SPLASH February 2015

Sure, February is quiet outdoors, but a whole lot is shakin’ indoors. While artists quietly toil in their studios, Newport County’s museums and theaters are buzzing. It’s winter school break, so our many arts institutions and galleries are featuring tons of hands-on arts activities for children. Of course, Newport’s Winter Festival always features numerous arts activities, including concerts, ice and sand sculpting and, new this year, a stained glass demonstration. So bundle up – and let’s go fill up. On art, that is.


Brighten up your Night!
Ballard Park Illuminate
Enjoy an evening stroll through the quarry meadow of Ballard Park when it is transformed into a magnificent winter garden with thousands of lights sparkling in a series of unique displays.
This free event features “candle lit” luminaries that line the trail into the quarry that is accessed at the Hazard Road entrance of the park. Event goers are advised to wear appropriate clothing and shoes.
The ACA congratulates the Friends of Ballard Park on their 10th Anniversary!
DATES: Thursday February 19th, 20th & 21st
TIME: 6-9pm each night
There’s still time to create your own display! Click for their CALL FOR ENTRIES form here.


This Month’s Arts Around the Fire to feature those “Wall Mural Folks”
arts around the fireOur February edition of Arts Around the Fire welcomes Jessica Walsh and Ben Ellcome to the Clarke Cooke House to tell us about an exciting new project that will employ the arts as a means of improving the health of our neighborhoods, an initiative of the RI Dept. of Health. Ben and Jessica and the ACA were the prime movers behind the Wall Mural Project at Hunter Park in Newport this past summer.
How does access to the arts affect your well-being? Join us in this vital conversation.
Arts Around the Fire is an opportunity for artists, writers, performers and arts patrons to meet colleagues in the Newport County cultural community to hear new ideas and the good work being done in the arts. Arts Around the Fire features a cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres donated by the Clarke Cooke House and an informal atmosphere where artists and art lovers can connect. The Alliance thanks the Cooke House for their hospitality.
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 18th. 6-7:30pm
PLACE: Clarke Cooke House, Bannister’s Wharf, Newport
Visit The Famed NATIONAL GALLERY at the Jane Pickens Theatre
National Gallery film at Jane PickensThe Arts & Cultural Alliance is partnering with the Newport Art Museum and other Newport arts organizations for a screening of the award winning film “NATIONAL GALLERY.” All proceeds will benefit the museum studies program for High School Students (MUSE) at the Newport Art Museum.
Film Description: London’s National Gallery, one of the world’s foremost art institutions, is itself portrayed as a brilliant work of art. Oscar winning filmmaker Frederick Wiseman listens raptly as a panoply of docents decode the great canvases of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Turner; he visits with the museum’s restorers as they use magnifying glasses, tiny eye-droppers, scalpels, and Q-tips to repair an infinitesimal chip; But most of all, we experience the joy of spending time with the aforementioned masters as well as Vermeer and Caravaggio, Titian and Velázquez, Pissarro and Rubens, and listen to the connoisseurs who discourse upon the aesthetic, historical, religious and psychological underpinnings of these masterpieces.
NATIONAL GALLERY is the portrait of a place, its way of working and relations with the world, its staff and public, and its paintings. This is a film that every artist and museum visitor must see.
DATE & TIME: Monday, April 13th. 6pm screening. Live music 5:30-6pm cocktail reception and during intermission
ADMISSION: $12.50. Special student price of $10.00
Click Here for Tickets
The ACA wishes to thank The Newport Restoration Foundation, Redwood Library, Tennis Hall of Fame, William Vareika Fine Arts, Newport Art Museum, and The Preservation Society of Newport County for their generous sponsorship of the film.

