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Motif x RI ComicCon Cosplay Contest

Miss Comic Con? Or Halloween? Both? Or just love to cosplay?

Motif to the rescue! Teaming up with RI Comic Con, which would normally happen at the beginning of November, we’re holding a virtual cosplay contest. Get your best cosplay on, take a selfie, show us your craftsmanship and win prizes from Motif and RI Comic Con.

There will be two top-level divisions for you to choose from: Casual and Professional.

Casual

Casual (novice and journeyman) – We’re defining Casual cosplay as a costume created out of purchased pieces that have been manipulated in some way. Sewing or constructing pieces from scratch is not a requirement. Submit up to three photos, along with your name and age. Please include yourself in the costume. Here’s an example: Extra points if you can name the video game that served as inspiration (use the comments below)

Professional

Professional (master and professional) – We’re defining Professional cosplay as a costume that has been sewn or constructed at least 70% from scratch. Submit at least three photos, along with your name and age. Please include yourself in costume, detail shots, and examples of stitch work or construction. Here’s an example:

Subcategories will be decided by our panel of judges, based in part on what is submitted. They’ll include best: Overall, group cosplay, couple cosplay, twist on a classic, innovative, craftsmanship, stitching, true to character, steampunk, superhero, sci-fi, horror, anime, mash-up, and amusing. All entries will be considered for all subcategories.

Submissions are due no later than Sunday, November 3, 2020, at midnight. Winners will be announced on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

Awards include Comic Con merch (tshirts, bags) and passes to 2021’s RI Comic Con for best overall and select judges picks.




Supporting Portland: Protesters gathered in PVD Saturday night

Protesters gathered in front of the Providence Public Safety Complex on Saturday night, with law enforcement in riot gear standing a block away. One hundred and fifty mostly young people came out to protest police brutality and called to defund the police. 

The rally’s original intent was to show solidarity with the city of Portland, Oregon. Portland has been the epicenter of massive demonstrations in the past few weeks, with protesters clashing with police. In response, President Donald Trump sent unwanted federal border patrol agents into the city. Last night’s march in Providence was also spurred by the arrest of two counter-protesters, Najeli Rodriguez and Jonas Pierre, on Thursday night. The two were counter-protesters at a cancelled “Defend, not Defund” rally in Providence that was in support of law enforcement.

Around 8:45pm, protesters marched down Broad Street toward South Providence before circling back to Classical High School where the march ended. Protesters commonly wore black t-shirts and face masks or bandanas. Police were armed in riot gear, with plastic sticks and shields.

The march, while mostly peaceful, was punctuated by small acts of violence. Police driving their cruisers played chicken with a line of demonstrators, who sat down in front of the vehicles. The response of the police was to roll rapidly toward them, as if to hit them, before breaking sharply. No one was hit. In another incident, protesters surrounded a van, alleging law enforcement had pulled one of their own inside. Different protesters threw water bottles and glass bottles at police. Overall, police report they arrested five people in total at the march.

Protesters used bicyclists as spotters during the march. They rode in front and behind, communicating with marchers on police movement. Notably, some protesters also picked up litter as they went long. For the most part, law enforcement remained a decent distance away from demonstrators. They had vehicles positioned ahead and following the protesters. 

On a few occasions, marchers stopped to link arms and briefly block traffic.  “White people, please stand in front to help protect our Black people,” was one of the repeated instructions to the crowd. Along the way, protesters consistently chanted, “Whose Streets? Our Streets!”, “Black Lives Matter!”, “No Justice, No Peace!” among others.

It was still Saturday night in Providence and the streets were far from empty during the march. People came out to watch the protesters and cheered. Drivers in their cars honked their horns in support of the protesters, making it hard to hear anything else. The people who Motif interviewed were generally supportive of the protest. “I like it a lot. I think this is great and needed,” said Rugah, one of the onlookers last night. “We need better justice.”

Additional reporting by Amanda Grafe




Providence Tours go Viral: A monumental scavenger hunt

There is a lot of history hidden throughout Providence in plain sight. The memorials, monuments or statues you may encounter in your daily travels probably pass you by without you ever noticing what they stand for or where they came from.

The Providence Tour Company normally would take you on a fun-filled amble through local history. But under coronavirus, tours have understandably been a whole different animal (the company will do private tours, on request). Founder Bradly VanDerStad wanted to find a way for people to enjoy PVD history without a group or hands-on guide. There are plenty of self guided tours online, of course, but even the least droning of voices can lull you into a gentle sense of boredom when there’s little challenge or interaction.

So Providence Tour Company developed an interactive scavenger hunt approach to bringing a little PVD history to life — a technique that’s social-distance-friendly, but entertaining enough that you’ll have fun with it long after quarantines have lifted. (We’re betting PVD history will outlast the invasion by our viral antagonists.)

Motif writers had the honor of taking the first official Scavenger Hunt, and it worked exactly as promised. There were five clues, and it took us just over two hours — 30 minutes of which were spent arguing with our GPS about what state we were in, which was no fault of the game.

Each clue involved a little figuring out, even if we were already familiar with the location. Each was also linked to an historical celebrity of local proportions. Sometimes we could identify the person, but didn’t realize there was a monument or where it was. You’re encouraged to use the internet, so all things can eventually be puzzled out there. Just make sure your phones are charged — you don’t want to be that person, going, “What does it say, what does it say?” while others thumb their phones.

We found all the puzzles engaging enough to make us talk to each other and having Googlers talk through the next clue while the driver brings the group to the current location was pretty efficient. You do have to work with your current germ circle — being in the same car is a must. We found it enjoyable with two, three or four people.

