Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. has announced that they will provide financial support to create the Band Booster program, a new initiative for Girls Rock! RI, whose mission is to use music creation and critical thinking to foster empowerment, collaborative relationships and the development of healthy identities in girls, women, trans and gender non-conforming individuals.

The Band Booster program will give young, female musicians from Providence the support of band coaches to help prepare them for live performances. Coaches also will work with bands on instrument instruction, songwriting, band dynamics, booking and promotion.

“There’s a growing need to cultivate the next generation of musicians, especially in the face of so many modern-day obstacles,” said Jay Sweet, Newport Festivals Foundation executive producer and producer of the Newport Folk Festival in a press release on Mondayl. “This partnership with Girls Rock! RI – a nonprofit doing incredible work with female musicians just a couple dozen miles from the festival grounds – is in line with the mission of Newport Festivals Foundation. We look forward to a productive partnership as we work together to support music education in Providence.”

To celebrate the partnership, students from Girls Rock! RI will perform during Bridgefest at Fort Adams State park on Wednesday, August 1, at 6:00 pm, as part of LOCAL BRIDGES: A Celebration of Rhode Island’s Music Community. The event is free and open to the public.

“We are very excited about our budding partnership with Newport Festivals Foundation, which will allow Girls Rock! RI to grow and deepen our programming, providing space for more youth to experience their power through music,” said Hilary Jones, executive director of Girls Rock! RI.

Newport Festivals Foundation was founded by George Wein in 2010 to build and continue the legacies of the famed Newport Jazz Festival® and Newport Folk Festival®. Under the auspices of the Foundation, the Festivals present performers who respect and honor jazz and folk music traditions, and at the same time reflect the changes in today’s musical trends. The Educational Initiatives of the Foundation aim to foster opportunity, inspire through exposure and facilitate the collection of resources needed for musicians, emerging and established, to celebrate and innovate. For more information, please visit

The Newport Folk Festival ( takes over Fort Adams State Park July 27-29, followed by the Newport Jazz Festival ( August 3-5 at Fort Adams and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. Bridgefest bridges the gap between the two iconic festivals July 30-August 2 with 19 events at 14 venues across Newport County.

For more information on Girls Rock! RI, log on to To learn more about their Bridgefest concert, visit

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.