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There are lots of good reasons this week for our visitors to stay longer in the City-by-the-Sea. Three big events fill the three-day weekend featuring food, drinks, and fun. It all begins on Friday evening with the 4TH ANNUAL NEWPORT OYSTER FESTIVAL at Bowen’s Wharf (May 17-19). This family event happens rain or shine and is the perfect kickoff for a summer season of waterfront events in Newport. Oyster growers will be shucking fresh shellfish alongside a select group of local restaurants, sweets vendors, and others under the festival tents. There is an Opening Night Benefit Party: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Weekend Festival Hours are Saturday: 11 am – 5pm; Sunday: 11 am – 5pm.
This Saturday morning (May 18), send your guests to The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from 7:30 – 10:00 am for CARS & COFFEE. More than 100 cars will be on display. This is a free event. Coffee will be sold in the mansion’s back yard. In addition to amazing vehicles from the Audrain Auto Museum, many local owners will show off their classic cars. Interested owners can register to bring their cars at audrainautomuseum.org. Info: 401/856-4420.
At noon on Saturday, the city welcomes the NEWPORT FOOD TRUCK & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL featuring food trucks and craft beer makers at Fort Adams (80 Fort Adams Drive, Newport) until 5 pm. Guests can purchase tickets ($10-$40) at foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/newport-ri/
SPECIAL NOTE: The “small house” museums of the Preservation Society of Newport County — Isaac Bell House (1883), Kingscote (1841), Chepstow (1861), and Hunter House (1748) – re-open today (May 18th) for Guided Tours. All houses open at 10:00 am. These homes are open for the season through October 14th of this year. Info: newportmansions.org
TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK – BE AUTHENTIC
Develop, as best as you can, an authentic and genuine service style. While most of us begin our tour guide work reading and memorizing written scripts. We take notes and practice delivering our tours in a very specific order. But most of our guests and visitors are most charmed by our total command of the stories we share and our seeming naturalness in our delivery. Practice, practice, practice. The results can be amazing. Sara Kearney of the Hyatt Corporation once said, “You have to practice an awful lot to come across as completely unscripted (but it’s worth it).” Good advice to take to heart and implement.
NOTABLE & QUOTABLE
NEWPORT’S WONDERFUL RESOURCE
Newport has oil in its backyard
and its oil is its old buildings.
-Katherine Warren (1897-1976)
Founder and President, Preservation Society of Newport County
[Read a book review about her life, A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION, at the end of this column]
NOW HIRING! — TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · HARBOR CRUISE GUIDES · SUPPORT STAFF
This week there are more openings for tour guides, harbor cruise and sailing guides and crew members, and support staff at the mansions and a variety of museums and historic sites. Check out the web sites of the largest organizations – many are listed below – also check out the smaller tour companies and historic sites that might possibly need someone just like you.
Scan the openings and current job listings on the websites of the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.
- Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. Known as “The coolest job in the world.” This is a unique way to give tours and run your own business plus get lots of exercise. Make $500-$1,000 per week. Rent a Pedicab and give your guests a custom tour of the City-by-the-Sea. Info: www.newportpedicab.com/drivers
- Newport Car Museum’s family of volunteer docents share their passion for and knowledge of cars with interesting visitors from around the world. If interested, call Vincent Moretti at 401-848-CARS (2277)
- Preservation Society of Newport County. This is Newport’s largest owner and operator of historic properties offering audio and guided tours. A variety of guide, greeter, security, and housekeeping positions are available. They recruit year-round. Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
- Sightsailing of Newport accepts applications for its jobs year-round. Check their web site for guidance on applying for sailing jobs, front desk staff, and office positions at Sightsailing.com/employment.
- Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city. Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
- Newport Restoration Society. This non-profit operates Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org
For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.
CRUISE SHIPS BEGIN ARRIVING
The cruise ship season has begun! More than 80 ships will arrive in Newport during the coming Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. You can keep abreast of the upcoming arrivals of these sea-going ships and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city each week in this column.
Here is a list of the first arrivals scheduled for 2019, courtesy of our friends at Discover Newport.
