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Category Archives: Newport Art and Culture

The Original Newport Jazz Festival

July 28, 2016 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Newport Jazz Festival is described as the “Meaning of Jazz” since 1954.This famous event originated in Newport, RI and is still a tradition today. It gives the audience the true feel of jazz while start-off musicians perfrom for their first time to large audiences.  Such as Clara Ward Singers and Drunkard Singers, who made their first stand in Newport.

After this music explosion from Newport Jazz Festival, it inspired a movie to be filmed dedicated to the music. Bert Stern filmed “Jazz on a Summer’s Day”, a documentary about captures the meaning of rhythms and blues, and rock  in 1958. The following year, 60,000 attendees  came to the Newport Jazz Festival for all four days to watch these styles of music. Even Louis Armstrong spent his 70th birthday in Newport and sang at the Newport Jazz Festival. The Jazz Festival became so famous that it spread to New York City, and Boston, which is still going on today.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton attended at the 40th Anniversary of Newport Jazz Festival. The famous mansion the Breakers contributed to the music holding the Newport Jazz Festival in 2004. Then finally Fort Adams State Park took the honor of programming the Newport Jazz Festival for its 60th Anniversary for three days.  This event has evolved into a focus group towards emerging artists and is still today. Contributing to rising artists and charities, it has been an incredible event.

jazz festivalBesides the amazing history that convinces the crowds to come, but the location is breathtaking and something you cannot miss. Fort Adams State Park is one of the best locations in Newport; it has a perfect view of the bridge along the water of the east passage. It also has sea breeze to keep you cool during the festival when things are warming up.
The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival is held on July 29-31 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and mostly at Fort Adams. On the first day, there will be a cocktail party at the Horse Shoe Piazza within the International Tennis Hall of Fame. If you would like to attend the preconcert party it is $75 and watch the jazz artists you can reserve seats for prices of $45-$100. There are different sections at the International Tennis Hall of Fame that will determine how much you would like to spend. They are offering beverages, alcohol, and food as well.
The main Newport Jazz Festival will start on July 29, and will remain in this location for the following two days. The general admission tickets will be between $15-$89 depending on what you want included. A two-day admission is $145, which is the most common. If you are a die hard fan of Jazz you can purchase the three-day admission pass for $170.
If you are a picky eater, do not worry because there will be plenty of food choices to choose from. Acacia café food truck, Ben’s Chili Dogs, Del’s Lemonade, Open Season Catering, Thai Jasmine, and much are all vendors attending.

Newport Jazz Festival is the ultimate to celebrate the history of  jazz and the true meaning.

Newport Film Sports

April 28, 2016 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Newport Film Sports

Newport Film Sports

This weekend from April 29th-May 1st the wonderful and game changing organization, Newport Film, will be hosting Newport Film Sports at the Tennis Hall of Fame.  Newport Film Sports is a documentary film festival featuring films and shorts that celebrate the positive role of sports in our society.

International Tennis Hall of Fame

The weekend kicks off with an opening night party at the International Tennis Hall of Fame preceded by the opening night film, WINNING, a film focusing on why some athletes achieve greatness.  On Saturday, April 30th there are four featured films as well as a female Olympian panel and VIP party at the Clarke Cooke House.  Films featured during the day are Touch The Wall, New York Times Op-Docs, T-Rex, and The Weekend Sailor.  On Sunday, May 1st the day begins with a free 60-minute community yoga session at the beautiful Horseshoe Court in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Tickets are affordable and range from $15 for one film, $50 for all five films, panel discussions, and yoga, and $110 for access to all of the weekends events.  Tickets may be purchased online on the Newport Film website.

Southern Sisters at Rosecliff

August 30, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

newportsouthernsisters[1]The Preservation Society has been working hard to put together a new exhibition at Rosecliff for this fall and winter.  Newport & Her Southern Sisters: Three Centuries of Art & Design, will be showcased on the second floor of Rosecliff and is included as a part of the regular mansion tour.  It will be on display and open for visitors starting on September 5th, ending on January 3rd.  This exhibition will take guests on a three century long journey exploring the relationship between Newport and the South.

Through trade, tourism and marriage, Newport and the South have formed a close bond throughout time.   Southern woman who married northern gentlemen helped create the Newport that we know today – a New England resort town filled will opulent mansions, history and sailing.

Southern Sisters will cover four different time frames including: the colonial period, the antebellum period, the post Civil War era & the Gilded Age, and the early 20th century.  The Colonial period will be represented with items such as an 18th Century Mahogany chest which will be displayed in two pieces (the way it would have been stored on a ship being sent to a southern market).  The Antebellum exhibit will be a parlor showing how boarding houses paved the way for hotels and eventually private cottages built by Southerners in a Post-Civil War Newport.  The 20th century exhibit will focus on Newporters looking for warm inspiration from the style of Palm Beach.

