Newport Polo and Newport Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center have announced that Newport Polo’s Gala la Bamba on August 4th raised over $32,000 for the Theater, a new record in fundraising from the Newport Polo Club’s annual black tie charity gala.

Gala la Bamba received over 400 guests in glamorous culturally-inspired black tie & evening gowns for a night of exquisite gourmet cuisine, dancing, and heart-warming philanthropy to welcome international guests of honor, the Mexican Polo Team, at Rosecliff, one of Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue mansions.

This is the second year the Newport Polo Gala Committee named the Opera House Theater as honorary non-profit of its annual gala; the first year was 2009.

With over $32,000 raised, the contributions will be matched and doubled by the Creative and Cultural Economy Bond the Opera House Theater received from the state in 2014 and will be invested into construction.

Remarking on the evening’s success, Dan Keating, President and Founder of Newport Polo said, “When we first supported the Opera House in 2009, they were just starting this long project, and it looked like an insurmountable task. But after years of dedication, the team at the Opera House has almost finished this enormous renovation.”

Keating continued, “We hope to help push them over the hump this year, because supporting this project will enhance the cultural fabric of the community and reap benefits indefinitely into the future, for generations to come. We are fortunate to have this group of individuals, who have made the Newport Opera House theater & Performing Arts Center a reality for all of us.”

Opera House Theater Executive Director, Brenda Nienhouse, spoke about the Opera House Theater at the gala and experienced firsthand the brimming enthusiasm for the project.

“Everyone was excited. It was a fabulous event. A great time for a great cause. We exceeded our goal of $25,000. We thank Agnes and Dan Keating and everyone at Newport Polo and throughout the community for their continued support! They made an impact. They know how much this performing arts center will mean to so many people, for generations to come,” said Nienhouse.

The Opera House Theater hopes to open in the year of its 150th anniversary in the summer of 2018.

Ryan Belmore is the 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.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.