- Friday, May 17 – Norwegian Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Friday, May 24 — Norwegian Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Thursday, June 6 – Celebrity Summit from Celebrity Cruise Lines
- Friday, June 7 — Norwegian Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Friday, June 14 — Norwegian Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines
CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS
NOW THROUGH JUNE 2 — HORSELESS TO HORSEPOWER: GILDED AND GOLDEN AGE AUTOMOBILES
This exhibit opened February 9th featuring some of the most extravagant and beautiful vehicles ever produced. Come and see for yourself the amazing elegance and styling of these classic automobiles. Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org
NOW THROUGH JULY 21, 2019 — GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY: SCULPTURE – NEWPORT ART MUSEUM
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, daughter of Alice & Cornelius Vanderbilt II, is best known as an art patron and founder of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. She also had a significant career as a sculptor, exhibiting throughout the United States and Europe and receiving major commissions and prizes. This exhibit showcases rarely seen works from private collections, examining the remarkable variety of the artist’s work—from her earliest classical sculptures to her more symbolic public monuments, from her bleakly Realist depiction of the tragedy of World War I to her late Art Deco work. This is the first exhibition of Whitney’s art since her death in 1942. More info: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org
NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 – “MY SMALL ABILITY” – THE LIFE AND WORK OF WILLIAM CLAGGETT
This exhibit at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center (82 Touro Street, Newport) features the story of 18th century master clockmaker, William Claggett. The exhibit tells us more than just the life of this craftsman by bringing alive other aspects of Newport including trade, artistry, aesthetics, science, religion, and culture through an examination of the life of Mr. Claggett. Additional Info and hours at 401/846-0813; newporthistory.org
NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 3rd – JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: OBSESSION UNTAMED – ROSECLIFF
The newest exhibit at Rosecliff (1902) is titled, John James Audubon: Obsession Untamed. In 1820 Audubon embarked on what would become his life’s work as “portraitist of all the birds of America.” The assembled collection showcases the naturalist’s relentless pursuit of the birds of America and his singular determination in seeing his beautiful artworks published. The exhibition draws upon the collections of the Preservation Society of Newport County as well as significant loans from private collections and institutions. Highlights include over 20 beautifully framed hand colored double elephant folio-sized aquatints from Birds of America, exquisite ladies’ hats and fans illustrating the early-20th-century craze for feathers that lead to initial conservation efforts, as well as Audubon’s life mask and snuff box. Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), daily, 9am – 5pm. Exhibit included in Rosecliff ticket. Info: newportmansions.org
WEDNESDAYS THRU SATURDAYS – MAY–NOVEMBER- – NEWPORT FOODIES STROLL – 11:30 AM
Newport Foodies Stroll offers a 1.5-mile walking food tour through Lower Thames Street. You will learn about the “City by the Sea”, as well as try the cuisine from five of the best locally owned restaurants. This progressive stroll will last 2.5 – 3 hours. Tours run Wednesday through Saturday beginning at 11:30 A.M. Meet Tom and Sue, your tour guides, in front of the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Reservations highly recommended as these tours fill up quickly. Book your tickets ($63) and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com
MAY 2019 TOURS, SPEAKERS, & SPECIAL EVENTS
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, MAY 16 – NEWPORT RUN & CHUG – 6:30 PM
This is a running group that does a 5K run every week (3.1 miles). Run is led by firefighter Eddie Valen. Meet at the Fastnet Pub (1 Broadway, Newport) at 6:30 pm. Run is followed by a meet-up (and Chug) at the Fastnet Pub. Info: 401/845-9311.
