Are you a 10th grade student who wants to see the award winning musical Hamilton in the room where it happened first on Broadway? The Newport Historical Society is once again sponsoring the “Big Ideas for a Changing World: Write Your Way to Hamilton Essay Contest.” The prize for the winning essay writers is a trip to New York City to see Hamilton, An American Musical. Entries to the contest must be emailed or postmarked by March 15, 2019, winning papers will be announced by April 5, 2019. 

This competition is open to Rhode Island students enrolled in the 10th grade (2018-2019 academic year) in public and other tuition free schools. Students may enter individually or through their class.

Rhode Islanders have a history of changing the world! We were the first place in the modern world to incorporate the revolutionary principle of religious freedom in our governing documents. That idea and the related concept of separation of church and state have gone on to sweep the world. Today, these principles are included in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Just a little more than 100 years later, Rhode Islanders changed the world again – this time by starting the Industrial Revolution in America. What will we do next?

Essay writers are asked to respond to the prompt: What is happening now in your community, or what could be happening, that has the power to change the future in Rhode Island and potentially the world?

What’s the prize for success? A trip to New York City on May 11, 2019 to see a matinee showing of the award-winning and genre-busting Broadway show, Hamilton, An American Musical; matinee, lunch and chartered bus transportation to and from New York City included. Winners from each Rhode Island county will be selected. Teachers who sponsor this competition in their classes and have an award-winning student essay will also be invited to join us. The event, including bus trip, time in NYC and show will be chaperoned by teachers of winning students and by NHS staff. Tickets and trip are nontransferable. 

Submission guidelines, submission form, and past contest winner’s essays can be found at

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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.