Newport Tour Guides & Greeters News #64: Spring begins

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is over, but the celebrating continues as Spring has finally arrived and there is a hint of warmer weather to come. It is a season that seems to produce in each of us a measure of optimism and hope. The winter snows and biting cold winds may not be completely behind us, but the worst is certainly over for now.  I hope you are feeling more confident about your future as April and the Summer of 2019 near.

ALSO: Remember that March’s Newport Irish Heritage Month continues!  More activities, tours, events, and food are some of the many offers for our visitors and guests during this most Irish of seasons in Newport.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Spring 2019!

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: FRIENDLINESS IS MOST IMPORTANT

The Number One Personal Quality for successful tour guides is FRIENDLINESS. Apart from a passion for people, this is the most valuable asset you can bring to your work as a tour guide or greeter. Your sociability, warmth, and positive attitude toward visitors, co-workers, and supervisors will set the tone for your success in this work.

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NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

EXCELLENCE: ABOVE AND BEYOND

Excellence…can be obtained if you:

…care more than others think is wise;

…risk more than others think is safe;

…dream more than others think is practical;

…expect more than others think is possible.

-K. Sriram

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CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS IN MARCH – NEWPORT FOODIES WINTER STROLL – 5:30 PM

Newport Foodies will offer a Winter Stroll in March.  The mission of this new walking food tour business is “To introduce the flavors and history of Newport to our guests by discovering the eateries and streets of Newport.”  Tours begin at the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Book your tickets and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com

NOW THROUGH JUNE 2 — HORSELESS TO HORSEPOWER: GILDED AND GOLDEN AGE AUTOMOBILES

This exhibit opened February 9th featuring some of the most extravagant and beautiful vehicles ever produced. Come and see for yourself the amazing elegance and styling of these classic automobiles. Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org

NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 – “MY SMALL ABILITY” – THE LIFE AND WORK OF WILLIAM CLAGGETT

This exhibit at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center (82 Touro Street, Newport) features the story of 18th century master clockmaker, William Claggett. The exhibit tells us more than just the life of this craftsman by bringing alive other aspects of Newport including trade, artistry, aesthetics, science, religion, and culture through an examination of the life of Mr. Claggett. Additional Info and hours at 401/846-0813; newporthistory.org

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TOURS, SPEAKERS, & SPECIAL EVENTS

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

TODAY THROUGH MARCH 28 – 14TH FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL – SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY

Salve Regina University presents its 14th French Film Festival March 17-28. The event will feature six films by Jean Renoir, including a classic, a contemporary African film, a documentary, and an animated movie based on a series of popular comic books. The festival will also include films by contemporary French directors Claire Denis and Laurent Cantet. All films will be screened on campus in the O’Hare Academic Building’s Bazarsky Lecture Hall. To avoid lines at the door, patrons are encouraged to buy a festival pass online. For questions about online ticketing, call (401) 341-2197. For general festival information, email frenchfilmfestival@salve.edu.

THURSDAY, MARCH 21 NEWPORT RUN & CHUG – 6:30 PM

This is a running group that does a 5K run every week (3.1 miles). Run is led by firefighter Eddie Valen. Meet at the Fastnet Pub (1 Broadway, Newport) at 6:30 pm. Run is followed by a meet-up (and Chug) at the Fastnet Pub. Info: 401/845-9311.

SATURDAY, MARCH 23 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 2:00-3:00 PM & 3:00 PM-4:00 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

SATURDAY, MARCH 23 – NEWPORT FOODIES WINTER STROLL – MEETS AT THE ARMORY — 5:30 PM

Cozy up this Winter and enjoy a three-course meal accompanied by selected wine pairings at three of Newport’s exquisite restaurants. This progressive stroll will last several hours along Newport’s Historic Thames Street and will encompass a total of .75 miles. Tours run Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 5:30 P.M. Meet Tom and Sue, your tour guides, in front of the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Book your tickets and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com

SUNDAY, MARCH 24 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 2:00-3:00 PM & 3:00 PM-4:00 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

MARCH 25-31, 2019 – QUAHOG WEEK

Quahog Week is back – bigger & better than ever! Quahog Week highlights the many restaurants, markets, fishermen, and food-based businesses committed to growing Rhode Island’s local food economy, with special emphasis on quahogs.

