I am Violet Sun, MA graduate in Cultural Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong—though I myself am actually from Beijing, mainland China. Over the course of this summer, I have gotten to know the lovely city of Providence, working as an intern at Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and staying at the Carriage House apartment in the 200+ year old Nightingale Brown House, right next door to the historic John Brown House.
Last June, I interviewed a former resident of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (or GTMO). In the oddly formal setting of the downstairs sitting room at the public humanities center, she shared memories of high school, friends and the close-knit community at the base. For her, GTMO epitomized the post-WWII all-American small town. It represented what is best about this country.
In his feedback on my final project for Digital Storytelling (AMST 2699) my teacher Tyler Denmead, PhD, wrote, “Your discovery of PowerPoint’s potential has obviously been transformative for you this semester.” Wow, that made me stop and think. “Transformative” is a very powerful word. Falling in love is transformative. Having a baby is transformative. Was PowerPoint really transforming me? And wouldn’t it be a little sad if it was?
Since its creation in 1848 as City Hall Park, Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence has undergone continuous, rapid, and significant change. It has served as a transportation hub for horses, carriages, trolleys, and buses. Buildings have been built up, torn down, abandoned and renovated. Audiences have watched Houdini perform feats of magic, John F. Kennedy speak, and the aerial performers of Bandaloop dance on the side of a building.
On Thursday, April 25, The Center for Public Humanities is co-sponsoring the 2013 Senator Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities, titled, Now is the Time!: Expanding Access to Arts Opportunities in the Creative Capital.
A panel conversation features experts from Hartford, the Bronx, and Boston, who will discuss how their respective initiatives have made great strides in redressing the decline of arts and humanities opportunities for urban children and young people.
What do Rhode Island’s official state bird, a Revolutionary War Battle, and kitschy 1970s comedian and game show stalwart Charles Nelson Reilly have in common? Their stories will be included on a new mobile smartphone application called Sakonnet Historical, developed through collaboration between the Tiverton Public Library, the Little Compton Historical Society, and students from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities.