It was seventy years ago, in 1948, when The Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) first leased The Breakers from the home’s owner, Countess Laszlo Szechenyi, for $1.00 per year. It was opened to the public as a museum. The deal was arranged by the Society’s founder and second president, Katherine Warren. Under this arrangement, the countess, as the owner, continued to pay the taxes and property fire insurance. The PSNC took responsibility for the maintenance of the house and grounds as well as the Breakers Stables. The Breakers was an instant hit with the public. More than 26,000 visitors came through the mansion’s front entrance in the first four months. Tickets were $1.50. In 1972, the Preservation Society purchased The Breakers, and its grounds, and stables for $399.997. The Breakers was subsequently designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994. Happy 70th Anniversary to the Breakers!
TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – BODY LANGUAGE BASICS
Without speaking, you are telling your guests what you think and how you are feeling. Your body language is a big give-away. How you stand, where you hold your hands, the type and size of smile you have on your face, and fifty other subtle movements and tics send out a silent stream of information about your mood and attitude. So, what are the rules? There are no rules, but there are practical and best practice guidelines.
Here are five to remember: 1) Stand up straight. 2) Hold hands down at your sides and keep them out of your pockets. Hands in pockets send a message of “bored,” “tired,” and “lazy.” Your hands should always be ready to help, not hidden in your pockets. 3) Your face should have a relaxed, peaceful smile – mouth closed, teeth hidden. 4) Eyes should be open and alert. Look your guests in their eyes. 5) If you are sitting, always stand to greet guests and engage in conversation.
BOTTOM LINE: With a little thinking, you can use your body language to send out positive messages.
There are still openings at the city’s historic attractions, including tour guides, cashiers, security personnel, and ticket sellers. For the most current listings this week, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.
PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES
The very best leaders, guides, and managers of historic sites, mansions, and tour companies read constantly to know the most about the places they work and to learn the latest research about the history, artwork, and artifacts of the places they talk about to their guests. Tour Guides & Greeters should be aware of this online app. Best of all, it’s free!
Broaden your knowledge of Rhode Island history with this free app. Rhode Tour is a statewide mobile historical smart phone application. It offers captivating places, intriguing people, and exciting events that are all part of Rhode Island’s history. Rhode Tour offers a new way to interact with these untold tales of the state’s past. Using stories, sounds, and images, history comes alive on Rhode Tour. The site offers more than 200 stories of food, culture, community from throughout the state’s 39 cities and towns. Download the app for your smart phone at the iPhone App Store or Google Play. A website version is also available at rhodetour.org.
HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS
If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city. It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here. Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.
NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the Fall season ahead for residents and visitors alike.
CRUISE SHIPS ARRIVING
Stay up-to-date and aware of the weekly arrival of cruise ships to Newport and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city. Here is a list of the upcoming arrivals, courtesy of Discover Newport.
- Thursday, September 27 – M/V Symphony, from Crystal Cruises
- Thursday, September 27 – M/V NCL Gem, from Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Sunday, September 30 – M/V Royal Princess, from Princess Cruise Lines
- Monday, October 1 – M/V Victory 1, from Victory Cruise Lines
- Tuesday, October 2 – M/V Insignia, from Oceania Cruise Lines
- Tuesday, October 2 – M/V Zuiderdam, from Holland America Cruise Lines
- Thursday, October 4 – M/V Insignia, from Oceania Cruise Lines
- Friday, October 5 – M/V Victory 2, from Victory Cruise Lines
SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK
Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – BREAKING THE BONDS OF POPULAR FASHION – 11:00 AM
Marlise D. Schoeny, Assistant Curator, The Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection, brings her fashion talk to Rosecliff. Hosted by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Members: $10. General Public: $15. Advance reservations required. Info: Newportmansions.org
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – FALL EXHIBITIONS OPENING RECEPTION – 5-7 PM
Join the community of art lovers at the opening reception for two new exhibits. Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Light refreshments served. Members: Free; Non-Members: $5 suggested donation for non-members. Info: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. The tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SAIL FOR HOPE 2018 – SEPTEMBER 29
This marks the 17th anniversary of this sailboat race around Jamestown. This year’s race will raise funds for Hurricane Relief (Harvey, Irma, Maria), Warrior Sailing Program, and the Tad Sanchez Youth Sailing Program at Sail Newport. To date, over $1,000,000 has been raised for various charities. Info at Sail Newport: 401/846-1983.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – 4:00 PM
This week’s match will be the SEASON FINALS. Check out the excitement of Newport Polo and tell your equine-loving guests. Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth. 4 pm. Tickets to the match ($15 for General Admission; 15-and-under free; $25 for Pavilion seating) and to the après polo field-side dinner are available at www.nptpolo.com or 401/846-0200.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 – MOTORS & MIMOSAS – 10 AM – NOON
This is another fun event for car aficionados at the Audrain Auto Museum (596 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). See the current exhibit – “Sweet Rides/Summer Fun” — enjoy mimosas and pastries, and make new friends. Tickets: $20. Info: 401/285-7751; audrainautomuseum.org
SEPTEMBER 30 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2 – RETURN TO CAMELOT – ST. MARY’S CHURCH – 2-3 PM
Each Tuesday, through October 23rd, St. Mary’s Church (80 Memorial Boulevard, Newport) hosts this remembrance of the wedding of future President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. The program features vintage film clips, performance of music from their church wedding and reception at Hammersmith Farm, and recollections by Jackie’s stepbrother, Yusha Auchincloss, and other local Newporters. Fee: $15. Info: stmarynewport.org/return-to-camelot.
