Recycling can be daunting. While you might fully commit to going green, if your neighbors aren’t doing anything to contribute, it can feel like a wasted effort. Mayor Taveras wants to show us that if we all recycle, we can see some tangible benefits – BBQ benefits, to be precise, and to do it he launched the Neighbhorhood Recycling Challenge. The Providence neighborhood that increases its recycling rate the most between now and September 7 will win a community barbecue with the mayor. Taveras will also bestow upon the victorious district five new trees – a green reward for the greenest community.
Mayor Taveras says that increased recycling saves the city money – as much as $250,000 if residents commit to the task – and those are funds that the city desperately needs. So if BBQ wings, trees or a cleaner environment are not your thing, maybe the promise of keeping property taxes down for another year will be enough to ensure your participation.
Calling all illustration, comic and arts and crafts lovers: ICON7 is bringing the Illustration Conference to Providence, June 13-16. This non-profit organization creates community in the illustration and design professions through the four-day conference, which will include guest speakers, workshops, parties and even a soccer match at various locations around the city. But if you can’t commit to the conference, there will be two special events held on Friday, June 15. First, Lynda Barry, creator of the long-running, influential comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, will be holding the Main Stage Keynote 5:30-6:30pm at The VETS Theater. Tickets are $25. Immediately after, the conference is hosting the Rhode Show Bazaar at the Symphony Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel, 6:30-10pm, presenting a group of over 60 artists in a portfolio showcase and marketplace. Illustrated products will be for sale by the artists themselves and illustrators Chris Buzelli and Jessica Hische will be signing free large-format ICON7 posters from 7-8pm. Both events are open to the general public and the Rhode Show Bazaar Marketplace is free.
Adversity does not have to stand in the way of achievement. Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education (RISE) is a Providence based non-profit organization dedicated for the last 15 years to supporting, mentoring, and sponsoring children with family histories of incarceration.
On Monday, June 11, RISE will honor select students with its 2nd Annual Awards Dinner & Recognition ceremony hosted by Brown University and the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association. Family members, volunteer mentors, and donors will gather at the Alumnae Hall Auditorium, at Brown’s Pembroke campus, to celebrate the success of nineteen exceptional students. This includes the Inspirational Student of the Year.
Eric Shorter, Managing Associate at Next Street in Boston, MA will address the attendees as a keynote speaker for the event. Mr. Shorter plans to use his personal experiences, which have made similar barriers to success the RISE youth face, to prove hard work and commitment to education is key to success.
Long time supporters like The Collette Foundation have made RISE and its activities possible. Youth who receive a scholarship from RISE have the opportunity to attend a private or parochial high school in Rhode Island. The program is currently making a difference in 49 students’ lives. Ninety percent of the program’s high school graduates have plans to enter college.
This morning at 8am sharp I walked into lobby of the Gamm Theatre to find an interesting mix of people chatting, smiling, drinking coffee and eating breakfast pastries. I pushed them all out of my way and ran straight for the coffee urn. After a bit of networking and socializing, we moved into the theatre where we filled the seats in preparation for a panel discussion, for which the topic was “Being Creative and Thinking Outside the Box.”
The panel consisted of Tony Estrella (Artistic Director of the Gamm), Jason Yoon (Executive Director of New Urban Arts) and Bronwyn Dannenfelser (Director of Development for WaterFire). The discussion was facilitated by Mary-Kim Arnold, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. There was so much brain power up on that stage that I sat in the second row to avoid injury in case the set exploded.
Art is a vital part of creating a healthy neighborhood in which people will want to live, but Bronwyn spoke the truth: “We need boots on the ground.” Volunteer at a Waterfire; catch 1984 at the Gamm; donate supplies to after-school arts programs that are helping our teens get prepared for college. The ever-articulate Tony borrowed from an Oppenheim poem — “Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses!”
United Way of Rhode Island’s Young Leaders Circle (YLC) invites all forward-thinking individuals to learn from and connect with government, business and nonprofit leaders. Recent guest speakers include Mayor Angel Taveras and PC Friars coach Ed Cooley. Discussion topics range in discipline and have tackled such subject matter as “Five Rules for Achieving Greater Work-Life Balance” and “Empowering Others to Lead.”
To learn more about upcoming YLC events, check out their website.
