(Photo: 12 Meters race in Narragansett Bay. Photo by 12 Meter Charters)
Newport’s history as a sailing capital is unrivaled. Summer is the best time to get aboard a sailboat and take to the waters of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. Many of our visitors arrive here unaware of the easy access to sailboats, steady wind, and our cool clear waters. Now you can help them add a special experience to their visit to our City-by-the-Sea: SAILING!
When someone asks about sailing, you can send beginners and the curious to Sail Newport, headquartered next to Fort Adams inside Fort Adams State Park. All ages are invited to try sailing. Sail Newport provides the skipper, the sailboat, and an opportunity for up to three people to see Newport from the water and experience real live sailing. This program runs from May through October, seven days a week. For more information and reservations, call 401/849-8385; and online at sailnewport.org.
Stay abreast of what is happening. Check out the updated calendar of Speakers & Special Events below, and share them with your guests.
NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.
There are still many job openings available for the busy summer and fall seasons in Newport. Get a copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [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.
- Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic properties offering audio and guided tours in Newport. A variety of positions are available, including tour guide, team leader, assistant team leader, housekeeping, security, and maintenance. Check their web site o a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
- Gansett Cruises. There is currently an opening for ticket sellers on the dock at Bowen’s Wharf. This is an award-winning harbor cruise company. Call or contact them online: 401/619-1300; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tour Guides at Belcourt of Newport (1894) at 657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Part-time. Lead guided tours through this Gilded Age mansion. Apply online at craigslist.com
- Classic Cruises of Newport. Front desk ticket sales representative is open. Sales experience a must. Send your resume to them via Indeed.com. Also ask about possible tour guide work on their vessels.
REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.
SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK
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, JUNE 21 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
THURSDAY, JUNE 21 – FREE LECTURE – YACHTING HISTORY – 2:00 PM
Hear stories and learn about the exciting history of great racing schooners at this free lecture organized by the new Yachting History Society. Meet at the International Yacht Restoration School, 449 Thames Street, Newport. Info and details from 843-906-6682; email@example.com
THURSDAY, JUNE 21 – NEWPORT BRIDGE LECTURE – 5:30 PM
Like almost everything else in our state, the largest bridge ever built in Rhode Island has an amazing history. Come learn more at this lecture, “A Monument to Perseverance: The Struggle to Build the Newport Bridge, 1945-1969.” 5:30 pm-6:30 pm. Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport. $1-$5. RSVP: 401-841-8770; or at newporthistory.org.
JUNE 22-24 – NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW — COTTAGES SMART & SMALL
Martha Stewart will be a featured guest and speaker at this year’s show. 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
FRIDAY, JUNE 22 – COMMON BURYING GROUND GUIDED TOUR – 10:00 AM
Join this walking tour to see some of the earliest gravestones from the 1700s. Tour includes a visit to God’s Little Acre and the largest collection of Colonial New England gravestones from people of African heritage. 10 am. Free. Tour begins at the cemetery entrance on Warner Street at Burnside Avenue. Info at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
FRIDAY, JUNE 22 – NEWPORT GULLS COLLEGIATE BASEBALL – CARDINES FIELD – – 6:35 PM
Here is a great recommendation for your baseball-loving guests and visitors. Tonight’s game is against the Winnipesaukee Muskrats with the first pitch at 6:35 pm. A night at historic Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) is a inexpensive night out for a family. Ticket prices are reasonable at $1-$5 per person. Information & Tickets: www.newportgulls.pointstreaksites.com
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. The tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 – HERMAN MELVILLE’S MOBY DICK
The Redwood Book Club will discuss the second half of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick that was begun on May 26th. All are welcome. Redwood Library & Athenaeum (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), redwoodlibrary.org. Info: 401/847-0292.
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – NEWPORT VS ITALY – 5:00 PM
Check out the excitement of Newport Polo and tell your equine-loving guests. Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth. 5 pm. Tickets to the match ($15 for General Admission; 15-and-under free; $25 for Pavilion seating) and to the après polo field-side dinner are available at www.nptpolo.com.
SUNDAY, JUNE 24 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SUNDAY, JUNE 24 – FINAL DAY OF “MUSCLE CAR MADNESS” – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Enjoy this current exhibition at the Audrain Automobile Museum. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Contact: 401/856-4420. Info@audrainautomuseum.org
SATURDAY, JUNE 30 – ASK A GARDENER – ROUGH POINT
Estate gardeners share their expertise on a range of topics from plant identification to organic garden care. Get inside tips on how the Rough Point staff keeps the grounds looking lush and how to incorporate those practices in your own home garden. 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM. Free with admission to house or grounds (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). No advance purchase necessary. Weather dependent. For more information: 401/847–8344
COMING SUMMER EVENTS: 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.
