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The driving force and later president of the Preservation Society of Newport County, Katherine Warren (1897-1976), loved to travel. It was through her many trips to France, as well as travels in Peru, Italy, Mexico, Egypt, China, and Japan, that influenced her about the value of historic preservation. She developed a singular vision to preserve history by preserving the buildings, homes, sites, and places where history had been made.

As author Alyssa Lozupone tells us in her enlightening 2015 biography, A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION: Katherine Warren and the Shaping of Modern Newport, Mrs. Warren “gained an appreciation of the power of history to attract the public.” She further shares Warren’s own rationales for visiting historic sites and places. “It’s just one of the things in the world that you do, you go and see what beautiful had happened before that can never be replaced.”  [Read a review of Alyssa Lozupone’s book at the end of this column.]

In Newport, we are fortunate to have had Katherine Warren’s experience, patience, and vision to help save and preserve so many one-of-a-kind homes, community buildings, mansions, churches, and public spaces, and then make them accessible to the public. As Mrs. Warren said in 1954, “Newport has oil in its backyard and its oil is its old buildings.”  Unlike non-renewable petroleum, Newport’s buildings are a unique man-made resource that will produce continuing dividends in education, tourism, travel, and enterprise for centuries to come.

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Tour Guides & Greeters are often the first people our millions of visitors encounter when they arrive here. Our visitors depend on you for information and Newport depends on you and your professional knowledge to present our city and its cultural attractions, food and lodging, and a wide variety of activities to people from around the world. Learn as much as you can about our city and know about upcoming events, concerts, and schedules of our many museums, attractions, restaurants, and historic sites.

For more information, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – WARREN’S LEGACY & YOU

Keep the vision of Newport preservationist Katherine Warren in mind this week as you acknowledge and embrace the important role you contribute to every visitor’s experience in the City-by-the-Sea. We are all beneficiaries of Katherine Warren who looked at Newport and envisioned what it could be and saw the contribution it could make to its economic life. You are part of a proud legacy.

TOURISM JOBS – JOB FAIRS & RECRUITING ARE IN SEASON

 

The hiring season is heating up. Plan now to secure a job in the growing visitor and tourism business in our wonderful city. Several big job fairs are planned for the coming six weeks or so. There is some expansion happening among the various tour operators. There may be a few new tours launched. There are also some major events coming to Newport in the next few months that will need additional people to support all the visitors.  Job openings include tour guides, greeters, boat crew, ticket sales, and a variety of support staff.

  • Gansett Cruises is looking for ticket booth sales person (Full or Part-time) and Part-time Server/Crew for their Harbor Tour Boat in Newport Harbor.  Work is seasonal, May-October. Email for more details: info@gansettcruises.com
  • Rhode Island Red Food Tours is seeking a part-time Food Tour Guide. $12-$15/hour. Learn more about the company at rhodeislandredfoodtours.com. Job details at whatsupnewp.com/whos-hiring-100-businesses-are-right-now-in-and-around-newport/
  • Historic New England seeks part-time seasonal tour guides for two of its properties: Watson Farm in Jamestown, RI; and Casey Farm in Saunderstown, RI. Details and job requirements are available at www.historicnewengland.org
  • Ghost Tours of Newport is hiring a tour guide for its popular walking tour. Learn more at ghostsofnewport.com.
  • National Museum of American Illustration seeks a part-time summer Art Museum Intern; May-September, 2018. Applicants should apply through Indeed.com.
  • The Preservation Society of Newport County has several job openings, including Associate Tour Guide (part-time), Special Events Attendant (part-time), Admissions Associate-Ticket Sales (part-time), as well as Sales Associates in the museum shops.  If you missed their February Job Fair, check with them directly (newportmansions.org) for current information about job openings for the upcoming season.
  • Newport Hospitality is looking for greeters and a variety of support staff to help host the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race Newport event that begins May 8th. For more information, call 401/848-2264.

REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.

