On July 5, PVDFest presented “Hope in the Ever-living Now,” a live virtual event featuring new works of poetry, prose, and creative writing for performance in response to Frederick Douglass’ ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’. The work has been performed countless times in the 169 years since its debut, often in the days following Independence Day celebrations, offering a contemplative counterpoint to lively barbecues and fireworks displays. Douglass, the famous abolitionist who freed himself from slavery, originally delivered his speech to the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852, a time during which the United States was embroiled in debates over slavery.

This program was sponsored and supported by PVDFest Ideas!, Providence Public Library, Providence Tourism, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading.

For more information on PVDFest Ideas!, please visit


John Igliozzi, Providence City Council President
Jorge O. Elorza, Mayor of Providence
April Brown, Co-Director, Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading Committee
Damont Combs
Africia Ben
Marlon Carey
Sylvia Ann Soares
Queen G
Christopher Johnson
Shaffany Piaget Terrell
Becci Davis
Vatic Kuumba


Elisa Garcia, Director/DP
Mike Levinsohn, Gaffer/Sound
Capri Kulio-Pulos, Camera Assistant
k. funmilayo aileru, Designer, title cards

Produced by The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and the Providence Public Library, in partnership with the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading Committee

Additional funding for this project was provided by the Providence Tourism Council and the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts.

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