JULY 4, 2018 – 233RD ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY PARADE – BRISTOL, RI – 10:30 AM
Our visitors are already asking about this annual event, the oldest 4th of July Parade celebration in the United States. It begins at 10:30 a.m. and will step-off at the corner of Chestnut Street and Hope Street (Rt. 114) and ends on High Street, between State Street and Bradford Street. Ad mission is free, but get there early early early! Info: www.fourthofjulybristolri.com
JULY 4-22, 2018 – NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL
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.
THURSDAY, JULY 12 – WHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is hosting its second free open house of this wonderful museum at 416 Lower Thames Street (Newport), from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Come and explore the collection of 18th-century Newport furniture for the first time or come back to hear about NRF plans for the revitalization. The museum’s charming pocket garden will also be open for wandering. Info: 401/847–8344
JULY 14 – GREEN ANIMALS CHILDREN’S PARTY – GREEN ANIMALS – PORTSMOUTH, RI
This annual party for children marks the middle of summer. Mark your calendars for this fun event for children of all ages and stay tuned for more details. Info: newportmansions.org
JULY 27-29 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL
This is the big folk festival of the summer. A number of other events surround this 3-day weekend. Location: Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Tickets: email@example.com
JULY 28-29, 2018 – THE NEWPORT SHOW
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.
AUGUST 3-5, 2018 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL
This is the big festival everyone asks about. May already be sold out, but keep the dates in mind for those who ask. Location: Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Tickets and more information: http://www.newportjazz.org/
AUGUST 16-19, 2018 – A WEEKEND OF COACHING
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
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – DRIVING EXHIBITION -– 10:30 AM – THE ELMS
This free event, part of the Weekend of Coaching, will take place on the grounds of The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). It will feature many of the coaches and their drivers who are part of the weekend celebration of this unique and historic sporting tradition. More Information: NewportMansions.org
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM ANNUAL GALA – OCHRE COURT
This event will feature Jay Leno as the key speaker. Get more information at: audrainautomuseum.org
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.
NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – SEPTEMBER 13-16
The Newport International Boat Show encompasses thirteen acres of Newport’s downtown waterfront. Exhibitors from near and far offer a full range of new powerboats and sailboats, plus a medley of marine products, services and accessories to enhance the nautical lifestyle. Special events, seminars, and in-water boating courses for the whole family are offered on all show days. Not to be missed is the exciting Newport For New Products program – showcasing boats and boating products making their first-ever debut in the United States. Newport Yachting Center, 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport. More information: http://newportboatshow.com/
NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 20-23
This festival features a world-class variety of tastings, seminars, and events over a four-day weekend. Held at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Tickets & more information: http://www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival/tickets-events
BOWEN’S WHARF SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 13-14
11 am – 5pm. Free event. Honoring the harvest of the sea, this Festival offers fresh local seafood, continuous live music and family fun. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. More Information: http://www.bowenswharf.com/events
CURRENT EXHIBITS & TOURS NOT TO BE MISSED
OSCAR WILDE & THE BOHEMIAN MOVEMENT AS YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED THEM
Go visit the newest exhibit at the Galleries at Rosecliff, Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport. Preservation Society Curator Ashley Householder has gathered a breathtaking collection of furniture, ceramics, wallpaper, clothing, accessories, and ephemera about the aesthetic movement (1870-1890) and the era’s major promoter, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). The colors, patterns, and shapes of this “art for art’s sake” movement and the influence of Irish writer, playwright, and impresario Wilde will whisk you away to another time. Go and see this unique and truly wonderful exhibit. Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org
VISIT ROUGH POINT IN 2018 – NRF’s 50th ANNIVERSARY
The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions at historic Rough Point mansion, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org), are: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,” and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” This is 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 amazing home.
BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR
The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” has a new daily schedule. Tours are offered four times daily at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS
At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” has a new daily schedule. Tours are offered four times daily at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
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 a review of the biography about Katherine Warren, founder of the Preservation Society of Newport County (1945). The story about Warren and the people she convinced to help save many of the city’s most important historic properties, is one every tour guide should know. This review first appeared in this column on March 8, 2018.
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 making its second appearance in this weekly column to introduce it to all of our city’s newly-arrived seasonal tour guides and hospitality staff. This resource is an art blog by self-proclaimed art aficionado Kelly Fhon. She describes her blog as documenting “…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 an Associate Tour Guide at the Preservation Society of Newport County and is a Weekend Guide with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
Her web site also features a calendar list of current art exhibitions in New England. Her most recent blog post is on ancient art, titled, “MFA Highlights from the Ancient World, Part Four.”
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.
KENNETH PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, Newport tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).