WHAT   “Providence Festivals: Past and Present”  Walking Tours
DATE     Saturday, June 8, 2019 and Sunday, June 9
TIME      11:00AM – 12:30PM
PLACE   444 Westminster St


With many contemporary cities offering multi-day conferences, festivals, and events, a new buzzword floating around in city planning and development is “festivalization,” or how a locale can support a short-term transformation on a large scale. Sometimes it works well (think SXSW) and sometimes it fails (like Fyre Festival). But what about Providence?
For the past five years, PVDFest has transformed the downtown area from regular urban use to creative backdrop for parades, concerts, art installations, and more, drawing over 50,000 people in to experience this transition. In this walking tour, we’ll look at how Providence changes from the normal to the extraordinary in contemporary times, but also how and when it happened in the past. We’ll also examine how historic buildings are used as artworks and experienced as backgrounds throughout the festival. Finally, the tour will consider the logistics of planning a weekend-long event that brings in thousands of people over multiple days


Jennifer M. Wilson is the Assistant Director of the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs at the Rhode Island Historical Society. She’s also worked at The Gamm Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, John Carter Brown Library, and Wheaton College (MA). Jenn graduated from Wheaton College (MA) with a degree in English and theatre arts. Having grown up in Pawtucket, she rediscovered the rich history and dynamic arts scene of Providence in her mid-twenties and has spent the past few years working in one of her favorite cities. She loves sharing her enthusiasm about the “Creative Capital” with visitors and natives alike, particularly while delivering walking tours. 
Simply put: Brendon Boucher is a polymath. He’s been a volunteer with the Rhode Island Historical Society for five years, giving tours of the John Brown House Museum as well as walking tours of the East Side through the lens of H.P. Lovecraft’s life and works. He’s currently a third-year apprentice electrician through the Local 99, but has also worked at Trinity Repertory Company and Arc of Blackstone Valley. In his free time, Brendon’s interests are wide and varied, including practicing and teaching martial arts, reading about early American history and politics, and discussing theoretical physics. He’s originally from Foster, RI, and holds a BFA in Studio Arts from URI. 
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