From March 25-31, 2019, restaurants and markets across Rhode Island will celebrate this sustainable resource and its year-round availability by featuring a quahog dish on their menu. Info: www.seafoodri.com  

UPCOMING 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS

THURSDAY, APRIL 4 JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: OBSESSION UNTAMED

The final program in this 2019 Winter Lecture Series at Rosecliff will be held at 6:00 pm. Members: $10; General Public: $15. Info and Reservations: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

APRIL 5-14TH – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK – SPRING 2019 EDITION

Newport Restaurant Week, part of a nationwide movement, debuted here in 2006. Two editions of Newport Restaurant Week take place each year in the spring and in the fall. More than 50 participating restaurants offer extraordinary two-course prix fixe lunches for $20, three-course prix fixe dinners for $35, and a three-course premier prix fixe dinner for $50. For a list of participating restaurants: discovernewport.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019 – 34TH RHODE ISLAND STATEWIDE HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONFERENCE

If you love historic preservation, you’ll want to attend this annual conference, focused on Preservation, Recreation and Sport. Keynote speaker is Brent Leggs, Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mr. Leggs will reflect on the importance of preserving historic places where Americans play and watch sports. The event, including 12 preservation workshops and 12 tours by boat, bus, bicycle, and foot, will be hosted this year in historic East Providence, RI. Info & Registration:  preservationconferenceri.com; 401/222-2078.

THURSDAY, APRIL 11-13, 2019 – TRAVELS ACROSS AMERICA: ART, NATURE, AND THE PURSUIT OF BEAUTY

The 2019 Newport Symposium kicks off with this lecture and opening reception at Rosecliff at 5:30 pm. For info: 401/847-1000, ext. 178; newportmansions.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2019 – DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL OPENING CEREMONIES – 1:00 PM -THE CLARKE COOKE HOUSE

Join your fellow Newport residents, visitors, and guests for the annual kick-off and opening ceremonies for the 2019 Daffodil Days Festival at The Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf.  This will mark the beginning of the 6th annual festival and nine days of activities all over the City-by-the-Sea. Info: www.newportdaffydays.com

APRIL 13-21, 2019 — 6TH ANNUAL NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL

With over one million daffodils planted the past twelve years, Newport has become the self-proclaimed Daffiest City in New England. To celebrate the bounty that will bloom forth, Festival organizers have announced initial plans for the 6th Annual Newport Daffodil Days, April 13-21, where visitors to the City by the Sea are encouraged to “plant” themselves in town and go daffy, enjoying over twenty different events in nine days.  Get ready to shake off the winter doldrums and have a bloomin’ great time!  Info: www.newportdaffydays.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019 – NEWPORT ART MUSEUM EXHIBIT OPENS — GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY: SCULPTURE

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, daughter of Alice & Cornelius Vanderbilt II, is best known as an art patron and founder of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.  She also had a significant career as a sculptor, exhibiting throughout the United States and Europe and receiving major commissions and prizes. This is the first exhibition of Whitney’s art since her death in 1942.  More info: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org

NOTES ON THIS SCULPTURE EXHIBIT: “Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture” will showcase rarely seen works from private collections, examining the remarkable variety of the artist’s work—from her earliest classical sculptures to her more symbolic public monuments, from her bleakly Realist depiction of the tragedy of World War I to her late Art Deco work.  The exhibit was organized by The Norton Museum of Art and curated by Ellen E. Roberts, the Norton’s Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art.

SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2019 – BEACH CLEAN-UP AT CLIFF WALK

Go green & spend your Saturday cleaning up one of Newport’s most breathtaking locations. Join us at the Cliff Walk on Saturday, April 20th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to volunteer with a view! Sponsored by Clean Ocean Access. Coffee provided by Empire Tea & Coffee so BYO Mug.  Info: 401/236-2561; cleanoceanaccess.org

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND — BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR HEROES MEMORIAL – FORT ADAMS STATE PARK

In 2016, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial with the widely acclaimed and dramatic display of nearly 7,000 military boots. Each boot is adorned with a name placard and an American flag representing each American service member killed in action in the Global War on Terror. The first of its kind, the display has taken place at Roger Williams State Park over the last three years.  This display will take place at Fort Adams State Park during the Memorial Day Weekend. Info: 401/383-4730; osdri.org

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – JAMESTOWN NEWPORT FERRY SEASON BEGINS

The 2019 season for the Jamestown Newport Ferry begins Memorial Day Weekend. Stops include Rose Island, Fort Adams, Ann Street Pier, and Perrotti Park. Ferry leaves from the docks at the end of Narragansett Avenue in the village of Jamestown. Info & Tickets: 401/423-1556; jamestownnewportferry.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO SEASON OPENS

The Newport International Polo Series 28 begins on Saturday, June 1, 2019, 5:00 pm, at the Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI.  Box Office opens to the general public on March 15. Info: 401/846-0200; nptpolo.com

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2019 – OPENING NIGHT – NEWPORT GULLS BASEBALL – 6:35 PM

The Newport Gulls will welcome the Mystic Schooners to kick off the 2019 collegiate baseball season at Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) on June 5th. Info & Tickets: 401/845-6832; https://bit.ly/2RxDm0D

SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019 – SWISS VILLAGE FARM FOUNDATION ANNUAL VISITORS DAY – 9 AM – 3 PM

Swiss Village Farm (SVF) Foundation’s annual visitor’s day will allow members of the public to learn more about the Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project. SVF is a nonprofit farm working towards the collection and preservation of genetics from rare breeds of livestock. Visitors can peek into their facilities and meet the laboratory, veterinary and animal husbandry staff. Attend live cryogenics and sheep shearing demonstrations. Enjoy Julian’s Omnibus food truck serving local heritage breed burgers and munchies! This event is free to the public. Parking will be available at Fort Adams State Park and free trolley transportation will be provided from 9am to 3pm. No parking available at SVF. Info: 401/848-7229; email for info@svffoundation.org

SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019 – NEW YORK YACHT CLUB’S 2019 SEASON BEGINS – LEUKEMIA CUP

The New York Yacht Club has announced its 12-event 2019 sailing season that begins on June 8 with the Leukemia Cup race, followed by the club’s 165th Annual Regatta (June 14-16), and ending on September 29 with the Melges IC37 national championship races (September 27-29). Info:  401/846-1000; nyyc.org

JUNE 15, 16, 17, 2019 – NEWPORT COUNTY DAYS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS & HOSPITALITY EMPLOYEE DAYS

This weekend is the second of four annual weekends called Newport County Residents Days at the Newport Mansions. Any Newport County resident will receive free daytime admission to all Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) properties currently open (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff) as guests of the PSNC.  Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.) must be presented. This weekend will also feature Hospitality Employee Days with other Newport cultural attractions participating.  Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

JUNE 21-23, 2019 – THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW – AUDUBON ARTISTIC ADVENTURES – ROSECLIFF MANSION

The 2019 Newport Flower Show will feature design and horticulture exhibit, a Home & Garden Marketplace, Oceanside Boutiques, outdoor garden displays, lectures, and demonstrations by the top experts in the field. The Opening Night Party will take place from 6-9 pm on June 21.  Info: newportmansions.org

JULY 8-13, 2019 – INTERNATIONAL 12 METRE CLASS 2019 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP — NEWPORT, RI

The International 12 Metre Class’ 2019 World Championship will be held in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from July 8- 13, hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the 12 Metre Yacht Club. It will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metre yachts in the United States featuring more than two-dozen boats from seven countries. International teams comprised of elite sailors including America’s Cup veterans and Olympic medalists will represent Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and the United States. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship fleet will span the years 1928 -1987, include seven America’s Cup defenders and challengers, and be sailed on Rhode Island Sound, the site of nine America’s Cup competitions from 1958-1983. Info: http://www.12mrclass.com

JULY 26-29, 2019 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI

This famous festival, launched in 1959, will celebrate in a 4-day music extravaganza July 26-29 at Fort Adams, overlooking the mouth of Newport Harbor.  Tickets and more information at newportfolk.org.

AUGUST 2-4, 2019 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI

Since 1954, the greatest jazz musicians on the planet have played before the most loyal and appreciative jazz aficionados and fans in the world at the largest coastal fort in America, Fort Adams. They’ll do it again this August 2-4, beginning with a concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, August 2.  Don’t miss any of the music, the fun, and the food! Tickets and more information at: newportjazz.org.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 – IYRS NEWPORT CLASSIC YACHT PARADE – 10:30 AM

This parade wraps up the weekend of the 40th Annual Newport Classic Yacht Regatta presented by IYRS (NCYR) which will take place over Labor Day weekend, Friday – Sunday, August 31 – Sep 1. The Organizing Authority for the NCYR is the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.  Info: events@iyrs.edu

SEPTEMBER 6-8, 2O19 – NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS

The annual Newport Secret Garden Tours opens its gates to a plethora of stunning gardens in historic Newport, Rhode Island. Join the Benefactors of the Arts on September 6-8 for this self-guided tour featuring at least 10 incredible gardens. These private gardens are shared with the community to help raise funds for the Arts Education programs in the Island’s public schools. The tour runs daily, 10 am until 5 pm, and tickets are good for any or all days of the tour, allowing for inclement weather, schedule conflicts, or just a late start. Info and tickets: secretgardentours.org

SEPTEMBER 12-15, 2019 – 49TH ANNUAL NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW

Mark your calendar for the 49th annual Newport International Boat Show on the famed downtown Newport waterfront from September 12th to 15th this year. More Information: http://newportboatshow.com/

SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019 — THE NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

This is one of the East Coast’s most sophisticated and anticipated events of the year. It is scheduled for September 19-22 at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Enjoy magnificent wines from around the world, fabulous food from local, regional and national chefs, artisanal food purveyors, cooking demos and interactive activities in an unforgettable setting. To learn more about the schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, visit newportmansions.org

