Newport Festivals Foundation has been awarded a $100,000 grant by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) to support the continuing success of the Newport Jazz Festival.

The grant will be used to reinforce the festival’s capacity to maintain strong, ongoing relationships with artists as well as to invite emerging artists to perform; encourage musicians to create their own compositions by commissioning new music; and explore ways to strengthen the long-term careers of artists who debut at the festival.

The Newport Jazz Festival is among five jazz organizations and related festivals receiving grants totaling $1 million through the Leadership Grants Program for Jazz.

“Safeguarding the continued vibrancy of jazz means ensuring there are venues for artists to connect with audiences,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the Arts at DDCF. “These festivals, which attract thousands of concertgoers, are an important link that help imbue America’s musical landscape with jazz’s energy and excitement.”

This new initiative offers flexible funding over two years to support the self- defined, long-term goals of organizations that have demonstrated excellence in and sustained commitment to the field of jazz. The overall objective of these grants is to support the foundation’s long- standing goal to buoy the vibrancy of the jazz field by bolstering the long-term viability of its most critical organizations.

While this year’s grantees differ in their geographic locations, revenue streams, partnership models and methods of operation, all were selected for their importance to the robustness of the jazz field. The foundation’s 2016 Leadership Grants Program for Jazz acknowledges the value of these festivals to the field and therefore aims to support them as they promote both the larger public interest in and artistic vitality of jazz artists and their presenters.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

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