Providence, RI – City of Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, the Department of Art, Culture Tourism and Founding Partner FirstWorks announced PVDFest, Providence’s signature art festival, will return for its third edition June 1- 4, 2017. During the four-day event artists and performers from around the globe and just around the corner will descend upon Providence for a multicultural and multidimensional celebration of artistic expression.
“PVDFest has become the signature celebration of creativity in Providence over the past few years,” said Jorge Elorza. “As the festival grows, so does the list of incredible partners working to make this happen. This year’s addition of the Maker Faire will engage new audiences and connect festival goers to new experiences. I am proud to welcome guests and visiting artists to the Creative Capital and introduce them to the doers, thinkers and makers here in our city.”
The four days of arts activities will once again culminate in a large-scale celebration of creative expression on Saturday, June 3, with diverse programming focused on Providence’s ever-evolving culture taking place throughout the week. PVDFest will turn the city into a stage, from the festival core, anchored by City Hall on Kennedy Plaza, then spreading through the streets of downtown with interactive installations and into the West End neighborhood for Sunday events.
“The vision for PVDFest is one of creative combustion between the extraordinary artists of Providence and internationally recognized creators,” said Kathleen Pletcher, Executive Artistic Director of FirstWorks.” As Founding Partner for the Festival, FirstWorks will curate spectacle, music, and dance performances that will light up the FirstWorks Plaza Stage, spotlighting international stars and local favorites that will have festival-goers dancing in the streets and discovering global culture from the world’s stage. “FirstWorks is thrilled to be the catalyst for world premieres and spectacular mash-ups—bringing together aerial dance with spoken word and classical music with pop-up parades—as the face of a skyscraper becomes a dance floor, and the iconic Cranston Street Armory, a backdrop for art. Visitors and audiences can wander through an urban landscape transformed with art and music that reflects the diversity of our city and America,” said Pletcher.
Using the façade of a downtown building as a dance floor, the international vertical dance pioneers, BANDALOOP will fly, float, and turn dreamy cartwheels and backflips in midair across the Providence city skyline as they headline this year’s festival with #PVDPublicCanvas, a spectacular lighted performance taking place on the evenings of Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3. The city streets below will be turned into a world-class performance stage, cutting edge art gallery, and a culturally diverse block party.
As momentum builds for PVDFest’s third year, the schedule has expanded and community engagement deepened to include innovation-focused events. Enhanced Friday, June 2 programming will include a public tour of the Woonasquatucket River Corridor, an opportunity to learn more about Providence’s emerging innovation district and visionary developments happening in the area. Friday programming will also feature a Moon Market collaborative retail party featuring over 30 Rhode Island based movers, shakers, and makers.
In addition to Providence’s eclectic food truck scene and delicious downtown restaurants within the footprint, on Saturday, June 3 the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative (PCEI) will host a Global Food Village. Nearby, the producers of the Ocean State Oyster Festival will host a PVDFest one-off version of their event. The true magic of the festival is a public procession through the heart of Downtown. Community groups, cultural organizations, artists, performers, dancers, neighbors and all are invited to showcase their PVD spirit with music, dance, floats, and carnival flair.
On Sunday, June 4, the PVDFest finale will bring together art installations and music on the Dexter Street Training Grounds, one of the city’s most frequented parks. Finale programming will celebrate the adjacent historic Cranston Street Armory, and the surrounding neighborhood, with a day filled with music and art. The finale is part of the Cranston Street Armory Animated by Art, a multi-month project conceived by Providence’s Department of Art, Culture Tourism and FirstWorks along with numerous cultural and civic partners. Highlights of the celebration include “En Masse” a special FirstWorks musical project by PVDFest veteran Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), engaging hundreds of local musicians in a hybrid between a pop-up performance and a deconstructed parade; Community MusicWorks’ 20th Anniversary celebration concert featuring salsa artist Gonzalo Grau; and mobile art installations curated by the RISD Museum Artist Circle. This event is funded in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Waste Management is excited to be a major sponsor of this year’s PVDFest. This is a one of a kind event not only for Providence but for the region. After experiencing the energy of last year’s festival, Waste Management was eager to be involved in a greater way in 2017. This is a “must-attend” event!” said Garrett Trierweiler, Senior Manager of Government Affairs at Waste Management, a lead sponsor of the event.
A combination of hyper-local and global performers, artists, businesses, and cultural organizations will collaborate programming during the four day event. Today’s announcement includes:
FirstWorks, who will feature musicians from Mexico, Trinidad, L.A. and N.Y. as part of their FirstWorks Plaza Stage and Alex and Ani Rink Stage lineups. In addition, FirstWorks will transform the Providence skyline by raising the dance floor up to the sky with spectacular aerial performances on both Friday and Saturday nights of Providence-specific vertical dance by BANDALOOP #PVDPublicCanvas developed with local spoken word artist Christopher Johnson and collaborators.
Providence’s Department of Art, Culture Tourism is pleased to present the work of Providence performing artists, curators and visual artists at PVDFest this year, carrying on the tradition of using PVDFest to create new opportunities and collaborations that strengthen and spotlight the Providence’s creative capital.
The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, which will bring some the programming that has become a staple of summer in Burnside Park to the Festival by creating a community showcase featuring family activities, local performers and vendors, and opportunities to participate and play.
The Dean Hotel will host a Moon Market and Super Soul Dance Party to activate its parking lot with a daylong arts exhibition, craft market, and block party.
AS220, one of the anchor arts institutions located within the festival grounds, will program public art installations and performances in and around all of their buildings, and curate performances along Washington Street. Resident artists will open up their studios to the public and AS220 Industries will host an open house.