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Providence International Arts Festival Coming in June

Friday, March 27, 2015

 

FirstWorks and The City of Providence announced Thursday that the Providence International Arts Festival will take place between June 11-14, 2015. 

The city wide event will be a “jaw-dropping celebration featuring world-class arts, sculpture, music, food and spectacle in the heart of the city’s downtown.”

The centerpiece of Festival activities is Saturday, June 13, 2015 with events beginning on Kennedy Plaza at 4pm and will feature the largest stringed instrument on the planet as well as performances, visual transformations of city streets with murals, tape art, and photography.

“This festival will be a way to connect the world-class talent we have here in Providence with artists and performers from around the world,” said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We are excited to welcome visitors to the City to explore all that we have to offer and look forward to partnering with so many great organizations and artists.”

According to FirstWorks, The Providence International Arts Festival will “literally transform the city with international artists in visual art, sculpture, music, public art, civic dialogue, educational workshops, community play, spectacle and parade.”

The Festival will be centralized around program hubs that plans to unify the downtown area into an arts corridor – PVD City Hall, FirstWorks on the Plaza, Public Art Transformations, Empire Street Gateway, and the Washington Street Corridor.  

Opening ceremonies will feature a specially commissioned first work, One Voice by Dr. Clarice LaVerne Thompson with RPM Voices of Rhode Island, featuring 800 voices in a procession to City Hall from all directions kick-off the festivities at 6pm on Saturday, June 13, 2015.

“This festival will be a spectacular convergence of art and music, transformation and ideas - tying the hyper local extraordinary talent with internationally renowned artists and gems on the global arena to spark the imagination and streets of Providence and beyond,” said Kathleen Pletcher, Executive Artistic Director of FirstWorks.

A wide range of musical performers will be featured at the FirstWorks on the Plaza hub: the “undisputed Queen of African Music” Angélique Kidjo, and Oumou Sangaré, Mali’s “great diva” and a Grammy Award-winner. Sangaré will perform with long-time collaborator, Mali native and Providence resident Sidy Maiga, a master drummer, on the Providence Rink stage. 

The Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, RI State Council on the Arts and RI Council on the Humanities have teamed up to present “Providence Portraits” -images of the city’s people in the public sphere, and public artist and photographer Mary Beth Meehan will install her giant images made throughout Providence neighborhoods on the sides of buildings along Washington Street, transforming the built environment with dramatic imagery.

The Festival is funded with lead support from an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, GTECH, and the RI Foundation. Additional support is provided by Alex & Ani, Coastway Bank, Narragansett Beer, Textron, University Orthopedics, and the Providence Tourism Council.

A full schedule of artists and happenings will be released in early May 2015. Up-to-the-minute information will be found at www.first-works.org beginning April 1, 2015. Contact FirstWorks at 401-421-4278 or [email protected].

 

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