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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
arts learning
Haale created a connection

FirstWorks connects world-class artists with local schools, libraries and neighborhoods to enrich the lives of youth in Rhode Island’s most economically disadvantaged areas. Our focus is engagement through arts-education and arts-creation. In particular, FirstWorks helps K-12 students build connections between art, their academic subjects, and their lives, meeting grade- level standards and modeling pathways to the future through exposure to cultural firsts. We have built deep, ongoing relationships with schools in some of Rhode Island’s neediest districts, filling in the gap left from severe cuts to state public education.


arts learning programs:
Jazz for Young People:
Jazz at Lincoln Center

Artists' Residency exploring the Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance: Nov. 2013-June 2014

FirstWorks is excited to announce a dynamic addition to this year’s arts-learning opportunities by expanding our partnership with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC). This year's program will focus on the cultural legacy of the Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance, through live performances, teaching artist visits, and content-rich resources, PLUS the addition of something new - an Arts Integration Performance Project that will put the creative reins in the hands of students.

Inspired by Wynton Marsalis' innovative model of combining performance with teaching, participating schools will work with JALC members and local teaching artists to develop their own projects, using not only music, but also dance, theatre, art, and literature. In June, all participating school groups will come together to showcase their work in a public performance alongside the JALC ensemble.


November 14, 2013: Professional Development & Master Class [view photos]
January 22-24 2014: Artists' Residency
June 3, 2014: Culminating Event [view photos]

Tea and Music

A traditional ceremony from Taiwan
Nov. 5, 2013, RISD’s Tap Room

The Taiwanese Cultural Council partners with FirstWorks to invite Zi Teng Lu, the established teahouse in Taiwan, to conduct a traditional tea ceremony. Participants will experience an interactive demonstration and lecture, complete with tea and traditional music, direct from Taiwan. The tea ceremony is very popular in Taipei today with young people - taking place in clubs and other nontraditional settings. Attendees will have the opportunity to brew their own tea, and to observe how the curled tea leaves gradually expand in the teapot and appreciate the fragrance as it spreads along with the music performance of Guqin. The finesse, delicacy, and tranquility in the small cup of tea encapsulates the Taiwanese cultural context of antiquities.

[view photos]

Kronos Quartet

Artists' residency and World Premiere performance, Nov. 6-8, 2013

One of the most influential music ensembles of our time comes to Providence to debut a new work, commissioned by FirstWorks and Community MusicWorks from composer Kareem Roustom.

Over four decades, Kronos has become one of the worlds most celebrated and influential ensembles. Having sold over 2.5 million records and with more than 3,000 performances, Kronos embraces a spirit of fearless exploration to tell the stories of new music like no other. Featuring David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello), Kronos are the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians.

[Rehearsal of A Voice Exclaiming with Community MusicWorks]
[Artists Up-Close - Nov. 7 at Brown University]
[Master Classes in the community]
[World Premiere Concert - Nov. 8 at RISD Auditorium]

Savion Glover

Broadway legend and tap dance phenomenon. Lecture/demo for schools, January 31, 2014

Since Tony Award-winning, tap sensation Savion Glover first exploded onto the stage with his Broadway smash hit "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk", he has become one of the precious few artists to radically embody, redefine and expand their art form. For his FirstWorks Arts-Learning residency, Glover will share his self-proclaimed tap style and dynamic, musical energy with area students in a special lecture/demo.

Janie Geiser

Acclaimed visual/theater artist and experimental filmmaker. Residency: April 6-12, 2014

A week-long residency with JANIE GEISER, an internationally recognized visual/theater artist and experimental filmmaker, whose work is known for its strength of design and its investigation of the emotional power of inanimate objects. One of the pioneers of the renaissance of American avant-garde object performance, Geiser creates innovative, hypnotic works that merge puppetry, film/video and performance. An Obie-Award winning director, Geiser has made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary puppet theater through her innovative original performance works. Geiser's experimental films are “as extravagantly beautiful as they are difficult, and as allusive as they are elusive” (Cinemascope, Spring 2001).

Geiser has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as funding from the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Henson Foundation, Creative Capital, the Center for Cultural Innovation and others. Geiser’s films have been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art (where they are a part of the Museum’s permanent collection).


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

© 2016