Providence Honk Festival
Now in its eight year!
PRONK! is a grassroots, neighborhood event made possible by the support of the hundreds of local partners. Kickstarter donors, fundraiser attendees, and grantors provide critical support to bring this celebration to the streets of Providence.
Each year, on Indigenous People’s Day—the sounds and sights of street bands from RI (including local heroes Extraordinary Rendition Band, What Cheer? Brigade, and Kickin’ Brass), and a revolving cast of more thank 200 musicians from around the country and globe, blast their way into Providence as part of the annual Providence HONK Festival (PRONK!). Rhode Islands artists and activist organizations come together to connect, offer voice to the cause of justice in our communities, and to celebrate our shared vision. Volunteers roll up their sleeves to build, cook, create, clean, organize, speak, play and march. This day-long celebration of music and community activism, in the spirit of the Boston-based HONK!
The Legend of the Fairey Melusine
the concert premiere of Rhode Island-based composer Steven Jobe’s opera, The Legend of the Fairy Melusine at the Roundtop Center in, Providence, RI featuring violinist Laura Gulley, harpist Hyunjung Choi, soprano Kara Lund and tenor Frederic Scheff. For this concert premiere, among the new artists performing will be baritone Fred Jodry, singing the role of Aymeris, and Mariami Bekauri, singing the role of Melior.
Based on a 14th-century French folktale, the story of Melusine is filled with romance, mystery, and shape shifting. Half-fairy by birth, Melusine appears most of the time as a human. But, because of a curse, once a week she transforms into half-woman, half-serpent—a secret she keeps from her mortal husband, Raimondin. When eventually Raimondin catches her in her supernatural state, Melusine completes her transformation to full dragon and flies out of Raimondin’s life. In Jobe’s retelling, Raimondin and Melusine are reunited through their realization that love transcends our physical form and outward differences. The unfolding story of Melusine is especially poignant in today’s divisive cultural climate, as it challenges the tendency to label and judge those who are different—religiously, culturally, personally. Together, Melusine and Raimondin cross beyond such black-and-white thinking into the rich gray area of understanding and love, and there they find peace.
The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre
The Pan-Twilight Circus
The Pan-Twilight Circus, the nation’s only circus of the arts, is preparing for its fourth edition. Touring Rhode Island and neighboring states in the summer of 1997, this show will be a circus adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The show is to be directed by Bob Colonna, longtime director of the Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater, and a Trinity Repertory stalwart for many years. The show tours in its own big top, and will appear in half-a-dozen different communities around the state. Performers are coming from as far as France and San Francisco and as close as Warwick and Providence to participate in this show. In each place, the show will appear to the benefit of a local arts or youth organization, and will present the show, as well as children’s circus arts workshops. We are also planning a cooperative effort with the Children’s Museum of Rhode Island, which may involve a travelling museum sideshow.
The Sally Mayo Dance Company
The Sally Mayo Dance Company is currently planning their second full-length dance concert this May at the Carriage House theatre off North Main street in Providence. The performance will be dances inspired by the stories of Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Sally Mayo has worked extensively with What Cheer, performingin the last edition of the Pan-Twilight Circus, and participating in the formation of the NETWorks theatrical agency, described below.
April will see a second production of Jeanne D’Arc, a full-length original opera by Steven L. Jobe. This production will appear in conjunction with AS220’s annual Fool’s Ball week of gala programming. Steve is one of the original organizers of the What Cheer Art Company, and serves as board president.
Providence: Art & Culture
This video, produced by Charles Grossman and directed by John Meyers, is a look at the arts scene in Providence. The purpose is to promote the arts of Providence to a national audience, with the intention of using the video to attract business to Providence using art and culture as the bait. The video will be used to market the state as a tourism and convention destination, but also as a location for business expansion and establishment. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has expressed interest in the production, and will participate in the distribution of the final piece.