FRIDAY, MAY 17 – BIKE-TO-WORK DAY – BIKE COMMUTER BREAKFAST – 7-9 AM — NEWPORT CITY HALL
Bike-To-Work Day kicks off with the annual Bike Commuter Breakfast from 7-9 a.m. at Newport City Hall (rain location is Bike Newport’s office across the street, at 62 Broadway). At 4:30 p.m., riders reconvene at City Hall for bike-friendly progress reports and to observe the award for the Bike-Friendly Business of the Year. At 5 p.m., Bike Newport leads a group bike ride around downtown. Info: bikenewportri.org
FRIDAY, MAY 17 – 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 – pirates, criminals, and more — leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
MAY 17-19, 2019 – 4TH ANNUAL NEWPORT OYSTER FESTIVAL – BOWEN’S WHARF – RAIN OR SHINE
A FUN FAMILY EVENT! On the Newport waterfront at Bowen’s Wharf. Growers will be shucking alongside a select group of local restaurants, sweets vendors, Murphy Knives and others under festival tents. At this event, attendees can also shop for their favorite oysters, meet the growers, and learn all about aquaculture. Friday Night Opening Night Benefit Party: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Festival Hours: Saturday: 11 am – 5pm; Sunday: 11 am – 5pm. Tickets: bowenswharf.com/shop/oyster-festival/
FRIDAY, MAY 17 – NEWPORT ART MUSEUM LECTURE — DISTILLING THE AMERICAN FLAVOR: GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY, JULIANA FORCE, AND THE CREATION OF THE WHITNEY MUSEUM – LECTURE BY AVIS BERMAN – 6PM
The Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) will offer a fascinating lecture by independent writer, critic, and art historian Avis Berman on the lives and careers of two extraordinary women – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942) and Juliana Rieser Force (1876-1948) – whose partnership brought about the formation of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Join museum members and other art lovers for insight into the entwined stories of Gertrude Whitney, the cloistered heiress who boldly created a new life for herself as an artist and art patron, and the less well-known personality of Juliana Force, who rose from poverty and obscurity to reinvent herself as a flamboyant bohemian, and become the Whitney’s first director and a leader in her profession. Tickets are $15, or $10 for Museum members. Info: (401) 848-8200; www.newportartmuseum.org
SATURDAY, MAY 18 – CARS & COFFEE – THE ELMS – 7:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Register your car and come join a hundred other amazing vehicles on display in the back yard of The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from 7:30 am until 10 am. Coffee available, too. Register your vehicle at audrainautomuseum.org. Info: 401/856-4420.
SATURDAY, MAY 18 – NEWPORT MANSIONS SMALL HOUSES RE-OPEN FOR THE SEASON
The “small house” museums of the Preservation Society of Newport County — Isaac Bell House (1883), Kingscote (1841), Chepstow (1861), and Hunter House (1748) – re-open today for the 2019 season. All houses open at 10:00 am. Info: newportmansions.org
SATURDAY, MAY 18TH & SUNDAY MAY 19TH – BELCOURT RESTORATION TOUR – BELCOURT OF NEWPORT
Belcourt is amazing! Carolyn Rafaelian, owner of Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), is in the process of restoring this 1894 Gilded Age mansion to its original glory. Several one-hour Belcourt Restoration Tours will be offered this weekend. This home is truly something special. If you love behind-the-scenes tours, now is the time to check out the restoration-in-progress of this fabled mansion, before the permanent changes and upgrades are completed. Reservations are encouraged. Tours both days at: 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. Tickets: Adults: $17.50; Children: $8.00. Info & Online Ticket Purchase: belcourt.com
SATURDAY, MAY 18 – 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
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019 – NEWPORT FOOD TRUCK & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS — 12 – 5:00 PM
Food trucks and craft beer makers gather at Fort Adams (80 Fort Adams Drive, Newport) for a fun food and beer festival. Tickets; $10-$40. Info: foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/newport-ri/
SUNDAY, MAY 19 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
This tour ties together the city’s many exciting periods of its history. 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
MONDAY, MAY 20 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
One of several excellent walking tours of Newport offered by the Newport Historical Society. Riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, MAY 25 – NEWPORT ARCHITECTURAL SYMPOSIUM – 8:30 AM –
This year’s symposium focuses on the topic, “The Architecture and History of Newport’s Point Neighborhood.” This one-day symposium will include lectures by scholars, lunch and visits to some of these important buildings which play such a central place in the evolution of architecture in America from Colonial Era to the present day. Lecture Schedule: 08:30 am: Collect in Chapel of Harbor House (111 Washington Street); 09:00 am: The Architecture and History of Newport’s Easton Point (Ross Cann); 10:00 am: Hunter House and the Formation of the PSNC (Trudy Coxe); 11:00 am: The Point Association, Operation Clapboard and the NRF (Lisa Stuart); 12:00 pm: Boxed Lunch in Battery Park (if weather permits); 4:00-6:00pm: Closing Cocktail Reception: Villa Marina (Villa Marina). Cost for the breakfast, three lectures, lunch, afternoon tours, and wine and cheese reception is $65 (or $50 for Architectural Forum members). Info: www.ArchForum.org; email to ArchForum@A4arch.com.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2019 – WHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM RE-OPENS FOR SEASON
