The City of Newport has announced that the van Beuren Charitable Foundation has awarded a grant in the amount of $537,500 to support the City of Newport’s Innovate Newport project at the former Sheffield School property on Broadway.

The Innovate Newport project repurposes the property into a resource where the area’s entrepreneurs and innovators can interact and collaborate to create future economic drivers for the region. The project seeks to leverage world-class human and technological assets into new commercial ventures in the disciplines of underwater technology, marine science, cybersecurity and environmental resiliency. This exciting economic development initiative has received strong funding support from the federal government, the State of Rhode Island and the City.

The grant from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation will be used to ensure a successful launch and growth of the Innovate Newport project. As stated on the Foundation’s website, their mission is “To invest in the quality of life and quality of place of Aquidneck Island and surrounding communities” ( The Foundation’s grantmaking priorities focus on the impact they aspire to make in the community and are designed to recognize the connections between education, health, economic development, and place. Through partnerships with local organizations, the Foundation supports, among other things, projects that connect the improvement of buildings and landscapes to community aspirations and goals.

The City thanks the van Beuren Charitable Foundation for supporting this exciting collaboration to ensure that the Innovate Newport project will be a successful initiative in positioning Aquidneck Island as an economic development leader in the region and in the state. For additional information on the Innovate Newport project, please contact the City Manager’s office.

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.

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.