Items on display in the Southern Sisters exhibition include never before seen ballgowns, portraits, silver, and furniture.  Items showcased will be from the Preservation Society’s collections and houses as well as from other museums and private collections with ties to Newport and the South.

Clip Clop – Coaching Weekend is Back.

August 14, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Preservation Society will be hosting, once again, a Weekend of Coaching August 20th-23rd.  Approximately 12 coaching teams will be driving through the streets of Newport, bringing the sporting tradition to life.  These authentic 19th century coaches and their whips, or drivers, will be traveling around Ocean Drive and around the Bellevue area everyday of the event.  On Saturday, the 22nd, the Elms will be hosting a free driving exhibition at 10:30am.

Photo from the Preservation Society

Photo from the Preservation Society

The English tradition of coaching started in England as a way to deliver mail, which later made it’s way to the United States.  While coach mail delivery was replaced with railroad delivery, coaching transformed into a sport.  In the late 19th century, the Coaching Club of New York was formed and became an important part of Newport’s summer social scene.  Coaches were used to go to places like polo matches and the Casino.  Some notable Newport members included the Wetmores, Bells, Belmonts and the Vanderbilts.  Alfred Vanderbilt was a leader in the sport and his coach,  and had his coach, Venture, built by the Brewster Company of New York. He took this coach and a large crew to England every year to for a day-long ride from Brighton to London.   Venture is now on display at the Breaker’s Carriage House.

 

 

Newport BridgeFest

July 26, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Summer is a busy time for music in Newport, with the highlights being Folk Fest the last weekend in July and Jazz Fest the first weekend in August.  But what about the few days in between these two giant music festivals? Well that is what BridgeFest is for: to “bridge the gap” between these two festivals in order to keep the music going for ten full days. It starts on July 27th and goes through July 30th with over 50 artists at more than nine venues.

BridgeFest was created by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County in order to give visitors a reason to stay and locals a reason to get out and enjoy some local music.  They work with the Newport Festival Foundations to support the local music scene in Newport.  BridgeFest hosts all types of musicians, aspiring music students, emerging artists, galleries, wineries, farms and restaurants.  This is the 7th year of the festival.

Some of this years festival locations include: Queen Anne Square, Jimmy’s Saloon, Bowen’s Wharf, Trinity Church, St. Matthews in Jamestown, and the Redwood Library.  There will be an opening night Soiree held on the 27th to kick things off.  It goes from 6pm to 8pm at  the Sanford-Covell Marina on Washington Street.  ZanRicky will be playing and the Rhode Islands Ballet Theater will be putting on a dance performance.  This event will also feature a silent auction, a raffle, wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres.

To check out whose playing and when, click here.  Keep the music going and support your local musicians!

bridgefest-2014-small[1]

Newport Gallery Nights

June 15, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

Newport boasts a wide variety of art from paintings to works in lay, glass, marble, fabric, metal and Newport’s traditional furniture.  A diverse group of galleries can be found in Newport.  To help showcase the great artwork that we have here in Newport, the Newport Gallery Organization hosts Newport Gallery Night every second Thursday of the month from 5pm to 8pm. Comprised of 28 members including galleries, museums and cultural institutions, the Newport Gallery Organization showcases art from local artists as well as art from around the world.  A wide variety of pieces ranging from contemporary pieces to historic and traditional pieces can be purchased tax free.  Newport Gallery Night maps and brochures can be picked up at any participating member location.

They are also introducing a Free Summer Guided Walking Art Tour for Gallery Nights through September. There are three tours per Gallery Night, each lasting approximately 45 minutes.  These free tours include information about all the participating galleries, and museums as well as art related stories.  The 5pm tour is the Bellevue Avenue Tour, which starts in the Hotel Viking at the C.L. Sherman Gallery and ends at William Vareika Fine Arts.  The 6pm tour is the Spring Street Tour, which starts at Art on Spring and ends at the Opera House Theater.  The last tour, at 7pm is the Downtown Tour, which starts at Arnold Art Gallery and ends at the Whitehorne House.  These tours are open to anyone, just arrive at the starting point and enjoy an evening of fine art in Newport.

Celebrating Irish Heritage Month in Newport

February 27, 2015 by Marshall Slocum Inn

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest and most looked forward to days for locals in Newport.  March is also Irish Heritage Month in Newport, and there will be various activities happening throughout the month in order to celebrate Newport’s Irish roots.  The highlight of these events is the 59th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will be held on March 14th.  The parade lasts around 2 hours, starting at 11am at Newport City Hall.  Various Pipe Bands, Marching Bands, Clowns, reenactment units, local organizations, school and non-profits will be participating in this years parade.  Events start early in the morning for various Irish Breakfasts and continue well into the night.shield[1]

Many other Irish events will be taking place throughout the month.  Irish Heritage Months kicks off on March 1st with Dancing at the Forty Steps.  Live traditional music and dancing will be held here, weather permitting in order to honor the informal dances that were once held here by the Irish in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Hour long guided tours of Fort Adams  discuss the importance of Irish labor in building the Fort in the 1800’s.  On Thames Street, the Museum of Irish History will be open for visitors who would like to learn about Irish immigration to Newport from the 1600’s to the present.  On March 7th, Viking Tours and the Museum of Irish History will be sponsoring the free Bus Tour of Irish History.  The tours begins at the Museum of Irish History and visits many locations important in the Irish History in Newport, such as the Forty Steps, Ochre Courts and the Barney Street Cemetery.

