Story In The Public Square

The Newport Historical Society invites the public to join them on Thursday, June 20th, at 4:00 pm at the Colony House to celebrate making history today in a new annual award program.

The Newport Historical Society has initiated a new awards program which builds upon its interest in how historical perspectives help us think about the present and improve the future. The History Starts Here Award will be offered annually to an individual or organization who is making history now or making opportunities for thinking about how history is important to today.

The 2019 History Starts Here Award goes to “Story in the Public Square.”  A program of Salve Regina University’s Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, “Story in the Public Square” is hosted by Jim Ludes, Executive Director of the Pell Center, and G. Wayne Miller, senior staff writer at The Providence Journal and available on more than 200 public television stations across the country as well as SiriusXM satellite radio’s popular P.O.T.U.S channel. “Story in the Public Square” features interviews with today’s best print, screen, music, and other storytellers about their creative processes and how their stories impact public understanding and policy.

“Story-telling is an essential component of history, and especially of public history. By focusing on how story impacts understanding and discourse today, Jim and Wayne are making history, and using the techniques of historical discipline to capture important work in a variety of fields,” said Ruth S. Taylor, Executive Director of the Newport Historical Society in a press release today.

“We are humbled and grateful to be honored as the inaugural recipients of the History Starts Here Award from the Newport Historical Society,” said Ludes in a statement.  “In creating ‘Story in the Public Square,’ we’ve worked with great guests and an incredible crew at Rhode Island PBS, and with tremendous support from Salve Regina University and The Providence Journal, to spur critical thinking about the narratives, both historical and contemporary, that shape public life in the United States.  We look forward to accepting this award in June and celebrating the power of story in public life.”

“In my writing, I have had many occasions to call on the extensive resources of the Newport Historical Society and can speak first-hand to its eminence, so this honor has special personal meaning,” said Miller in a prepared statement. “More importantly, this recognition of ‘Story in the Public Square’ affirms our mission and encourages us to continue bringing storytellers, including many historians, to the screen and radio. Thank you so much!”

Founded in February 2012, Story in the Public Square is an initiative to celebrate, study and tell stories that matter. A partnership of the Pell Center and The Providence Journal, a GateHouse Media property, the program sponsors public seminars; annually names a national story of the year; and produces the eponymous Telly-winning, nationally broadcast weekly program on public television and SiriusXM satellite radio, now in its third year.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP on or by calling 401-846-0813 x110.