Pawtucket, which recently received a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant that will bring public art to city bridges, received a visit Monday, Aug. 18 from NEA Chairman Jane Chu, here meeting (from right) Louis Yip and Sonny Ng, developers of the M Residential mill complex on Roosevelt Avenue, and Phyllis and Morris Nathanson, in the courtyard of Nathanson’s mill building at 163 Exchange St. that he transformed for art and design studios.
PAWTUCKET – In cooperation with Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline, Mayor Donald R. Grebien extended a warm City of Pawtucket welcome on Monday, Aug. 18 to National Endowment of the Arts Chairman Jane Chu following the recent news that the city was awarded a $75,000 NEA grant for its “Our Town” initiative.
City Planning Director Barney Heath, who with assistant director Susan Mara submitted the city’s successful Our Town grant, explains how it will bring art to the nearby Exchange Street bridge as (from left) Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline, Sen. Jack Reed, RIDOT Deputy Director Phil Kydd, Mayor Donald R. Grebien and School Committee member Sandra Cano look on.
The competitive grant will bring community art installations to road overpasses visible to both pedestrians and I-95 travelers, and help reunite city neighborhoods “split by the highway,” Reed said, while also fostering economic growth. Reed also cited the legacy of the late Sen. Claiborne Pell whose advocacy was key to the legislative creation of the NEA.
Sen. Jack Reed (at podium), who chairs a Senate subpanel that oversees NEA funding, speaks of the importance of the arts in reuniting neighborhoods. With Reed for the event celebrating Pawtucket’s receipt of a recent NEA grant were (from left) Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Congressman David Cicilline, NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
The press event was held in the courtyard at Blackstone Studios at 163 Exchange St., the former R.I. Card Board Co. mill that interior designer Morris Nathanson has redeveloped as space for design and other professionals. Among businesses the congressional delegation members and Grebien visited were Fuzion Design, LLB Architects and Nathanson’s Art & Design Studio.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu reflects warm welcome she received on her visit to Pawtucket on Monday, Aug. 18 at event celebrating city recently being awarded an NEA “Our Town” grant.
The Pawtucket stop was one of several arts-related tours in the state which Chu, on her first official visit as head of the NEA of which she became chairman in June, made Monday with Reed, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior & Environment where he continues to lead congressional efforts in support of NEA funding.
Audience in courtyard at 163 Exchange St., a former mill building now filled with artists and design professionals, applauds remarks by National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu at event held Monday, Aug. 18 to recognize NEA’s recent award of Our Town grant to the city
Chu said one of her goals as head of the NEA was to show how the arts not only promote beauty and innovation but also foster community connections. “They can connect us, they can weave communities together, and they can infuse our lives with a deeper sense of place and purpose,” she said.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu is presented a poster for the annual Pawtucket Arts Festival by city cultural official Herb Weiss (left) with Mayor Donald R. Grebien and School Committee member Sandra Cano.
In Rhode Island, she observed, “The arts are woven into the very fabric of society here – it’s visible in your leadership, in your economic initiatives and education programs, and in the arts organizations and public artworks that thrive all over the state.”
Whitehouse praised Pawtucket as “an arts-rich community” while Cicilline noted the arts can help build strong communities and economic growth.
Pausing during a tour of Fuzion Design in the repurposed mill at 163 Exchange St. are (from left) Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, company senior vice president Wayne Blatchley, NEA Chairman Jane Chu, company president Joe Cacciola, Sen. Jack Reed and Mayor Donald R. Grebien.
Grebien, speaking of the proposed NEA-backed project for the Exchange Street Bridge, said, “Winning one of these highly competitive NEA ‘Our Town’ grants will allow the City of Pawtucket to tap into the wealth of artistic expertise surrounding us to enhance our transportation gateways in a visually appealing way. We are very grateful for the strong support the city’s application received from our congressional delegation and look forward to producing a project of which everyone will be proud.” He also pointed to Morris and Phyllis Nathanson as pioneers in using arts to renew life in the city’s former mills.
Other dignitaries from the arts community attending the event included Randy Rosenbaum, executive director of the RI State Council on the Arts, and Gamm Theatre Artistic Director Tony Estrella, who lead a tour of his theater space across the street in the Armory Arts Center Annex.
