Fort Adams Trust hosted its 2022 Annual Meeting in the Casemates at Fort Adams on Wednesday, April 27.

Editor’s Note – I serve as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and have been a member of its Board of Directors since 2017.

Current Board Members, past board members, Fort Adams Trust supporters/volunteers, and members of the general public attended the meeting.

The meeting was kicked-off by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who shared the following remarks via a recorded video.

Chris Zeeman, President of Fort Adams Trust, and Jim Miller, Executive Director of Fort Adams Trust, provided their report and remarks before turning things over to Dan Titus, Treasurer for Fort Adams Trust, for his financial report.

Zeeman and Miller also announced that plans are underway to celebrate Fort Adams’ 200th Anniversary in 2024. Fort Adams Trust will also celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2024.

A new logo, membership program, an updated website, and a year-long celebration in 2024 are all in the works for the celebration.

Newport-based Moonbird Studios has been working with Fort Adams Trust’s Development and Membership Committee and staff on a new logo. The following was revealed as the new logo in celebration of Fort Adams Trust’s 200 year Anniversary.

Fort Adams Trust said goodbye to several important and long-time board members Jody Sullivan, Mike Kehew, Todd Thomas, Sandy Kristiansson, Kevin Stiles, and Eric Offenberg.

Four new members joined the board of directors, including Anthony Cerino, Keith Manville, Caroline Richards, and Joshua Rosenberg.

Those new members join Christopher Zeeman, myself (Ryan Belmore), Dan Titus, Matt Hadfield, Kelsey Hyman, John Nunes, Bill Mahoney, Jonathan Perry, Jairo Rugel, Paul Marshall, Joseph Marion, Bill Corcoran, Maureen Greichen, and David Matarese as current board members of Fort Adams Trust.

The Executive Committee for the next one-year term will be Christopher Zeeman as President, myself (Ryan Belmore) as Vice President, Dan Titus as Treasurer, Bill Corcoran as Secretary, and Paul Marshall as the At-Large Member. Corcoran and Marshall are new to the Executive Committee.

Two heroes of the Fort were honored. Chris Zeeman honored Lee Whitaker for his outstanding contributions to Fort Adams. While I (Ryan Belmore) honored George Wein for his outstanding contributions to Fort Adams. Both honorees will have a tree planted in their honor at Fort Adams.

Below are some of my remarks that I shared about George Wein,

2021 marked 40 years since the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival, the legendary festivals that George Wein co-founded, were first held here at Fort Adams. It was in 1981, 13 years before Fort Adams Trust was formed, that the first festivals were held here.

It’s hard to argue that any one person has done more to promote, publicize, and put Fort Adams Trust on “the map” over the 198 years that Fort Adams has stood here than George Wein has done.

It can be guestimated that George Wein is responsible for bringin 1.5- 2 million people to Fort Adams over the last 40 years. People from all over the world have discovered and fell in love with the Fort because of the festivals and his efforts.

Luckily in 2018, DEM and the Newport Festivals Foundation entered into an agreement to keep the festivals at Fort Adams through at least 2043.

In partnership with DEM and the Newport Festivals Foundation, Fort Adams Trust is honored today to recognize George Wein has an outstanding contributor to Fort Adams and will honor him as a hero of the Fort by planting a tree in his honor for thousands of music fans and Fort Adams visitors to enjoy for the years to come.

Fort Adams Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a 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, maintenance, and operation of Fort Adams as a public historic site. For more information, visit www.fortadams.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He 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 is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.