Newport Restoration Foundation’s (NRF) Whitehorne House Museum re-opens for the season. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to displaying and exploring the artistry, history, and culture of 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts. The museum has been closed for regular visits since October 2016 to allow NRF staff to plan for a reinterpretation of the collection and an improved visitor experience. The museum will remain open this season until October 27. The museum (416 Thames Street, Newport) is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tickets: Adults: $15; Students: $5; 12 & under: Free. Information: newportrestoration.org
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND — BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR HEROES MEMORIAL – FORT ADAMS STATE PARK
In 2016, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial with the widely acclaimed and dramatic display of nearly 7,000 military boots. Each boot is adorned with a name placard and an American flag representing each American service member killed in action in the Global War on Terror. The first of its kind, the display has taken place at Roger Williams State Park over the last three years. This display will take place at Fort Adams State Park during the Memorial Day Weekend – May 24-27. Info: 401/383-4730; osdri.org
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – JAMESTOWN NEWPORT FERRY SEASON BEGINS – MAY 24-27
The 2019 season for the Jamestown Newport Ferry begins Memorial Day Weekend. Stops include Rose Island, Fort Adams, Ann Street Pier, and Perrotti Park. Ferry leaves from the docks at the end of Narragansett Avenue in the village of Jamestown. Info & Tickets: 401/423-1556; jamestownnewportferry.com
MEMORIAL DAY – PROVIDENCE-NEWPORT FERRY BEGINS SERVICE
Round-trip Tickets: Adults: $22; Children: $11. Ferry service runs through Columbus Day, October 14th. Trip takes 60minutes. Leaves from India Street Ferry Terminal in Providence. Arrives at Perrotti Park in Newport (39 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/222-2450.
UPCOMING 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO SEASON OPENS
The Newport International Polo Series 28 begins on Saturday, June 1, 2019, 5:00 pm, at the Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI. Box Office opens to the general public on March 15. Info: 401/846-0200; nptpolo.com
SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2019 – BANKNEWPORT 10-MILER – FORT ADAMS — 7:30 AM
The seventh annual BankNewport 10 Miler is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on June 2, 2019. The course prominently features Newport’s scenic coastal views and ends with a truly unique finish as participants enter Fort Adams through the north gate and finish on the parade field. The BankNewport 10 Miler features two non-profit beneficiaries: The Fort Adams Trust, spotlighting their important mission to protect and promote the historic places and public spaces at the gateway to Narragansett Bay and Newport. This includes directing and supporting the stabilization, restoration, maintenance and operation of Fort Adams as a public historic site. Additionally, the race benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County. Race begins and ends at Fort Adams. Info and Race Registration: newport10miler.com/info/
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2019 – OPENING NIGHT – NEWPORT GULLS BASEBALL – 6:35 PM
The Newport Gulls will welcome the Mystic Schooners to kick off the 2019 collegiate baseball season at Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) on June 5th. Info & Tickets: 401/845-6832; https://bit.ly/2RxDm0D
SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019 – SWISS VILLAGE FARM FOUNDATION ANNUAL VISITORS DAY – 9 AM – 3 PM
Swiss Village Farm (SVF) Foundation’s annual visitor’s day will allow members of the public to learn more about the Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project. SVF is a nonprofit farm working towards the collection and preservation of genetics from rare breeds of livestock. Visitors can peek into their facilities and meet the laboratory, veterinary and animal husbandry staff. Attend live cryogenics and sheep shearing demonstrations. Enjoy Julian’s Omnibus food truck serving local heritage breed burgers and munchies! This event is free to the public. Parking will be available at Fort Adams State Park and free trolley transportation will be provided from 9am to 3pm. No parking available at SVF. Info: 401/848-7229; email for email@example.com
SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019 – NEW YORK YACHT CLUB’S 2019 SEASON BEGINS – LEUKEMIA CUP
The New York Yacht Club has announced its 12-event 2019 sailing season that begins on June 8 with the Leukemia Cup race, followed by the club’s 165th Annual Regatta (June 14-16), and ending on September 29 with the Melges IC37 national championship races (September 27-29). Info: 401/846-1000; nyyc.org
JUNE 15, 16, 17, 2019 – NEWPORT COUNTY DAYS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS & HOSPITALITY EMPLOYEE DAYS
This weekend is the second of four annual weekends called Newport County Residents Days at the Newport Mansions. Any Newport County resident will receive free daytime admission to all Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) properties currently open (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff) as guests of the PSNC. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.) must be presented. This weekend will also feature Hospitality Employee Days with other Newport cultural attractions participating. Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org
JUNE 21-23, 2019 – THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW – AUDUBON ARTISTIC ADVENTURES – ROSECLIFF MANSION
The 2019 Newport Flower Show will feature design and horticulture exhibit, a Home & Garden Marketplace, Oceanside Boutiques, outdoor garden displays, lectures, and demonstrations by the top experts in the field. The Opening Night Party will take place from 6-9 pm on June 21. Info: newportmansions.org
FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2019 – 50TH ANNIVERSARY (1969-2019) PARTY FOR NEWPORT PELL BRIDGE – FORT ADAMS
JULY 8-13, 2019 – INTERNATIONAL 12 METRE CLASS 2019 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP — NEWPORT, RI