Pullers wanted for the MS Jet Pull at T.F. Green Airport
WARWICK, R.I., July 21, 2014 - The MS Jet Pull will be held Sept. 27, 2014, at T.F. Green Airport. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this unique event as teams of 25 people pull an enormous FedEx 757 across the tarmac with only their hands. The MS Jet Pull benefits the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The MS Jet Pull can only accommodate 30 teams and captains are already signing up so don’t delay! Register your team today at www.msjetpull.com. The registration fee is $50 per person with a minimum fundraising contribution of $50.
Volunteers are needed and spectators are encouraged to cheer on the teams and enjoy fun activities for the family and a delicious BBQ. The entrance fee for adults is $10; children under 12 are $5; and children under three are free. No animals are permitted for their own safety, in keeping with airport rules.
The first pull is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., and the action will continue throughout the day. When a team registers, they choose a window of time so they are only required to commit to three hours on event day. Teams get creative with their outfits – from super heroes to angels. Prizes will be awarded in many categories including fastest pull and most team spirit.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at nationalMSsociety.org.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Join us at the Pawtucket Public Library for a FREE Family Movie Night on Wednesday, September 3rd at 6pm. When the entire Muppets gang heads out on a global tour, mayhem follows them overseas. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the others find themselves caught in an international crime spree headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit.
Also starring Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell, the 2014 PG-rated movie will be shown in the library’s Campbell Auditorium.
Families are welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks. Children 10 and older may attend without a caregiver.
The program is free and no registration is required.
For more information, call
401-725-3714, ext. 209, or e-mail email@example.com
New age-appropriate playground makes debut at Joyful Hearts Childcare
(from left) Joyful Hearts Childcare owners and operators Dennis and Jenni Loach celebrate the opening of the new age-appropriate playground at their facility at 91 Cottage St. in Pawtucket with City Councilor Albert Vitali Jr. and pre-schoolers Kyari Lopes and Tameia DeWolf, who assisted city official Dylan Zelazo with the ribbon-cutting.
PAWTUCKET – A ribbon-cutting was held on Saturday, Aug. 16 to mark the official debut of the new age-appropriate playground at Joyful Hearts Childcare, 91 Cottage Street. The playground, funded through a combination of city block grants and funding from Joyful Hearts, which is owned and operated by Dennis and Jenni DeLoach, was assembled earlier by a team of volunteers.
Pre-schoolers Kyari Lopes and Tameia DeWolf (from left), who attend Joyful Hearts Childcare at 91 Cottage St., try out the facility’s new age-appropriate playground.
“This is a great project that fits right in with the Joyful Hearts mission to ‘develop a love of learning and a rich imagination’ for the toddlers and preschoolers in their care,” said Dylan Zelazo, city director of constituent services and communications who represented Mayor Donald R. Grebien at the ribbon-cutting event.
Exciting weekend preview of happenings inside Rhode Island’s historic Blackstone River Valley
Suggested events for the Weekend of
August 23-24, 2014
For those who love all kinds of music, from classic nostalgic rock, to personal inspiring styles, and breakthrough fusion of sight and sound, Rhode Island’s Blackstone River Valley is the ideal showcase for the August 23-24 weekend.
Using landmarks, natural settings and traditional stage, experience the convergence of sound in a unique historical location that was the birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution, now giving birth to creative talents in arts, culture and entertainment!
A sensation of light and music in Pawtucket!
Since its grand opening almost a year ago, the Pawtucket River Bridge has become more than just a new span built to carry traffic on Intestate 95 over the Pawtucket River. It has become a destination venue known for its changeable lighting schemes, and for being a modern backdrop for public events.
Saturday, August 23, 4-10 pm, the Pawtucket River Bridge, 40 Taft Street, Downtown Pawtucket, RI, is the focal point for (dot) AIR, a fusion concert of music performance and bridge lighting, presented by Machines With Magnets and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (BVTC).
This evening of experiential music offers the audience sound and light that will be combined utilizing the extraordinary illuminations affixed to the Pawtucket River Bridge and a well-rounded collection of modern music ensembles. The intended result will be a holistic grand-scale art experience that turns the Pawtucket River Bridge from a simple mechanism for transportation to an acoustic shell and art medium.
We invite you to join us down by the riverfront for a wonderfully unique night of art, music, food, and drinks.
