Newport Restoration Foundation has won a grant to make its collection of 18th-century, Newport-made furniture more accessible to the public . The funding is through the Herman H. Rose Civic, Cultural and Media Access Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

“By providing the means to support libraries and other civic, cultural and literacy-focused organizations, we can bolster their position as community centers that encourage discussion around important topics,” said philanthropist Herman Rose, who created the fund. Over the years, it has awarded more than $400,000 in grants.

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) received $2,000 to assist in designing professional interpretive materials and to purchase an interactive digital kiosk and multimedia educational tool to upgrade the exhibition space at Whitehorne House Museum.

“The kiosk and new materials will allow us to tell compelling narratives about 18th-century Newport furniture, and to share information about the style, identification and significance of Newport colonial furniture, the artisans who designed and made the furniture, and the 18th-century global trade system,” said Mark Thompson, executive director.

NRF will use the grant to hire a graphic designer to develop new signage that reflects the updated narratives surrounding 18th-century, Newport-made furniture, and to purchase upgraded technology to present interactive videos and information about the collection in an intuitive manner for museum visitors.

“We want to spark curiosity about process, materials and design and make connections to modern practices of craftsmanship. Funding from this grant will help us transform the museum into a community-oriented site that introduces new generations to the history and significance of 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts,” he said.

Newport Restoration is among 16 organizations to have won grants through the Rose Fund. The other projects include preparing a collection of women’s material for access at the University of Rhode Island, documenting the history of Latin Americans living in Rhode Island and digitizing the records of the R.I. Council for the Humanities.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $114 million and awarded $52 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2018. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.

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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.