Category Archives: Newport Bridgefest

ACA Awards BridgeFest Scholarship to Local Musician

william chiltonThe Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County (ACA) announced that it has awarded its annual BridgeFest Scholarship to trumpet player William Chilton, a junior at the University of Rhode Island, majoring in music performance.

William began playing trumpet at a young age, inspired by his parents, both of whom played in military bands. A 2013 graduate Rogers High School, he currently serves in Rhode Island’s National Guard and has performed in the “Governor’s Own” 88th Army Band and at the world renowned Newport Jazz Festival.

“BridgeFest supports and celebrates our many local musicians, showcasing their extraordinary talents. William Chilton represents one of our rising stars, emblematic of the bright future Newport County’s music scene,” said Nancy McAuliffe, President of the Arts & Cultural Alliance. “We’re delighted to offer him our BridgeFest scholarship in support of his future musical studies.”

Thank You Letter from William Chilton

Dear Ms. McAuliffe,
Thank you for selecting me as the Arts and Cultural Alliance Scholarship recipient. The following paragraph is a little bit about myself. Please let me know if you would like any other information.

I began playing trumpet at a very young age, musically inspired by my father who was in the Navy Band and mother who was in the Army Band. We moved around with the military, but spent the majority of my life growing up in Newport. I graduated from Rogers High School in 2013 and I am currently a Junior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Music Performance (Jazz studies). I am dedicated to the performing arts and I enjoy inspiring others with the music I create. I am in the Rhode Island National Guard and serve in the “Governor’s Own” 88th Army Band. In addition, to performing numerous military related concerts, I have also performed at a variety of Jazz settings around Rhode Island and the city of Newport including the well-known Newport Jazz Festival. I have studied with numerous artists and attended master classes with modern jazz performers including Roger Ingram, Jon Faddis, and Anat Cohen. I study regularly with professor Mark Berney. I am looking forward to applying my skills in the world of music and creating new genres in the process. Music has always been a passion to me because it provides endless opportunities in which I wish to share with the world.

Thank you,
William Chilton

2015 Newport BridgeFest – It’s a Wrap!

The board of directors of the Arts & Cultural Alliance and BridgeFest Director Aaron Cote would like to thank all who came out to support and enjoy the musical talent showcased during the 7th Annual Newport BridgeFest. Thousands of music lovers enjoyed over 50 music performances and educational programs. We would also like to thank the businesses, organizations and volunteers that provided support in “bridging the gap” between the Newport Folk and Newport Jazz Festivals. Planning is already in progress for next year’s event.

Please Join Us at the 2015 BridgeFest
Opening Night Sunset Soiree

newport-sunsetSanford-Covell Villa Marina, 72 Washington Street, Newport
Date: Monday, July 27, 2015
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm (Rain or Shine)
Donation: $30 in advance, $40 at the door
Support the Arts: Make Your Reservation Online

Enjoy live music featuring ZanRicky and a dance performance by Rhode Islands ballet theatre as the sun sinks behind the twinkling Newport bridge at what the Boston Journal of August 9, 1870 called “…the most elegant house ever built in Newport.”

A silent auction, featuring a Yamaha acoustic guitar signed by Simon & Garfunkel, afternoon sail aboard a private sailing yacht on Narragansett Bay, one week at a Caribbean resort, harbor cruise for 46 people aboard Gansett Cruises, 4 day passes to Bodhi Spa, a stained glass panel by Harle Tinney, Hand-crafted necklace by Newport artist Lara — plus countless raffle prizes — will be offered. $5 single Raffle Ticket, $20 for 5 Raffle Tickets.

Wines, beers, and hors d’oeuvres from select Newport restaurants and caterers will be served out on the waterfront piazza all included in your admission, the proceeds of which support BridgeFest and our many local musicians.

For more details go to
Over 9 venues & 50 local musical artists. Click here for complete Calendar of Events

Parking is limited in the Point Neighborhood. If you do find a “resident only” spot, please leave a note on your dashboard that you are attending an event at the Villa Marina and you won’t be ticketed. Parking is also available at the Visitors Center. Enjoy a few hours free with a Newport resident parking sticker!

2015 BridgeFest – July 27-30 – Events Calendar

Newport BridgeFest: Celebrating Newport’s Musical Heritage
MONDAY July 27th – THURSDAY July 30th, 2015

Presented by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County, Newport BridgeFest is a local live music festival with a heavy educational component. In our 7th year, BridgeFest bridges the gap between the historic Newport Folk and Newport Jazz Festivals. BridgeFest looks to connect music and arts with the Newport community by presenting free or affordable concerts to the public.

Over 9 venues & 50 local musical artists. Click here for all the details…

Download Newport BridgeFest Printable Pocket Schedule

BridgeFest’s Opening Night Soiree

Bridgefest Celebrate Newports Musical HeritageMonday, July 28th, 2014
6:30pm – 8:30pm.
Sanford Covell Villa Marina
72 Washington Street, Newport

Our 6th Annual BridgeFest 2014 kicks off on Monday, July 28 – and you’re invited to The Arts & Cultural Alliance’s opening night “Soiree” at the beautiful Sanford Covell Villa Marina overlooking sail-filled Newport Harbor.

Savor the sunset over Pell Bridge while listening to jazz from bassist David Zinno and guitarist Jay Azzolina (Spyro Gyra). The event will also feature special guests from the art and music community.

Enjoy an open bar with wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres. Varied selection of Raffle items, the proceeds of which will benefit the Arts & Cultural Alliance and our local musicians. Go to BridgeFest’s website for more details.

Tickets are limited and only $25 per person.
Raffle tickets $5 online or $10 at the door.


On behalf of the Arts & Cultural Alliance, our local musical artists, our participating BridgeFest venues and our generous sponsors Corrigan Financial and 1540 AM WADK Thank you! We look forward to seeing you on July 28th for what promises to be a fun filled evening.

Jim McGrath Concert, Unveiling of William Heydt Painting and Book Signing

BridgeFest Salutes Newport’s Musical Heritage with a concert by Jim McGrath, Official BridgeFest Art Unveiling & Book Signing by William Heydt

Final William Heydt Official BridgeFest Art - Jim McGrathWednesday, July 23, 2014
5:30pm Reception, 6pm concert
Redwood Library, Newport
Price $20 (limited seats)
RSVP Required – Ph 401-847-0295 ext 112
Wine & Cheese Reception
Book included in ticket price

Known for his series, “Newportant People,” watercolorist William Heydt’s subject matter often focuses on people, their interests and environment. As the 2014 Official BridgeFest Artist, Mr. Heydt chose to Celebrate Newport’s Musical Heritage by honoring legendary local entertainer, singer & songwriter Jim McGrath! Active for decades, McGrath is known for his sea chanteys, ballads and other poetic songs. He has performed internationally, but can still be found in the heart of Newport. For more, visit

The painting will be on display in the Redwood Library from July 13 – 28 in preparation for this year’s festival. It is currently Mr. Heydt’s only available original work on the market, and is valued at $7500. For more on the artist & his work, visit

Radio personality Ryan Belmore of What’s Up Newp & 1540 AM WADK will introduce the guests. Tune in to 1540 Live weekdays from 4-5PM to hear about all of Newport’s live events.

Reservations are required, and seating is limited to 90. Please call the Redwood Reservation at 401-847-0295, ext. 112 to reserve your seat.

SPONSORS: 1540AM WADK Newport; Redwood Library & Athenaeum, What’s Up Newp, Newport Mercury

©Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County | PO Box 4334, Middletown, Rhode Island 02842
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