There will be various musical performances throughout the month including Traditional Irish Music at Fastnet Pub on the weekends.  There will also be Irish radio on various days during the month.

March is filled with many events to honor Newport’s rich Irish heritage.  Be sure to check out some of the events while you’re in town!

 

The Museum of Newport Irish History

September 19, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

In June of 2011, The Museum of Newport Irish History Interpretive Center opened to the public.  Located in the best known Irish-American neighborhood in Newport, this museum teaches visitors about the Irish immigration to Newport County from the 1600’s to the present.  It showcases the many contributions made by Irish community members through a variety of exhibits.  The exhibits include maps, photographs, videos, and artifacts that display multiple aspects of the local Irish community.  They also have a display of Irish history and artifacts at the Fort Adams Visitors Center.  Every March, they also host a free bus tour, called “Irish Newport,” that takes visitors to various Irish related sites, including Fort Adams, the Forty Steps and the Barney Street Cemetery.

The Museum was founded by Vincent J. Arnold, whose passion for Irish History inspired the creation of this Museum as well as the Michael F. Crowley Lecture Series, which hosts five to six lectures per year on various Irish History and cultural topics.   He remained president of the Museum until his death in April, 2014.

This museum is open Thursdays through Sundays (12pm-5pm) starting in late May until late October.  It is located at 648 Lower Thames Streetimages[1]

The Hunter House

August 22, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Hunter House, located in the Point District of Newport, is a great example of Georgian Colonial architecture from the mid-18th century.  This house was built during a time when religious tolerance attracted Quakers, Congregationalists, Jews and Baptists to the area.  The north half of the house was built between 1748 and 1754 by a prosperous merchant, Jonathan Nichols, Jr.  After his death, another deputy governor, Colonel Joseph Wanton, Jr. bought the property.  He added a south wing and second chimney to the house, which transformed it into a formal Georgian mansion, complete with a large central hall.

When Colonel Wanton fled Newport for his Loyalist sympathies during the American Revolution, his house was used as a headquarters for the French during their occupation of Newport is 1780.  After the war, William Hunter, a U.S. Senator acquired the house.  He sold the house in the mid 1860’s and it was passed through a variety of owners until the mid 1940’s, when a small group of concerned citizens purchased the house with the intention of preservation.  This group, led by Mrs. George Henry Warren formed the Preservation Society of Newport County and restored the Hunter House to the era of Colonel Wanton.

Today, visitors to the Hunter House can enjoy exhibits that showcase 18th century achievements in arts and crafts.  These exhibits include furniture by the Townsend-Goddard family, who were popular cabinetmakers during the colonial era. The house exhibits examples of the finest achievements in the arts and crafts of 18th century Newport. The house showcases Newport pewter and paintings by Gilbert Stuart, Cosmo Alexander and Samuel King. This house is also known for its woodwork, including a carved pineapple over the doorway, a sign of welcome.

The Hunter House became a National Historic Landmark on November 24th, 1968, and is open seasonally, June through October, for tours through the Preservation Society of Newport County.

Bristol’s Herreshoff Marine Museum

August 8, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

It’s nothing new that Rhode Island and Aquidneck Island have a rich history in sailing, especially with the America’s Cup frequenting Newport.  The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company has played a major role in the manufacturing of a variety of vessels including eight consecutive defenders of the America’s Cup from the years 1893 to 1934.  They also manufactured the largest America’s Cup boat, the Reliance, Rhode Island’s oldest boat, Sprite, and the first United States Navy torpedo boats.

Due to their heavy involvement in much of Rhode Islands boating history, Herreshoff-Marine-Museum-logo[1]A. Sidney DeWolf Herreshoff and Rebecca Chase Herreshoff founded the Herreshoff Marine Museum in 1971 in order to preserve and spread the accomplishments of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.  The Museum showcases over sixty significant boats, including the Aria, a restored Buzzards Bay 25, Torch, a Fishers Island 31, Clara, and Thania, the 1905 motorlaunch.  The museum also displays hundreds of significant artifacts and memorabilia through a variety of changing exhibits.

In 1992, the Herreshoff Marine Museum added the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.  It was founded by Halsey Herreshoff who was a four-time America’s Cup defender.  The Hall of Fame honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to this yachting competition.  Almost 80 America’s Cup “legends” have been inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and include crew members, designers, builders and supporters who showed outstanding abilities, had international recognition, character, performance and contributions to the sport.

Both the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame are located in Bristol, Rhode Island, a short drive from Newport and are open everyday from 10am to 5pm.

 

 

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