Organized by the City of Pawtucket and its Department of Planning and Redevelopment; leading cultural and service organizations; as well as community volunteers, the Pawtucket Arts Festival celebrates a legacy of creativity and innovation that dates back to 1790, when a young textile wizard from England, Samuel Slater, made the Blackstone River Valley and the City of Pawtucket the Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and the place where innovation starts.
With more than two centuries of story to showcase, the Pawtucket Arts Festival turns the spotlight on the citys contemporary urban campus of restored mills and commercial spaces that now houses visual arts and recording studios, galleries, fabricators, and performing arts spaces, such as the Gamm Theatre.
On September 6, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00, p.m., at the Grounds of historic Slater Mill Museum, the Pawtucket Arts Festival invites fans of food and fun to the Blackstone River Party (Taste of the Valley), presented by Schofield Printing. Food and dessert samplings from some of Pawtuckets, and the surrounding communities, finest restaurants will be available from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., along with a cash bar. Beverage Sponsors are Abita Beer and Win Resources. Slippery Sneakers Zydeco Band heats up the dance floor under the tent from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, national performing artists, play music from 8:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. The event is held rain or shine.
Tickets for the Blackstone River Party/Taste of the Valley will be sold at the Citys Visitor Center, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860. $10 admission fee for all events. Children under 12-free admission. For more information, call 1-800-454-2882.
During the Pawtucket Arts Festival, the performing arts share the stage with the visual arts and fine craft at Arts Marketplace: Pawtucket and XOS-Exchange Street Open Studios. The curtain is raised on theatre and classical music for performances of the RI Philharmonic, Aurea, and Opera Providence and The Gamm Theatre. The Pawtucket Film Festival screens new films, Rocktucket presents cutting edge music, and reviewers correctly apply the word innovative, as well earned praise for Pawtuckets performing and visual arts scene.
Traditional, international, and community arts appeal to both seasoned art lovers and young families during the month of September in Pawtucket. The Dragon Boat Races and Taiwan Day Festival, presented by Schofield Printing, are among the first weekends events, and folk music will fill the air during the Labor & Ethnic Heritage Festival at Slater Mill and at the Stone Soup Sampler, hosted in Stone Soups Coffeehouse home at St. Pauls Church, later in the month.
Art lovers of every age greet more than 100 artists and artisans at the Slater Park Fall Fest, which also presents a highlight of the festival performance by the RI Philharmonic Orchestra sponsored by The Pawtucket Teachers' Alliance. An exciting addition for Fall Fest 2013 is a performance by the Cowsills, national music heroes with hometown Rhode Island roots, sponsored by Bristol County Savings Bank.
The Boys and Girls Club returns to share in the spotlight with their popular Day for Kids and an art installation at Slater Mill Museum's In-OVATION Festival, featuring a 14 foot replica of an 18th century Spanish ship created by the Club's young artists.
New events this year include Food Trucks on the Blackstone, offering a first weekend food fair near City Hall. The Pirates of Penzance offered by Opera Providence at the Visitor Center joins two plays at the Gamm Theatre by British playwright Caryl Churchill, A Number and Far Away. In-OVATION Festival at Slater Mill brings Duke Robillard to the stage in a lineup of performers and ensembles that spotlights, new artists or old friends bringing their music to new places.
The British theme continues in the final weekend when Aurea combines the elegance of classical music and the power of poetry on a stage perfectly set in St Pauls Church on Park Place. Their program "Illuminations" weaves the music of Britten, Purcell, and Bridge with the verse of Auden, Woolf, Spender, and Isherwood. The art of film offers a Festival grand finale as the Pawtucket Film Festival joins Aurea in making the Pawtucket Arts Festival 2013 final bow as September comes to a close.
The Pawtucket Arts Festival regional partnerships are led by the City of Central Falls Bright Future Festival, which showcases Jenks Park and the rich cultural tapestry of Rhode Islands smallest gem of a city. Other partner events include the Pawtucket Martial Arts Festival, Unforgettable September Music at Forget-Me-Not Gallery sponsored by the Samaritans of Rhode Island, and An Evening with Steve Smith and the Nakeds, RI Music Hall of Fame Inductees, hosted by the Pawtucket Fireworks Committee.
The Pawtucket Arts Festival is funded by strong support from the local business community and from grants from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. These grants support projects in the arts as well as the work of arts and cultural organizations that contribute to Rhode Island's creative economy.
For more information about these and other Pawtucket Arts Festival and PAF partner events, visit www.pawtucketartsfestival.org