OCTOBER 3-6, 2019 – AUDRAIN’S NEWPORT CONCOURS & MOTOR WEEK – INAUGURAL EVENT

The Audrain Automobile Museum presents the inaugural Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week coming to Newport, Rhode Island on October 3 -6, 2019. Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week 2019 will be the first of an annual event which aims to enliven the story of the automobile and its racing history in the northeast region of our country. With all this history, and help from their Event Chair, world renowned collecting, restoration, and culture expert, Jay Leno and their Concours Chair, Donald Osborne, noted classic car historian, consultant, writer and television personality, the Audrain Automobile Museum adds another chapter to Newport’s extensive book of automotive and sporting fascination. With the support and assistance from the Preservation Society of Newport County, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Salve Regina University, along with car enthusiasts, luxury car brands, venue partners, and supporters in Newport, Audrain plans to execute one of the highest quality events that the community has ever seen and raise money to increase the local economy. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org

OCTOBER 3-7, 2019 – ROGUE ISLAND COMEDY FESTIVAL – VARIOUS LOCATIONS – NEWPORT, RI

For auditions, show information, and tickets, contact: rogueislandcomedyfestival.com

OCTOBER 13-15, 2019 – VISITOR EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE (VEX) – PHILADELPHIA, PA

This is an annual industry conference that should be of special interest to tour guides, greeters, tour operators, chambers of commerce, and all those whose goal is to create a memorable experience for their guests and visitors. The 2019 Visitor Experience Conference is a recognized platform for experts to share best practices in the Visitor Experience sector and provide specialized knowledge to take museum organizations to the next level. VEX offers a range of professional learning opportunities. From keynote and panel sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, half-day workshops, and lots of social events to meet and talk with colleagues. The conference takes place in the history-rich city of Philadelphia.

Attendees include museum professionals at all levels of their career, mainly in the Visitor Experience and Visitor Services field, but also consultants, exhibition developers/designers, volunteer managers, ticketing and database companies, and more.  Past VEX attendees have included The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Longwood Gardens, National Trust (England), Columbus Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Tacoma Art Museum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more from around the world. Info & Registration: https://visitorexperience.group/conference

STILL A GREAT TIME TO EXPERIENCE THESE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS!

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR – MARCH SCHEDULE

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is still offered daily.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: FOUR TOURS DAILY!

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, the world-famous 1-hour guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms is back and better than ever.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Info and updates: newportmansions.org

JOB OPENINGS – TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · SUPPORT STAFF

HIRING SEASON IS UNDERWAY – YOU ARE NOW IN DEMAND FOR THE 2019 SEASON!

UPDATE: Employers are now actively seeking and interviewing people for the upcoming 2019 season. Several new jobs have been posted on the web sites of the biggest tour employers listed below.  Go directly to their sites for further details and requirements. Now – March/April – is the time to be aware of new job postings. If you want to break into the 2019 tour guide and hospitality industries, now is the time to get more aggressive to find and secure a position at your preferred organization.

HERE’S A SAMPLE OF THE LATEST LISTINGS

  • The Preservation Society of Newport County seeks a part-time candidate to work a flexible schedule up to 30 hours per week in season, seasonally. One weekend day is required. Occasional special events may require work outside of this time frame. Contact: www.newportmansions.org
  • Newport Vineyards Job Fair – Saturday, March 23. We are looking for candidates passionate about wine, beer and food with high energy to add to our team before the Spring/Summer season! WE ARE HIRING FOR: Taproot Brewing Co. & Brix Restaurant at Newport Vineyards: servers, bussers, food runners, hosts, bartenders Tasting Room: bartenders, bussers, hosts Catering: bartenders, servers, bussers, catering cooks Culinary: restaurant line cooks, prep cooks Join us at our Job Fair (2 dates): Saturday, March 23: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Brix Restaurant (upper level). Thursday, April 11: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in our Meadow Room (main tasting area, accessible via the main entrance). No need to RSVP, please just arrive with a resume.

As March unfolds, continue to use this time to fine tune your resume, practice your interviewing skills, and do some networking with the Newport Chamber, Rhode Island Hospitality Association, and other industry groups.

Scan the openings and current job listings on the websites of the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.

  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic mansions in Newport. Open year-round. They hire tour guides, housekeepers, and security guards. Check out their web site for current job openings.  Info: newportmansions.org
  • Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city.  Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
  • Newport Restoration Society. This non-profit operates Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org

For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.

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HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS

If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [Direct from the author or via Amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city.  It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here.  Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.  Handbook includes greetings in 18 of the most frequently spoken languages heard in Newport.

————————————————————————————————————————-KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).   

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