 

NEWPORT’S BIGGEST HIRING EVENT: Make a note to attend the Newport County Chamber Of Commerce Annual Expo & Job Fair 2018 on March 20th.  Meanwhile, be open to the temporary jobs available this month and next that may lead to a fuller schedule of work.  Watch for new job postings at www.WhatsUpNewp.com  website and at www.Facebook.com/NewportTourGuidesandGreeters.  

 

SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS THIS MONTH

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8 – HIDDEN PRESENCE: GOD’S LITTLE ACRE & BEYOND

Historian & author Glenn Knoblock will discuss some of the African American historic burial grounds and cemeteries in the region and in particular, God’s Little Acre in Newport.  This lecture will take place at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport; 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm. $5 per person; $1 for members, active & retired military personnel with ID. Please RSVP online at NewportHistory.org or call 401/841-8770.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9 – MUSEUM OF NEWPORT IRISH HISTORY OPENINGS

The Museum of Newport Irish History [newportirishhistory.org] will offer special opening hours (Noon to 6 pm) for six days during Irish Heritage Month in March, beginning on Friday, March 9th.  The museum at 648 Lower Thames Street in Newport will be open March 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18.  The regular season starts with a grand re-opening Memorial Day Weekend, beginning on Saturday, May 26th.  Learn here about Irish immigration to Newport County and the key aspects of Irish influence and contributions to life in Newport.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – THE NATURAL WORLD OF WINNIE-THE-POOH

Kathryn Aalto, author, and landscape architect will discuss her book and share her thoughts on the intersection of nature and culture in Winnie-the-Pooh. 6 pm at The Elms. Members: $10/General Public $15. Advance reservations required at newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 11 AM

At 11 am, the 62nd Annual Newport Rhode Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off in front of Newport City Hall on Broadway.  There will numerous events and activities at Newport’s many bars and restaurants all along the parade route and elsewhere in the city.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – EXPO & JOB FAIR – 4 PM – 7 PM

NEWPORT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL EXPO & JOB FAIR 2018. Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. One Goat Island, Newport, RI 02840. Info: 401/847-1600

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – MARCH MARKETING MEETING – DISCOVER NEWPORT

 

Discover Newport’s monthly Marketing Meeting will be held at Belle Mer’s Salon at 2 Goat Island at 11 am. {Enter through the main gates and park on the left side of the parking lot.) This monthly gathering features a presentation. The March focus is “2018 Wedding Trends & Buying Behaviors.” The event is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about current marketing activities to promote Newport.  Info: discovernewport.org.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 – DEVELOPING WALKING TOURS 101

 

RI Historical Society Assistant Director of Education Jennifer Wilson will give a presentation on developing and implementing historical walking tours. She’ll provide a foundation on how to get started as well as tips for being a tour leader. There will be an opportunity to network and chat with colleagues in the history, heritage, and cultural sector. Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided. Free. 9:30 am – 11:30 am at Aldrich House, 110 Benevolent Street, Providence. Please register to attend at rhodi@rihs.org or call 401/331-8575, x136.

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 23 – “MYTH, MEMORY, HISTORY AND HERITAGE”

 

On Friday, March 23, 2018, 10am-12pm, join the Newport Historical Society and the Rhode Island Historical Society in a joint program at Newport’s Colony House, Washington Square, Newport, RI, for “Myth, Memory, History and Heritage,” a panel of public historians.

SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – Exhibit Opening

 

Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport.  Opening day: March 24.  A new exhibition at Rosecliff.  Open daily through November 4th. 9 am until 5 pm. Additional information available at newportmansions.org

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – Rough Point Re-Opens

 

The Newport Restoration Foundation’s (NRF) historic Rough Point mansion will re-open on Thursday, April 5th for Guided Tours. The Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org) will be: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,”  and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” a collaboration between NRF and David Webb New York, jewelry designer to Duke and many other prominent figures from 1948 to the present.”  Rough Point will be open for tours through November 11th. Don’t miss this.  

