Once known as the Beehive of Industry, Providence’s history is deeply intertwined with the Industrial Revolution and the great productivity of the 19th and 20th centuries. And while former industrial cities aren’t generally known for their commitment to the environment and green development, Providence is fast planting its flag in that fertile ground thanks to a number of eco-friendly entrepreneurs and developers.
For a week each July, Sound Session spreads genre-defying world music to neighborhoods throughout Providence. From events in restaurants and clubs, to street performances and a city-spanning parade, Sound Session takes over Providence, bringing diverse world cultures to Rhode Island. From Jazz great Ron Carter to rising stars like Jamaican dancehall hit Queen Ifrica, Sound Session reaches all audiences.
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Last week, as the Grace Church bells echoed through the channels of Downcity, a tall, blond, model-handsome priest in full black clerical suit strode down Westminster St. Arrested by this sight, I looked first for the signature trailers of a movie production, scanning for evidence of “Thornbirds III.” Not finding them, I considered performance art. I’ve seen angels and demons, gargoyles and fairies glide among the bankers, waitresses, and politicians of downtown. Was there a street festival today? I thought too about the fashion statements of our art students.
Imagine a party hosted by a DJ who has spent months developing a playlist designed to get people dancing, delight audiophiles, and bring strangers at the party together in celebration. Now imagine that the party lasts for seven days, the venue is the entire city of Providence, the music is live, and everyone is invited. That’s Sound Session.
special photo feature by Lucas Foglia - www.lucasfoglia.com
The national trend towards locally grown, organic, seasonal foods has been gaining momentum thanks to recent food scares and recalls. Vegetables containing E-coli and peanuts spreading salmonella have helped raise awareness about food production, called into question factory-farming practices, and led consumers to want to know where their food is coming from.
Times are challenging right now, there’s no denying it. But that’s not stopping Providence from forging a new vision for the future — and if you have an idea for a startup, you’re invited along for the ride.
On certain Saturday nights from May through October, something brilliant happens to the urban landscape of downtown Providence. The waterway that borders College Hill on one side and the city’s civic and commercial hub on the other is transformed into a vibrant sculpture that draws thousands into a communal ritual.