For tickets and concert information, including participating bands and vendors, go to
or call 401-724-2200.
To find out more about the unique aspects of the Pawtucket River Bridge visit the website at
It’s often said people move to their own rhythm. Come and discover your own Friday night, August 22, at 6:30 pm, as New Dawn Earth Center, 75 West Wrentham Road, Cumberland, RI presents a Summer Drum Circle.
Enjoy a night of good food and drumming around the fire. Every circle is unique. Come see what surprises the night brings. All are invited – new and seasoned drummers, music makers, and dancers. Children are welcome (please take into consideration their energy level and keep them safe by the fire). If it rains we will have the circle inside.
Facilitator: Josh Fonseca, co-founder of New England Drummers website.
Josh facilitates drum circles all over Rhode Island.
Slater’s principal, Dr. Jacqueline Ash, praised the Fidelity volunteers for serving as community service role models for the middle school’s students.
PAWTUCKET – Thanks to a little help from their friends – about 200 volunteers from Smithfield-based Fidelity Investments – students and staff at Slater Middle School will be greeted by a wealth of improvements when they return to their classrooms.
Some of the more than 200 Fidelity volunteers gathered Friday, Aug. 15 at Slater Middle School for “School Transformation Day.”
The volunteers, in bright green T-shirts with “Fidelity cares” across the back, rolled up their sleeves on Friday, Aug. 15 to tackle a blizzard of projects, including revitalizing the school auditorium, creating a teachers’ room, crafting murals with college themes and for the school motto (Loyalty, Cooperation and Perseverance), painting radiators and walls, and beautifying the outside grounds including building and staining wooden planters along Mineral Spring Avenue.
Pawtucket School Committee member Sandra Cano thanks the volunteers for their involvement as Bernie Beaudreau, executive director of Fidelity nonprofit partner Serve Rhode Island, listens behind her.
While this is the second year Fidelity employees have spruced up Slater inside and out just before school reopens, their work will not end there, according to Beth Thompson, regional communications director for Fidelity. “We will return in October with workshops for the kids, typically math-based,” she said.
School Supt. Patricia DiCenso told the volunteers their work contributed to making Slater Middle School “a home away from home” for its students.
Dr. Jacqueline Ash, school principal, during a brief speaking program before everyone got to work praised what the volunteers’ dedication means to Slater’s students. “By giving back to your community, you have already role-modeled for them,” she said. “Thank you so much for coming back to this building, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here.”
Fidelity volunteers are revved up and ready to take on their improvement tasks Friday at Slater Middle School.
State Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, whose district includes the school, echoed that “it’s great to see so many volunteers” giving back to the community.
(From left) Volunteers Alex Kurose, Ray Hippeli and Michelle Lafond tackle a project.
“Thanks Fidelity,” said city official Dylan Zelazo, representing Mayor Donald R. Grebien, noting the mayor also “sends his best.”
“We really appreciate what you’re creating, today,” School Committee member Sandra Cano told the sea of green Fidelity shirts.
“We can’t thank you enough for this,” School Supt. Patricia DiCenso told the volunteers. “This school is their home away from home and we are better for that because of you.”
(From left) Tina Sullivan, Jill Evans and Melissa Soto work together at Slater Middle School during second annual School Transformation Day by Fidelity Investments.
With that sendoff and a wide-angle group photo, the volunteers spread throughout the school rooms and grounds, as Pharrell’s “Happiness is the Truth” played on an extended sound system that kept pumping rhythmic tunes for the next several hours.
Bernie Beaudreau, Serve Rhode Island executive director, goes up a ladder to deploy plastic sheeting to protect a mural in the school auditorium while working to repaint the walls around it.
Thompson said about a dozen teams, largely colleagues “who work together in the office,” had volunteered for the community service, supplemented by 30 interns who had yet to return to college.
With nonprofit partners and an “Adopt-a-School” model, working at Slater with Serve Rhode Island, Fidelity’s employee volunteer program, called Fidelity Cares, is geared to helping students and families build an educational foundation to attain personal and financial success. The annual School Transformation Days are a cornerstone of the Fidelity Cares program with adopted schools across the country in partnership with the HandsOn Network.
