in 1988, and has become a model for ecological planning and building. He has taught architecture and urbanism at the Royal College of Arts in London and at Princeton and Yale universities, among other institutions. In 2003, he received the inaugural Richard Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture.

This lecture is presented by the New England chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism in partnership with Brown University’s Department of Urban Studies and Department of Architecture Studies. Sponsorship provided by Cornish Associates and Donald Powers Architects. The lecture will be followed by a book signing of two of Leon Krier’s books The Architecture of Community and Get Your House Right: Architectural Elements to Use & Avoid. For more information, visit:

Free and Open to the Public
Space is limited. RSVP at


Megan Andelloux: The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health before Pawtucket Zoning Board of Review

This post was submitted by friend of GC:PVD Megan Andelloux (A.A.S.E.C.T Certified Sexuality Educator, A.A.S.E.C.T Mentor, A.C.S Board Certified Sexologist). Monday night (11/30/09), she will be going before the Pawtucket Zoning Board of Review to defend her right to educate adults about the topics of sexual health and pleasure. Find out more info on upcoming workshops & sexuality questions at

csphYou may have heard about it in the news, The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. It’s the name on many individuals lips. The CSPH has been called a sexual pleasure center, a sex clinic, a sexual health center, a brothel, an abortion clinic, a sex toy store and a havenhouse for sex trafficking. Let me clear rumors folks, The CSPH is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing accurate information to adults about sexuality that is seeking to open in The Grant Building on Main Street in Pawtucket. Nothing more, nothing less.

When put that way, it seems pretty fantastic right? A place where adults can go to access information about sexuality without having to buy anything? Like a library? Or a resource center? That’s the plan, but some city officials in Pawtucket (and other individuals) appear to oppose adults being able access sex information. They have taken some serious steps to prevent it from opening.

At first glance, the blatant censorship shines through loud and clear and gives people more than enough to be angry about. But look a little deeper. The issue that lies beneath most censorship issues surface is fear. In this case, it’s a fear of sexuality. People who are opposing The CSPH say it has to do with “the elderly“ not liking that type of talk, that the center doesn’t fit into the town’s image, that it’s not the kind of thing they like OR that they may be teaching immoral things. It’s interesting to me, as the founder of The CSPH, that those who are most vocal about preventing it from opening have never spoken to me, taken me up on offers of visiting The CSPH, or asked me my plans regarding it. They have just become talking heads, ready to attack without knowing the facts.

If we are really invested in growing Rhode Island cities by bringing in tourists, getting people to move into the area, revitalizing our downtown’s, it seems that setting up invisible hoops, only to be used if city officials want to flex their muscles, is not the way to welcome small businesses.

On Monday night (at 6:30pm), I will go before the town of Pawtucket’s zoning appeal board at Pawtucket City Hall, ready to stand firm on my belief that people have the right to access information if they so choose. I hope that you will stand with me.

– Megan Andelloux


Craftland Holiday Party (12/09)

craftland_2009Surely everyone is aware by now that Craftland is running year round on Westminster Street, but that doesn’t mean they are not having a Holiday Party to ring in their usual season.

Please join us for the Craftland Show 2009 opening party!

We have affordable handmade gifts made by 170 local and national artists. This year our show runs from December 4th-31st in what is now the year-round Craftland shop in downtown Providence.

From 5-9pm on December 4th we’ll have goodie bags for the first 300 super lucky customers; complimentary beverages from Trinity Beer and delicious homemade cheese logs along with other crafty snacks; fun fun music; and the fruits of a year’s worth of labor in glittery form.

This year, every purchase you make supports Girls Rock! Rhode Island whose mission it is to help girls and women empower themselves through the development of musical skills in order to foster self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy.

Buying local at Craftland is more than just a catch phrase: it means that for every gift you buy, you’re supporting a local business, you’re patronizing your community of artists, AND you’re providing a boost to a local non-profit organization! It’s a trifecta of holiday cheer! Miracles by design!


Craftland Show is an annual holiday sale in downtown Providence, RI that celebrates all kinds of sparkly handmade objects and the people who make them.

Craftland Show 2009
DATES: December 4-31
HOURS: Seven days a week 10am-6pm
Open late: Thursdays and Saturdays 10am-8pm

LOCATION: 235 Westminster Street | Providence RI | 02903
CONTACT: 401.272.4285 or email



New Urban Arts Coming Up Taller celebration and exhibition


Earlier this month, New Urban Arts received the Coming Up Taller award in D.C., this week they are back home and ready to celebrate.

This Friday, Nov. 20th, New Urban Arts will have an award celebration at their Westminster Street studio from 4pm to 5pm, and an exhibition opening from 5pm to 7pm.

The awards celebration is hosted by Myrth York and features Mayor David Cicilline, Deborah Gist RIDE Commissioner, Representatives from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, New Urban Arts’ Founder Tyler Denmead, and others.

Events are free and open to the public.


Roger Williams National Memorial Cultural Landscape Report (comment and public meeting)

Roger Williams National Memorial
Photo (cc) Jef Nickerson

Roger Williams National Memorial Cultural Landscape Report
Available for Review and Comment and Notice of Public Meeting

In collaboration with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the National Park Service has developed a Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) for Roger Williams National Memorial. This is the first report of its kind done for the Memorial since its establishment by Congress in 1965.

In its final draft, the CLR includes an extensive site history that outlines, in depth, Native American presence, the settlement of Roger Williams, and the urban renewal period that resulted in the Memorial as we know it today. In addition, the report includes a comprehensive site analysis and evaluation as well as treatment recommendations for the future use and design of the site.

The park has entered a critical phase in the development of this foundational document and is seeking public input on the final draft. Park management is especially interested in gathering input on the treatment recommendations but would appreciate any additional information or suggestions regarding the content included in the site history and analysis sections as well.

Public comment is welcome in writing by sending an e-mail to Site Manager Jennifer Gonsalves at email us or by mail to Roger Williams NM, 282 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903. Please submit all written comments no later than December. 11, 2009.

In addition to submitting comments in writing, park staff would like to invite all interested parties to attend a public meeting to discuss the report, its findings, and treatment recommendations. The meeting will be held December 9, 2009 at the Old State House (entrance at 150 Benefit Street) 4:30pm-6:30pm. This public meeting will be the only in person opportunity to discuss and comment on the plan before it becomes final.

If you have any questions regarding the CLR or the public meeting, please contact Site Manager Jennifer Gonsalves at 401.521.7266.

To download a pdf of the Cultural Landscape Report, click here (24mb). Please be patient. May take a few minutes to start download. A limited number of hard copies are available upon request.

National Park Service


Skating Center opens Friday

bank of america skating center
Photo (cc) Jef Nickerson

Skating begins in Kennedy Plaza on Friday, from Facebook:

Friday, November 20, 2009
6:00pm – 10:00pm
Bank of America City Center

Join us for our opening night celebration when the Providence Roller Derby trades wheels for blades to usher in the 2009-2010 ice skating season at the Bank of America City Center! A portion of every admission and skate rental that night will benefit the non-profit organization, Providence Roller Derby.

General admission is $6 for adults and $3 for seniors and children (under 12) and $2 admission for school groups. Skate rental is $4.

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10am until 10pm and Saturdays and Sundays 11am until 10pm. The skating rink is open on all winter holidays.