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A new signature event
for the Creative Capital!
June 11-14, 2015
Discover the city center as
it comes to life with firsts
in arts, music and spectacle
Experience an extravaganza of
performances & installations
throughout the city
Save the date: June 11-14
2015 Providence International
Arts Festival
Coming next: World Premiere
Lostwax Multimedia Dance
Artistic Icons Series
at The Vets: Mummenschanz,
Philip Glass, & Noche Flamenca
connecting art with audiences
in Providence, Rhode Island
FirstWorks Arts-Learning
introduces Regina Carter
to Rhode Island music students
FirstWorks Arts-Learning
Jazz at Lincoln Center
connect students to The Jazz Age
Enrich the lives of children
Join our FirstWorks friends
with a pledge to our Annual Fund
Artistic integrity is off the charts!

09/13/2014  to  09/21/2014   
Sat. 9/13 & 9/20 @ 8pm, Sun. 9/14 & 9/21 @ 3pm. Round Top Center, Beneficent Church, 330 Weybosset St. Providence

The Legend of the Fairy Melusine
An opera in 5 acts by Steven Jobe

An operatic concert premiere from the workshop of Rhode Island composer Steven Jobe, supported by a cast of outstanding local musicians. Based on a 14th-century French folktale, the story of Melusine is filled with romance, mystery and shape shifting. In Jobe’s retelling, the cursed fairy / serpent Melusine and her husband, Raimondin are reunited through their realization that love transcends our physical form and outward differences.

Jobe's significant score employs a septet of orchestral instruments complemented by less traditional sounds – including his signature, pitched chromatic glass bells and full hurdy-gurdy collection, capped by the 10-foot long, "Bosch Hurdy Gurdy", inspired by 16th-century Hieronymous Bosch painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights".

buy tickets
$15 advance / $20 at door

   "…'The Legend of the Fairy Melusine' showed off the mad genius composer's strengths - dazzling, medieval-based song styles, complicated yet lovely instrumental passages, full-on fearsome noise."
Providence Journal

9/18/2014   6:00-9pm
The Providence Biltmore Hotel - 11 Dorrance Street, Providence

FirstWorks 10th Anniversary Gala

An unforgettable evening of gourmet fare, cocktails, music and spectacle!

Honor founding FirstWorks board chair Fred Butler and benefit the arts education programs he helped to launch. Enjoy intimate access to leading artists from Australia, Morocco and Rhode Island.

buy tickets
$110 ea. ($70 is tax-deductible)

   Celebrate 10 years of artistic and community partnerships with FirstWorks

Downtown Providence - City Center

FirstWorks Urban Carnevale
Co-presented with the City of Providence

A FREE public celebration of music, spectacle, and food in the heart of Providence. Meet FirstWorks artists from around the globe-and here in Rhode Island. From the dizzying spectacle of Australia's Strange Fruit, to the irresistible rhythms of Morocco's hottest band - PLUS new generation masters from Southern Italy and local Rising Stars. You're at the center of it all - join us!


   Pictured: Australia's Strange Fruit - "Spheres"

10/18/2014   8pm
RISD Auditorium - 17 Canal Walkway, Providence

Regina Carter Quintet

Violin virtuoso Regina Carter is considered to be the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. Carter and her superb band take the audience on a musical odyssey featuring wonderfully listenable jazz and highlights from her latest project, "Southern Comfort" – exploring her grandfather’s roots in Alabama. Celebrating the joyous music that infused her childhood, "Southern Comfort" blends folk songs and spirituals, Cajun fiddle music, early gospel and coal miner's work songs in an unforgettable evening of music. For Regina Carter, the violin isn’t merely an improvisational vehicle—it’s a Rosetta stone that unlocks the door to myriad cultures and worlds.

Will Holshouser, accordion
Marvin Sewell, guitar
Chris Lightcap, bass
Alvester Garnett, drums

   "a knockout violinist who leads a knockout band"
O Magazine

10/18/2014   6:30pm
RISD Chace Center Metcalf Auditorium - 20 North Main St. Providence

FREE Creative Conversation
Cultural Identity & the Power of Improvisation - with Regina Carter

Join FirstWorks for a free public conversation with violin virtuoso and MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship awardee Regina Carter.

Moderated by Karen Baxter, Managing Director of Brown University's Africana Studies’ Rites and Reason Theatre.

FREE - no ticket required

   “Regina Carter creates music that is wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent and, at times, breathtakingly daring...taking the listener into the future of jazz.”
Time Magazine

01/22/2015   7pm
Plus, special one-hour school performance at 10am - call 401-421-4278 for school group rates. The Vets - 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Switzerland’s magical theater of illusion

The beloved Mummenschanz have brought myth, mystery and plenty of laughter to generations of audiences across four continents for over four decades. Since its three-year run on Broadway, this Swiss mask theatre troupe has pioneered a new form of visual performance and created a legacy. Hailed for their ability to fold, twist, arc and teeter the human body into amorphous, immensely adorable creatures, Mummenschanz promises to delight anyone from 2 to 92. Within their comic and wordless universe, everyday objects such as toilet paper, wires, tubes, and boxes spring to life to become fantastical characters. Using silence, illusion, light and shadow, these invisible masters of movement have revolutionized theatre, morphing ordinary materials into magically expressive masks and props. Their universe is filled with incredible stories that transcend the need for words, spark the imagination, and reveal timeless insight on human connections.