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 12 – MUSICAL PIONEERS: HAYDN, BACEWICZ AND GEORGE WALKER

 

A program of chamber works will be presented by the Newport String Project on April 12th at 7 pm at Old Colony House (82 Touro Street, Newport). Also hosted by the Newport Historical Society. Admission by donation. Info: newportstringproject.org

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 14- SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018 – NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL

 

This is the 5th Annual Newport Daffodil Days Festival that is the highlight of Newport’s Spring season. Visitors and residents will thrill to the 866,500 daffodils blooming all over the city. A multitude of events (Visit: www.newportdaffydays.com for the full schedule and times) and fun activities will celebrate all things daffodil and raise money to buy and plant more daffodils – the goal is ONE MILLION DAFFODILS!  So, Get Daffy and join the fun. Tell all your guests and visitors, too! Check for updates & weather at www.facebook.com/Newportdaffydays/.

 

MONDAY, APRIL 16 – A DANDY SPRING FLING – 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

 

This is the classic Spring Fling celebration with hors d-oeuvres, live music and a complimentary toast to Mother Nature while overlooking the hundred of daffodils set against Easton’s Bay at the award-winning Chanler at Cliff Walk (117 Memorial Blvd, Newport). $30 donation. Tickets at Newportdaffydays.com. All proceeds support Daffodillion’s free bulb give-away in October. Don’t miss this event!

 

TUESDAY, MAY 8 – SUNDAY, MAY 20 – VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT

 

Tell your guests and visitors to get ready for the arrival of the Volvo Ocean race fleet, arriving in Newport this month on one leg of their round-the-world sailing race. The opening of the Race Village at Fort Adams is Tuesday, May 8th at 4 pm. Get updated information at www.volvooceanracenewport.com

 

STILL TIME TO TAKE THESE SPECIAL TOURS

Complete your knowledge of the Newport Mansions® and take the two special tours before the busy Spring and Summer seasons arrive.   The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” begins every hour on the half hour from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and are one hour in length. At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” is offered at 10:30 am, 12 noon, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm.  The tour is one hour.

COMING SUMMER EVENTS: JUNE, JULY & AUGUST

 

Share these dates and events with your guests and visitors. Sell and promote our future activities and invite everyone to return here again and again.

 

THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW COTTAGES SMART & SMALL – JUNE 22-24

 

The annual flower show adds the current trend of tiny homes and combines them both as livable spaces, functional & beautiful, and the prettiest plants and flowers ever.  Rosecliff. Information & tickets: NewportFlowerShow.org

 

NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL – JULY 4-22, 2018

This annual music festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. A number of special guests and new experiences for the audiences will be included among the festival’s summer season. Performance sites include The Breakers and the Newport Art Museum. More information, schedules, and tickets are available at newportmusic.org. Box Office: 401/849-0700.

THE NEWPORT SHOW ∙ JULY 28-29, 2018

The annual Newport Antiques Show has a new name this year, The Newport Show. This luxury show will, as it has since 2007, feature antique furniture, fine art, jewelry, and unique vintage items from more than 40 dealers.  Watch for more details about this show in the coming months. The Newport Show will again be held at the St. George’s School Ice Rink, 375 Purgatory Road, Middletown, RI, and will run July 28 and 29, 2018. Updates at www.TheNewportShow.com.  Proceeds benefit the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.

WEEKEND OF COACHING – AUGUST 16-19, 2018

Every three years, aficionados of horse-drawn 19th century road coaches gather in Newport for a big summer Weekend of Coaching. This year marks the third year since the last event. During the weekend of August 16-19, 2018 the Preservation Society of Newport County will host the biggest Weekend of Coaching ever.  The weekend will feature driving exhibitions, viewing of the historic coaches as they drive around the streets of Newport, and tickets to a formal dinner dance at the Breakers on Saturday, August 18th. The weekend is led by Honorary Chair Linda Lindh with co-chairs Kenneth Lindh and Beverly Little. Ted Eayrs is the Chair of Coaching.  Event updates and ticket information is available at www.newportmansions.org/events/a-weekend-of-coaching

PREVIEW OF AUTUMN IN NEWPORT

 

NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS – SEPTEMBER 7-9

 

Here’s one of Newport’s great events to share with your guests to encourage them to return here after the busy summer season. The September Newport Secret Garden Tours will offer ten incredible private gardens for the public to visit and enjoy. This self-guided tour program will raise funds for the Art Education programs in the island’s public schools. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.secretgardens.org for a discounted rate of $20.  