NOW THROUGH OCTOBER, 2018 – “SWEET RIDES/SUMMER FUN” – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Relive an earlier innocent time with this fun exhibit at the always interesting Audrain Automobile Museum. Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420. Audrainautomuseum.org
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 – BROADWAY STREET FAIR – 12 NOON
Come and enjoy the city’s best annual neighborhood extravaganza and street happening. Join Newport natives and visitors on Broadway in Newport. Stay tuned for more info.
CULTURAL & HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONFERENCE 2018 – OCTOBER 12 & 13 –SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY
This year’s theme is “Community Preservation Through Adaptive Reuse.” More information and tickets: preserveourplaces.org
BOWEN’S WHARF SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 13-14
11 am – 5pm. Free event. Honoring the harvest of the sea, this Festival offers fresh local seafood, continuous live music and family fun. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. More Information: http://www.bowenswharf.com/events
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 – FREE DAFFODIL BULB GIVE-WAY – EASTON’S BEACH – 9:00 AM
This annual event celebrates the success of the past year’s daffodil plantings and celebrates the campaign to plant one million daffodils in Newport. During this event, Newporters can receive free daffodils to plant in their own yards or neighborhood gardens. Info at: newportdaffydays.com
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21 – CITIZENS BANK PELL BRIDGE RUN
The annual event is the one time each year athletes can leave their cars and run across the Newport Pell Bridge (opened in 1969). Registration fees benefit non-profit groups. Info: 401/856-9197; pellbridgerun.com
PREVIEW OF WINTER IN NEWPORT
CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS – NOVEMBER 17, 2018 – JANUARY 1, 2019
Christmas Season begins in November at the four big houses of the Preservation Society. Christmas flowers and special decorations will fill The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff. Special holiday evenings are scheduled at the Breakers on November 24, December 1, 8, 22, and 29th from 6-8 pm. The Ems and Marble House Duet holiday evening is scheduled for December 15th from 6-9 pm. Info: newportmansions.org
FOUR CURRENT EXHIBITS & TOURS NOT TO BE MISSED
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS
Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, The Elms’ now world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” added two additional daily tour times to meet demand during the summer months. Tours are offered at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
VISIT ROUGH POINT IN 2018 – NRF’s 50th ANNIVERSARY
The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions at historic Rough Point mansion, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org), are: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,” and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” This is a collaboration between NRF and David Webb New York, jewelry designer to Duke and many other prominent figures from 1948 to the present. Rough Point will be open for tours through November 11th. Don’t miss this amazing home.
OSCAR WILDE & THE BOHEMIAN MOVEMENT AS YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED THEM
Go visit the newest exhibit at the Galleries at Rosecliff, Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport. Preservation Society Curator Ashley Householder has gathered a breathtaking collection of furniture, ceramics, wallpaper, clothing, accessories, and ephemera about the aesthetic movement (1870-1890) and the era’s major promoter, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). The colors, patterns, and shapes of this “art for art’s sake” movement and the influence of Irish writer, playwright, and impresario Wilde will whisk you away to another time. Go and see this unique and truly wonderful exhibit. Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org
BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR
The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is available daily. Tours are offered at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).