Performance run time is 100 minutes (including 20 minute intermission).

Audience members are invited to stay for a post-show Artist-Up-Close conversation with MUMMENSCHANZ founder Floriana Frassetto, moderated by Erminio Pinque of Rhode Island's own BIG NAZO puppets.

Save 20% with a ticket Four-Pack: use code MASK4
*Good for $38, 48, 58 levels

buy tickets
$28-68 (incl. $3 restoration fee)

   “Witty madness…dazzling and delightful!”
The New York Times

02/25/2015   7:30pm
The Vets - 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Philip Glass: An Evening of Chamber Music
Featuring Philip Glass and Tim Fain

Experience an intimate evening with one of the world’s most important living composers, Philip Glass. This chamber music concert is a rare opportunity to hear Glass perform both on solo piano and alongside the exceptional violinist, Tim Fain, acclaimed for his performance in the film "Black Swan". Fain is one of the few soloists for whom Glass has composed solo material; when asked why Glass answered: "because he’s that good". Pairing two incredible artists at two very different points in their careers, this unique presentation highlights their enormous generosity of spirit and features compositions spanning Glass' career, including works created specifically for Fain. The hauntingly beautiful music of Philip Glass always transports listeners to a state of musical bliss.

$78 premium ticket includes:
• Pre-show champagne toast with Philip Glass
• Select Golden Circle seats
• Reserved seating at Feb. 26 Artist-Up-Close talk, 4:30pm at RISD Auditorium

buy tickets
$38-78 (incl. $3 restoration fee)

   “To hear Philip Glass play the piano live was… like receiving a manuscript directly from the hands of Shakespeare.”
Politikken (Denmark)

02/26/2015   4:30pm
RISD Auditorium - 17 Canal Walk, Providence

Philip Glass
Artist-Up-Close - Creative Conversation

Join us for an exceptional opportunity to learn from Philip Glass, the extraordinarily influential American composer. Moderated by Daniel Cavicchi, RISD Professor and Dean of Liberal Arts, the conversation will focus on creativity, collaboration, and multidisciplinary inspiration and will delve into the experience of a man who has teamed up with influential artists across a spectrum of genres - from Twyla Tharp to David Bowie. “It’s been very important to me. I call it the engine of change,” Glass said of the collaboration process.

buy tickets
FREE - reservations are encouraged

   "The most powerful composer of our time"
The Daily Telegraph

03/27/2015   8pm
The Vets - 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca

Sizzling flamenco electrifies the stage as this Madrid-based company of dancers, singers and musicians provides an authentic look at a fiery and expressive art form. Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca promise a passionate journey through the very heart and soul of flamenco. All aspects of flamenco – song, dance, and music – are interrelated, creating a true communal spirit among the group’s ten performers. But Barrio is the indisputable star, a great artist without pretense, who makes you aware that, above its virtuosic feet, flamenco is an art of curves, arcs and circles. Her body is her soul’s instrument, ensnared by the music, and you feel yourself fortunate to be in the same space with her.

buy tickets
$23-55 (incl. $3 restoration fee)

   "There has been no company I have been so glad to discover as Noche Flamenca and, above all, its lead dancer, Soledad Barrio. I can think of no current ballet star in the world as marvelous as she."
The New York Times

04/10/2015  to  04/12/2015   Fri. & Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm
RISD Auditorium - 17 Canal Walk, Providence River Greenway

Lostwax Multimedia Dance

From 'panda cams', to electronic tagging, to selfies, snapchat, and drones, Lostwax Multimedia Dance applies their techno arts wizardry to author Thalia Field's contemporary love story. Tessella,
a woman trapped in her own self-made cage, meets Heine Hediger, the Swiss specialist in animal behavior in zoos. The stories, both human and animal, provide a piercing look at fight, flight, and
living life under surveillance. Artistic Director Jamie Jewett and long term collaborator composer/media artist R. Luke DuBois, welcome surveillance art specialist Elise Morrison in asking, "Can you see me now?"

   Winner "Best Dance Troupe In RI" 2011
Providence Phoenix

06/11/2015  to  06/14/2015   
Downtown Providence - City Center & Washington Street

2015 Providence International Arts Festival

The Providence International Arts Festival, produced by FirstWorks and the City of Providence, June 11 -14, 2015, promises to be a jaw-dropping celebration in the Creative Capital of Providence, Rhode Island. Discover the city center as it comes to life with firsts in arts, culture, music, food, and spectacle. Experience an extravaganza of performances and art installations throughout the city and join the parade converging on Kennedy Plaza during this signature showcase event.


   "Artistic integrity is off the charts!"
Natl. Endowment for the Arts


if you want to contact us:
401-421-4278 or

© 2016