 

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

 

The very best leaders, guides, and managers of historic sites, mansions, and tour companies read constantly to know the most about the places they work and to learn the latest research about the history, artwork, and artifacts of the places they talk about to their guests. Here is an important Newport book to read, learn from, and share.

 

A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION: Katherine Warren and the Shaping of Modern Newport. By Alyssa Lozupone. Carlisle, MA: Commonwealth Editions, Applewood Books, 2015. Some of the greatest and impactful things that move the world forward only happen when the exact right person arrives at the precise time with the perfect set of skills, experiences, and curiosity, and sees something no one else sees and has the passion and perseverance to make their vision a reality in spite of all the odds against their success. Katherine Urquhart, a Californian by birth, took semiannual trips to New Orleans to visit an aunt, and later, with her sister, spent teenage summers at a cousin’s home in Newport, and there met her future husband, George Henry Warren, Jr.  Travel to France with the American Red Cross in WWI opened her eyes to the power of historic sites and buildings to attract tourists. Further travels took her to China, Egypt, Japan, and India. She and her husband collected contemporary and modernist art and she was involved with the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence). For all her cultural sensitivities, it was news of a threat to the historic Hunter House (54 Washington Street, Newport) that inspired the creation of a local group to preserve historic buildings and places that led to the incorporation of the Preservation Society of Newport County on August 2, 1945. The organization quickly moved to preserve and save many notable mansions in the city. All was not easy and the group faced many challenges from residents and those who were pushing urban renewal at the expense of the city’s large number of historical homes, municipal buildings, streetscapes, neighborhoods, and historic sites. Katherine Warren persevered in spite of these challenges by following her own preservation philosophy. She was a preservationist, but she also recognized the need to emphasize “community engagement, divergence from the museum model, incorporation of historic resources into city planning, and the use of preservation as a tool for economic growth as well as overall community revitalization.” Before the middle of the 20th century, Warren had already envisioned and anticipated modern 21st century preservation practices.  She went on to help save numerous historic properties and artifacts and helped guide the creation of other organizations, including the Newport Restoration Society.  Awards and other recognitions followed and her singular legacy continues to this day.

The full scope, reach, and influence of Katherine Warren cannot be adequately reported in a short book review. But for everyone who works in Newport tourism, travel, tour guiding, museum management, and marketing, this book is a must-read to better understand how we arrived where we are today and how close we came to losing so many of the city’s quintessential historic treasures. Katherine Warren’s vision is now ours to care for and preserve for future generations. Read Alyssa Lozupone’s A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION to learn the exciting details about Warren’s amazing life.    

ONLINE RESOURCE:  ART HISTORY & ME

ART HISTORY & ME is a relatively new (2017) art blog by self-proclaimed art aficionado Kelly Fhon. She describes her blog as: “Art History & Me documents Kelly’s ever-evolving relationship with art and the art world by way of local exhibitions, museums and places that she travels to.” Kelly’s blog has a nice style, reflects a passion for what she reviews, and is accompanied by beautiful iPhone8 photographs of the artwork in the museums and other places she has visited. Kelly is a part-time Associate Tour Guide at the Preservation Society of Newport County and is training as a Weekend Guide with the Museum of Fine Art Boston.

Her website also features a calendar list of current art exhibitions in New England. A book review is a new addition to the site. Her first book review – she wants to read one book a month – is The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. A short video featuring the book’s author is included.

This is an entertaining site. If you like art, visit an occasional museum, wonder what others think of the exhibits, and appreciate new information, you’ll enjoy following Kelly’s blog.

ART HISTORY & ME is posted at www.facebook.com/arthistoryandme/ and is also published on the writer’s dedicated website: https://www.kellydarline.com.  

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PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).

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