Newport Art Museum will present Scandalous Conduct | Newport 1919 on Thursday, June 24, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Interdisciplinary artists Jason Tranchida and Matthew Lawrence will give a fascinating talk, uncovering a little-known facet of Naval culture in 1919 Newport. Focused on the US Navy’s use of musical theater as a marketing tool, they’ll also touch on the music of the era, the Jack and the Beanstalk story, a brief history of Vaudeville, and how all this material relates to Tranchida’s and Lawrence’s larger, multi-year project Scandalous Conduct | Newport 1919.

The talk is free, will take place at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, and registration is recommended at

At the close of World War I, the US Navy sparked national scandal after news broke about an undercover operation to stamp out “immoral acts” in Newport, Rhode Island. Dozens of sailors and civilian men were implicated in this covert raid on Newport’s gay scene. Meanwhile, the Navy was also producing a lavish production of Jack and the Beanstalk, touring the show around New England to drum up support and entice young men to enlist. The show featured a 25-piece orchestra and a cast of over 100, with quite a few Navy men performing in drag.

The Newport Art Museum is proud to partner with NewportOUT on this event and kick off Newport Pride Week, taking place June 25-27. Pride Week celebrates community and promotes love, acceptance, inclusivity, and diversity of LGBTQ+ identities through events and experiences held all over Newport. The Museum and NewportOUT aim to ensure Newport is an open, inviting and accessible place for LGBTQ+ visitors.

About The Speakers

Matthew Lawrence & Jason Tranchida are project-based interdisciplinary artists and curators based in Providence, Rhode Island. Together they produce the queer art magazine Headmaster, crafting assignments for artists and then publishing the resulting projects. The collaboration-themed ninth issue of the print publication will launch in Summer 2021. Some of Headmaster’s nearly 100 contributors have included Wolfgang Tillmans, Liz Collins, Nicholas Galanin, Alexander Chee, Derrick Woods-Morrow and Slava Mogutin. Tranchida and Lawrence have also produced live performances locally with the RISD Museum, Dean Hotel, and PVDFest.

More from What’s Up Newp

Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).