“Beast on the Moon” at the Casino Theater
Presented by Salve Regina’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, “Beast on the Moon” follows the story of 19-year-old Aram Tomasian and his 15-year-old mail-order bride, Seta, both recent immigrants and survivors of the Armenian Genocide, as they try to create a new life for themselves in America after the tragic murder of their families. Theirs is a universal story of hope, healing, redemption, and ultimately, love.
DATES: February 12th-15th, 2015
LOCATION: Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody St. Newport, RI
SHOW TIMES: 8pm on Feb. 12-14, with 2pm on Feb. 14 & 15
TICKET INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS: Contact the Box Office at (401) 341-2250 or
Community Barn Dance – Here we go!
Barn DanceThe Newport String Project, Emmanuel Church and Common Fence Music are bringing an old-time barn dance to Newport and everyone is welcome. Learn what country folks did for fun back in the good old days, when families, friends and neighbors set their work aside and gathered to kick up their heels. These simple old-time dances are fun for all ages. No partner or experience necessary.
Champion fiddler and co-director of the Newport String Project, EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and guitarist Tom Perrotti will provide the toe-tappin’ music. And master caller Jim Hicks is coming all the way from Illinois to teach the dances and make sure everyone has a good time.
DATE & TIME: February 15th. 2pm
PLACE: Emmanuel Church, 40 Dearborn Street, Newport
Admission is by donation.
Enjoy Winter Festival’s Food & Fun
Newport Winter FestivalThe 27th Annual Festival offers a unique winter experience combining art, food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. Choose from over 150 different events, including the Children’s Fair, Chili Cook-Off, and concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitude; the Eagles tribute band, Another Tequila Sunrise; and Beatlemania.
DATES: February 12th-22nd
LOCATIONS: Throughout Newport County
For more information click here
• The Island Moving Company will present two performances of “Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig” at 2pm and 3pm on Sunday, February 15, 2015 at the Island Moving Co. studios at 3 Charles Street in Newport. Tickets are $5 for one adult and child; $4 with a Winter Festival bracelet.
Stained glass window• Learn to appreciate the art of stained glass windows with Harle Tinney, formerly of St. Luke Studio of Providence and Newport. Ms. Tinney will present examples of Stained Glass in Newport County. From design to the finished window, participants will actually help draw the pattern, cut the glass, and work with lead and solder. The finished creation will belong to the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County to display at future events.
Details: 3:00pm – 5:00pm Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 16, 2015 at the former location of the Montessori School, 82 Valley Road in Middletown, RI. Adults $20/$15 w/bracelet, Young Adults(12-17) $15/$10 w/bracelet. Online reservations only, space limited, email (ACA members $10)
February Newport Gallery Night This Thursday
newport art galleriesLove is in the air! As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches and the winter weather gives you a chill, get out of the cold and take advantage of Newport’s wonderful art galleries and the fabulous events they have to offer – maybe even find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift while you’re there. Newport Gallery Night is the perfect excuse for a night out and treat your loved one to a unique piece of jewelry or artwork.
A highlight of this February’s Newport Gallery Night is the Spring Bull Gallery’s 23rd Annual “Fakes and Forgeries” exhibit displaying the work of artists who learned and studied the techniques used by old and modern masters to create their own serious “copies” or tongue-in-cheek interpretations of known work.
16 restaurants are participating featuring a special Newport Gallery Night restaurant discount coupon. Free parking is available at the Gateway Visitors Center and uptown at the Newport Art Museum.
DATE: Thursday, February 12th
TIME: 5pm to 8pm
For more information about Newport Gallery Night and the Newport Gallery Organization, visit
Welcome Award Winning Organist Prince Nyatanga
Organist Prince NyatangaThe music of the evening will be offered by organist Prince Nyatanga. A native of Zimbabwe, Prince began his musical education at the famed Peterhouse School. He is a member of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Royal College of Organists England, Royal Schools of Church Music and a former member of the Manhattan Choral Ensemble.
More recently, Prince won first prize in the nation-wide organ competition of the National Association of Negro Musicians, the oldest organization for the advancement of African American music and musicians.
Prince’s organ music will be complimented by several choral selections, sung by a cappella choral octet.
This is no charge for the concert. Donations to St. Mary’s music program gladly accepted.
DATE: Friday, February 20th
TIME: 7pm
LOCATION: St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Corner of Memorial and Spring, Newport
Reading about February’s upcoming arts events had me marking virtually every day of my calendar with an event to either attend or participate in. Who says February is a quiet month?! Hope to see you out and about.
Stay warm – and art-full
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