Statement from Governor Chafee Regarding
the Passing of Legendary U.S. Congressman Fernand J. St Germain
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today said: “We mourn the loss of former United States Congressman Fernand J. St Germain, who left a lasting impression on Rhode Island. He was a life-long Democrat and a Woonsocket native who fiercely fought for the rights of the working and middle classes. From 1961 to 1989, he served Rhode Island’s First Congressional District in the U.S. Congress, and one of his accomplishments was a stint as the Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs. Before representing Rhode Island in Washington, he was a valuable member of Rhode Island’s General Assembly where he became a respected and revered politician. On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, I send condolences to his family.”
Pawtucket Mayor Grebien home resting after hospital treatment
PAWTUCKET – Mayor Donald R. Grebien is home resting after being discharged Saturday from a Boston hospital for treatment of a spinal fluid leak. He is expected to return to work this week on a limited basis as his recovery proceeds, and on a full time basis next week.
Grebien entered Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston last week for further diagnosis and treatment following persistent symptoms including headaches that had resisted treatments. Tests located the area of the spinal fluid leak, which underwent a successful non-invasive procedure to introduce a blocking agent to prevent any further leakage.
Grebien, 46, is serving his second term as mayor and is an unopposed candidate for reelection.
September 3rd and 4th, 2014
Westerly, RI – The Chorus of Westerly will hold auditions for new singers on the evenings of September 3rd and 4th, 2014. Children age 8 and older, as well as all adult voice parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) are welcomed to audition. Auditions should be scheduled in advance with the Chorus office. Members of the Chorus must be able to commit to the entire 2014-2015 season schedule. The schedule includes:
- November 23, 2014: Bach – Christmas Oratorio
- December 21, 2014: Christmas Pops
- January 9, 10 & 11, 2015: A Celebration of Twelfth Night
- March 15, 2015: Choral Sound – Unaccompanied and Lightly Accompanied Choral Gems
- May 17, 2015: Faure – Requiem and Jenkins – Gloria
- June 20, 2015: Summer Pops
Regular rehearsals for Chorus adults take place on Monday evenings from 7:30pm – 9:30pm, and Monday and/or Friday afternoons for children.
Auditions will take place at the George Kent Performance Hall, 119 High Street in Westerly, with Music Director Andrew Howell – covering the singers’ tone, pitch, ability to sight-read music and overall musical ability.
To schedule an audition or for more information, please contact Lee Eastbourne at 401-596-8663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can be found at
The goal is to explore participants’ “What’s Next”
PROVIDENCE – At AARP, “real possibilities” means that people are free to explore new avenues and take advantage of opportunities regardless of age. In many cases, age and experience can be an advantage.
AARP’s Life Reimagined comes in to Rhode Island in September with two “Checkup” events likened to a personalized guidance system. Participants start where they are in their life, and— through a series of fun, simple exercises—see where the possibilities lead.
“If you’re between jobs or hoping to make a career change, this is for you,” said AARP State Director Kathleen Connell. “And if you are approaching retirement or are semi- retired, the Checkup can help you get started on your ‘What’s Next?’ In some cases, the Checkup simply helps you get serious about your journey.”
The free program includes six practices that guide participants through making a change: Reflect, Connect, Explore, Choose, Repack, and Act. It’s fun, it’s contemplative and it’s a great way to begin the process of discovering a personal “What’s Next?” moment or path.
The Rhode Island Life Reimagined Checkups take place on Thursday, Sept. 4, from 6-8 p.m., and Friday, Sept. 5, from 9-11 a.m. Both are at the Rhode Island State Office, 10 Orms St., Suite 200, Providence. The Checkup is free and parking is free.
AARP is accepting reservations online at www.aarp.org/ri through Sept. 2. Sessions are limited to 25 people and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you’re between jobs or hoping to make a career change, this is for you. And if you are approaching retirement or are semi- retired, the Checkup can help you get started on your “What’s Next?” Or Life Reimagined can help you find it.
AARP Life Reimagined “Checkups” Workshop designed to guide people who are between jobs, considering a career change or looking to fulfill a dream in retirement. Facilitated two-hour program follows six steps Reflect, Connect, Explore, Choose, Repack, and Act. Thursday, Sept. 4, from 6-8 p.m., and Friday, Sept. 5, from 9-11 a.m. , AARP Rhode Island State Office, 10 Orms St., Suite 200, Providence. The Checkup is free and parking is free. Limited to 25 per session. Online reservations required