The International 12 Metre Class’ 2019 World Championship will be held in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from July 8- 13, hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the 12 Metre Yacht Club. It will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metre yachts in the United States featuring more than two-dozen boats from seven countries. International teams comprised of elite sailors including America’s Cup veterans and Olympic medalists will represent Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and the United States. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship fleet will span the years 1928 -1987, include seven America’s Cup defenders and challengers, and be sailed on Rhode Island Sound, the site of nine America’s Cup competitions from 1958-1983. Info: http://www.12mrclass.com
JULY 26-29, 2019 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI
This famous festival, launched in 1959, will celebrate in a 4-day music extravaganza July 26-29 at Fort Adams, overlooking the mouth of Newport Harbor. Tickets and more information at newportfolk.org.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL CONCERT – INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME
A special concert will be presented at the Newport Casino at the International Tennis Hall of Fame (194 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) on Friday night, August 2nd. Tickets go on sale March 27th. Ticket prices: $50-$110. Tickets and more information at: newportjazz.org.
AUGUST 2-4, 2019 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI
Since 1954, the greatest jazz musicians on the planet have played before the most loyal and appreciative jazz aficionados and fans in the world at the largest coastal fort in America, Fort Adams. They’ll do it again this August 2-4, beginning with a concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, August 2. Don’t miss any of the music, the fun, and the food! Tickets and more information at: newportjazz.org.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 – IYRS NEWPORT CLASSIC YACHT PARADE – 10:30 AM
This parade wraps up the weekend of the 40th Annual Newport Classic Yacht Regatta presented by IYRS (NCYR) which will take place over Labor Day weekend, Friday – Sunday, August 31 – Sep 1. The Organizing Authority for the NCYR is the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
SEPTEMBER 6-8, 2O19 – NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS
The annual Newport Secret Garden Tours opens its gates to a plethora of stunning gardens in historic Newport, Rhode Island. Join the Benefactors of the Arts on September 6-8 for this self-guided tour featuring at least 10 incredible gardens. These private gardens are shared with the community to help raise funds for the Arts Education programs in the Island’s public schools. The tour runs daily, 10 am until 5 pm, and tickets are good for any or all days of the tour, allowing for inclement weather, schedule conflicts, or just a late start. Info and tickets: secretgardentours.org
SEPTEMBER 12-15, 2019 – 49TH ANNUAL NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW
Mark your calendar for the 49th annual Newport International Boat Show on the famed downtown Newport waterfront from September 12th to 15th this year. More Information: http://newportboatshow.com/
SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019 — THE NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
This is one of the East Coast’s most sophisticated and anticipated events of the year. It is scheduled for September 19-22 at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Enjoy magnificent wines from around the world, fabulous food from local, regional and national chefs, artisanal food purveyors, cooking demos and interactive activities in an unforgettable setting. To learn more about the schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, visit newportmansions.org
OCTOBER 3-6, 2019 – AUDRAIN’S NEWPORT CONCOURS & MOTOR WEEK – INAUGURAL EVENT
The Audrain Automobile Museum presents the inaugural Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week coming to Newport, Rhode Island on October 3 -6, 2019. Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week 2019 will be the first of an annual event which aims to enliven the story of the automobile and its racing history in the northeast region of our country. With all this history, and help from their Event Chair, world renowned collecting, restoration, and culture expert, Jay Leno and their Concours Chair, Donald Osborne, noted classic car historian, consultant, writer and television personality, the Audrain Automobile Museum adds another chapter to Newport’s extensive book of automotive and sporting fascination. With the support and assistance from the Preservation Society of Newport County, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Salve Regina University, along with car enthusiasts, luxury car brands, venue partners, and supporters in Newport, Audrain plans to execute one of the highest quality events that the community has ever seen and raise money to increase the local economy. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org
OCTOBER 3-7, 2019 – ROGUE ISLAND COMEDY FESTIVAL – VARIOUS LOCATIONS – NEWPORT, RI
For auditions, show information, and tickets, contact: rogueislandcomedyfestival.com
OCTOBER 13-15, 2019 – VISITOR EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE (VEX) – PHILADELPHIA, PA
This is an annual industry conference that should be of special interest to tour guides, greeters, tour operators, chambers of commerce, and all those whose goal is to create a memorable experience for their guests and visitors. The 2019 Visitor Experience Conference is a recognized platform for experts to share best practices in the Visitor Experience sector and provide specialized knowledge to take museum organizations to the next level. VEX offers a range of professional learning opportunities. From keynote and panel sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, half-day workshops, and lots of social events to meet and talk with colleagues. The conference takes place in the history-rich city of Philadelphia.
