The Newport Art Museum’s annual Winter Speaker Series returns Saturday, January 6th for its 90th season.

The series will include seven lectures on a variety of topics and will run Saturdays at 2 pmJanuary 6 – February 17, in the Museum’s Griswold House at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Returning speaker Darrell West of the Brookings Institution, will kick off the series, speaking on “Assessing the Trump Presidency.” Other topics include art in public places, the future of museums, the fate of newspapers in the digital age, and more. Each lecture will be followed by light refreshments. Sponsors of the series include Lockett F. Ballard, Mary Jennings, Cynthia Sinclair and The Hope Foundation.

Tickets to the Winter Speaker Series are now on sale and available at or by calling 401-848-8200. For individual lectures, tickets are $20 ($15 for Newport Art Museum members and $8 for students). Those who wish to attend the entire series can purchase a series subscription for $120 ($90 for Museum members), which will gain the subscriber access to seven lectures for the price of six. For more information and to purchase tickets visit or call 401-848-8200.

January 6, 2018 at 2 pm:
Darrell West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, will present “Assessing the Trump Presidency.”

As the one year mark of the Trump presidency approaches, it’s time for an evaluation. West will assess the President’s job performance, leadership of the country and future electoral prospects. How are prominent Democrats handling the Trump administration? In this polarized political climate, is cooperation between the parties possible? Looking ahead, West will share his thoughts on who to watch as the 2018 midterm election season unfolds.

January 13, 2018 at 2 pm:
Stephanie Fortunato, Director of the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism of the City of Providence, will present “Art in Public Places.”

Why install art in public spaces? What is its cultural impact on the community and how is the public interest balanced with the art itself? What is public art anyway, and what makes one form more resonant than another? Join Stephanie Fortunato, Director of the Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, as she explains how integrating arts and culture into community life helps support the development of a vibrant and creative city. She will share lessons from Providence’s recent public art master planning process, how it will be implemented, and the campaign’s importance to showcasing Providence as an international cultural destination.

January 20, 2018 at 2 pm:
Roger Mandle, Museum Consultant and former President of RISD, will present “The Future of Museums.”

In order to remain relevant in the 21st century, art museums around the world have had to re-evaluate their missions in order to successfully serve larger, more diverse, discerning, and economically and socially stratified audiences. Join Roger Mandle, whose career spans decades in museum management within the United States and internationally, for an inspiring look at engaging new models of museum practice. From curatorial choices and public programs, to Virtual Reality and hybrid funding models, museums are in the process of reinventing themselves as they continue to fulfill new roles in our communities.

January 27, 2018 at 2 pm:
Edward Achorn, Editorial Pages Editor of the Providence Journal, will present “The Scoop: The Fate of Newspapers in the Digital Age.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Newspapers are essential to our free society, but do they have a future? In a lively look at journalism from the inside, author, Pulitzer Prize finalist and Providence Journal Editorial Page Editor Edward Achorn talks about the fate of newspapers in the digital age, and why we need them now more than ever.

February 3, 2018 at 2 pm:
Carol Troyan, Curator Emerita of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, will present “The Stories Behind the Art of Edward Hopper.”

From Automat to New York Movie to Nighthawks, Edward Hopper produced some of the most enduringly popular images in American art. His diners, movie palaces, and urban streetscapes reflect American life between the wars; his light-filled watercolors of Gloucester, Maine, and Cape Cod reflect the austere beauty of those places. And his quiet, yet riveting pictures of people in their apartments, offices, and hotel rooms express both a sense of urban isolation and anomie, and the bittersweet comfort of being alone. Join Carol Troyen, Curator Emerita of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and organizer of the MFA’s acclaimed Edward Hopper exhibition, for a look at some of Hopper’s greatest pictures and the stories that they tell.

February 10, 2018 at 2 pm:
Sarah Coffin, Curator and Head of the Product Design and Decorative Arts Department at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, will present “Jazz Age Design: America Goes Global Then and Now.”

Coined “the Jazz Age” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the 1920s was a period of innovation, with a new tempo in music, art and design. With the end of World War I, international travel resumed. New social mores created new freedoms including the women’s right to vote, the birth of jazz and nightclubs, new fashions and jewelry designs. Americans travelled to and studied in Paris where abstract art led to abstract design at the same time that well-trained and innovative emigré designers from the economically strapped Germany and the former Austro-Hungarian Empire came to America for patronage. Admirers of both Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and the New York skyscraper, European designers collaborated with their new American colleagues. The result was Art Deco style; still appealing, collectible, and a source of inspiration for contemporary designers today.

February 17, 2018 at 2 pm:
John Jackson, Professor at the Naval War College, will present “Drones: Technological Future of Unmanned Systems.”

What is the technological future of unmanned and robotic systems? How will the use of drones change how countries engage in military conflicts in this century? Long-time proponent of new and emerging technologies, John Jackson has served at the Naval War College for over 20 years, teaching in the areas of National Security, Decision Making, Logistics, and Unmanned/Robotic Systems. Learn what has made Jackson’s Naval War College course one of the most intriguing and popular electives on campus since 2009.

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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.

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.