This Sunday, after you've given most of your Saturday over to margaritas and mint juleps, make up for it by getting out on the Boulevard to promote healthy lifestyles. Shape Up RI and the India Association of RI are hosting their annual 5k walk/run on Blackstone Boulevard on May 6 at 1pm. The event goes off rain or shine, so gather at Lippitt Park, where Blackstone meets Hope Street, to register. The first 100 people to do so will receive free Shape Up RI pedometers. There will also be fresh fruit, healthy snacks and, of course, plenty of water. Check Shape Up RI's website for more info.
Who can forget all the buzz last summer regarding a movie being filmed in our area starring powerhouse celebrities Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton? The time has finally come to see our beloved state and its beautiful scenery up on the big screen in acclaimed director Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. The film is set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965 and tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact and run away together in the wilderness. You may have heard rumors of Bruce Willis and Bill Murray spottings at Tiverton’s Standish Boatyard. (The boatyard was just one of the many staging areas for the film.) The Hollywood stars were said to have been very friendly and down to earth. Be sure to look for the much-anticipated motion picture, set to premiere as the opening film of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival on May 16. It’s scheduled for an American release on May 25.
Jennfier Luxmoore of Sin Desserts – sort of like Providence’s version of Charm City Cakes from Food Network fame – has won our hearts over the years by making creative, delicious sweets like oatmeal cream pies with maple buttercream and bacon or chili pepper peanut butter cookies – and then periodically surprising us with a tray of them at our office. However, up until now, her business was almost exclusively special order out of her kitchen space on Allens Avenue. Well, she’s finally opened a proper retail/ café space on the street level of the Conley’s Wharf building (200 Allens Ave.) where she’ll be open daily selling more than just the custom cakes on which she made her reputation. The new café features coffee, cupcakes and “cupcake shots” (mini-cupcakes), bacon and cheddar scones and more.
Red Sox Nation, it’s time we have a talk. This isn’t going to be easy, because I come to you not as one of your own, but as The Enemy: a Yankees fan, a loyal subject of the “Evil Empire.” But see, that’s part of the problem. I’m not The Enemy. I’m just a baseball fan. It’s only when you insist on viewing baseball as a cataclysmic battle between two diametrically opposed forces that I become “The Enemy.” And that, my Dustin Pedroia-loving friends is precisely the point. (For the record, I quite like Dustin Pedroia and have nothing but respect for him. Ditto for former closer Jonathan Papelbon, Trot Nixon, Gator and any number of Red Sox gamers throughout the years. That being said, Youk is kind of a douche.) A lot of you take this just a bit too seriously. It’s time to grow up and learn to enjoy baseball for the game that it is.
As I write this, your beloved Sawks are dead last in the AL East, having just been thumped 18-3 by the Texas Rangers – and at home, no less. Boston’s 4-7 start, following on the heels of last September’s epic collapse, has again turned Red Sox Nation into a circular firing squad. There’s so much finger pointing, gnashing of teeth and throwing of tantrums that the casual observer could be forgiven for thinking something important was actually at stake. The airwaves of WEEI are brimming over with hysterical emotion as caller after caller throws in his two cents worth of outrage and armchair coaching. Doomsday has been predicted, the honor and integrity of the ownership have been questioned, and first-year manager Bobby Valentine has been called a “cockaroach” (sic). It’s only April.
Part of the problem is that Red Sox Nation spent generations as a downtrodden baseball backwater, a land of disappointment, broken dreams and epic collapses where defeat was constantly being snatched from the jaws of victory. Those days are over, but …
Imagine our surprise when these sweet cupcakes arrived at our office this morning. Clearly, someone at the newly renamed Big Blue Bug Solutions, formerly New England Pest Control, knows that the best way to get our attention is with food. It seems like the name change was inevitable, given the fact that their mascot, the famed "big blue bug" Nibbles Woodaway, is one of the best-known and most iconic corporate symbols in New England. We wish them luck with the name change, and thanks for the sweet treat (from the also iconic Wrights Dairy Farm, no less).
This week, Roger Williams Park Zoo debuted a new program: animal feedings. Small groups can actually go inside the giraffe paddock to get up close and personal with the Zoo’s three giraffes: Sukari, Amber and Jaffa Prince. Our executive editor, Julie Tremaine, was the first non-employee to try out the program (and to get drooled on by a giraffe).