Attendees include museum professionals at all levels of their career, mainly in the Visitor Experience and Visitor Services field, but also consultants, exhibition developers/designers, volunteer managers, ticketing and database companies, and more. Past VEX attendees have included The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Longwood Gardens, National Trust (England), Columbus Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Tacoma Art Museum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more from around the world. Info & Registration: https://visitorexperience.group/conference
NOW IS STILL A GREAT TIME TO EXPERIENCE THESE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS!
BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR – UPDATED MAY SCHEDULE
The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is still offered daily. Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: FOUR TOURS DAILY!
Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, the world-famous 1-hour guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms is back and better than ever. Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Info and updates: newportmansions.org
RECOMMENDED READING FOR TOUR GUIDES
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. Here is an important Newport book to read, learn from, and share.
A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION: Katherine Warren and the Shaping of Modern Newport. By Alyssa Lozupone. Carlisle, MA: Commonwealth Editions, Applewood Books, 2015. Some of the greatest and impactful things that move the world forward only happen when the exact right person arrives at the precise time with the perfect set of skills, experiences, and curiosity, and sees something no one else sees and has the passion and perseverance to make their vision a reality in spite of all the odds against their success. Katherine Urquhart, a Californian by birth, took semiannual trips to New Orleans to visit an aunt, and later, with her sister, spent teenage summers at a cousin’s home in Newport, and there met her future husband, George Henry Warren, Jr. Travel to France with the American Red Cross in WWI opened her eyes to the power of historic sites and buildings to attract tourists. Further travels took her to China, Egypt, Japan and India. She and her husband collected contemporary and modernist art and she was involved with the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence). For all her cultural sensitivities, it was news of a threat to the historic Hunter House (54 Washington Street, Newport) that inspired the creation of a local group to preserve historic buildings and places that led to the incorporation of the Preservation Society of Newport County on August 2, 1945. The organization quickly moved to preserve and save many notable mansions in the city. All was not easy and the group faced many challenges from residents and those who were pushing urban renewal at the expense of the city’s large number of historical homes, municipal buildings, streetscapes, neighborhoods, and historic sites. Katherine Warren persevered despite these challenges by following her own preservation philosophy. She was a preservationist, but she also recognized the need to emphasize “community engagement, divergence from the museum model, incorporation of historic resources into city planning, and the use of preservation as a tool for economic growth as well as overall community revitalization.” Before the middle of the 20th century, Warren had already envisioned and anticipated modern 21st century preservation practices. She went on to help save numerous historic properties and artifacts, and helped guide the creation of other organizations, including the Newport Restoration Society. Awards and other recognitions followed, and her singular legacy continues to this day.
The full scope, reach, and influence of Katherine Warren cannot be adequately reported in a short book review. But for everyone who works in Newport tourism, travel, tour guiding, museum management, and marketing, this book is a must-read to better understand how we arrived where we are today and how close we came to losing so many of the city’s quintessential historic treasures. Katherine Warren’s vision is now ours to care for and preserve for future generations. Read Alyssa Lozupone’s A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION to learn the exciting details about Warren’s amazing life.
HANDBOOK FOR ALL 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 [Direct from the author or via 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. Handbook includes greetings in 18 of the most frequently spoken languages heard in Newport.
————————————————————————————————————————-KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).