The clues were also themed to their periods in history, each doing a great job of invoking an era while staying fun and amusing. They included poems and songs and other indirect references.

Providence Tour Company emails a clue every 10 minutes; we fell behind pretty quickly (thanks GPS), but if you don’t try a side-trip to Connecticut for no reason, the pace should keep you on track. Eventually you end up with a few clues you can try to solve in any order. They all lead to landmarks; once you’ve gotten close, they’re pretty easy to identify. You take a selfie with them, and send that to the Tour Company. They give you a thumbs up or thumbs down, and there’s a point system where — like a good escape room — you can ask for hints. Bradly gets right back to you if you have any questions or concerns. We only hit him up twice, but he responded immediately and with just the right level of cryptic-but-helpful. The driving around was pretty minimal; you cover much of the city, but not the farthest flung parts, and if you know where you’re going each drive was 15 minutes or less. Surprisingly, as Rhode Islanders, we also didn’t have much trouble finding parking at each spot!

Overall, it was a really fun way to spend a few hours — especially if the weather is nice — without having to get near anyone but while still exploring a sample of the rich history of Providence (Pro tip – no matter what the internet seems to tell you, no clues take you outside of the city). And once you’re familiar with your set of landmarks, you’ll probably spend months pointing them out to others whenever you find yourself nearby.

Learn more at pvdtourco.com




East Providence High School Art Show

View The Live Stream

The East Providence High School Art Show will live stream its opening on Providence Gallery Night, Thursday, May 21 at 7pm. There will be a link at this location.

If you’d like to invest in any piece of artwork from this show, many are available. Inquire to Jsisti@epschoolsri.com and include the number identifying which piece you’re interested in. Thanks for supporting local artists!

  1. Juliana Dolby – graphite
  2. Juliana Dolby – watercolor / colored pencil
  3. Kendrick Dias – acrylic
  4. Sarina Medeiros – cray-pas
  5. Issac Suarez – cray-pas
  6. Gayatri Buchta – graphite
  7. Isabella Lothrop – Scratchboard
  8. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  9. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  10. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  11. Abigail Worden – pen & ink
  12. Abigail Worden – set of two – pen & ink
  13. Abigail Worden – pen & ink
  14. Abigail Worden – pen & ink
  15. Abigail Worden – set of two – pen & ink
  16. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  17. Mary Penta – Acrylic
  18. Trinity Lussier – watercolor / colored pencil
  19. Trinity Lussier – charcoal
  20. Trinity Lussier – pen and ink
  21. Trinity Lussier – pen and ink
  22. Kendrick Diaz – water color / colored pencil
  23. Kendrick Diaz – pen & ink
  24. Jameson Furtado – watercolor / colored pencil
  25. Jameson Furtado – pen and ink
  26. Issac Price – watercolor / colored pencil
  27. Issac Price – pen & inc
  28. Leila Marte – pen & ink
  29. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  30. Sarah Medeiros – scratchboard
  31. Gayatri Buchta – sp – watercolor / colored pencil
  32. Gayatri Buchta – pen & ink
  33. Gayatri Buchta – watercolor / colored pencil
  34. Paris Martin – cray pas
  35. Paris Martin – acrylic
  36. Juliana Dolby – soft pastel
  37. Iyonna Faria-Tucker – watercolor / colored pencil
  38. Gayatri Buchta – watercolor / colored pencil
  39. Mary Penta – pen & ink
  40. Mary Penta – pen & ink
  41. Jaylenne Ellis – soft pastels

Find a full article here: https://motifri.com/east-providence-high-school-gallery-show-art-students-undeterred-by-quarantine/

View The Live Stream




East Providence High School Art Show

View The Live Stream

The East Providence High School Art Show will live stream its opening on Providence Gallery Night, Thursday, May 21 at 7pm. There will be a link at this location.

If you’d like to invest in any piece of artwork from this show, many are available. Inquire to Jsisti@epschoolsri.com and include the number identifying which piece you’re interested in. Thanks for supporting local artists!

  1. Juliana Dolby – graphite
  2. Juliana Dolby – watercolor / colored pencil
  3. Kendrick Dias – acrylic
  4. Sarina Medeiros – cray-pas
  5. Issac Suarez – cray-pas
  6. Gayatri Buchta – graphite
  7. Isabella Lothrop – Scratchboard
  8. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  9. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  10. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  11. Abigail Worden – pen & ink
  12. Abigail Worden – set of two – pen & ink
  13. Abigail Worden – pen & ink
  14. Abigail Worden – pen & ink
  15. Abigail Worden – set of two – pen & ink
  16. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  17. Mary Penta – Acrylic
  18. Trinity Lussier – watercolor / colored pencil
  19. Trinity Lussier – charcoal
  20. Trinity Lussier – pen and ink
  21. Trinity Lussier – pen and ink
  22. Jaylenne Ellis – water color / colored pencil
  23. Kendrick Diaz – pen & ink
  24. Jameson Furtado – watercolor / colored pencil
  25. Jameson Furtado – pen and ink
  26. Issac Price – watercolor / colored pencil
  27. Issac Price – pen & inc
  28. Leila Marte – pen & ink
  29. Abigail Worden – acrylic
  30. Sarah Medeiros – scratchboard
  31. Gayatri Buchta – sp – watercolor / colored pencil
  32. Gayatri Buchta – pen & ink
  33. Gayatri Buchta – watercolor / colored pencil
  34. Paris Martin – cray pas
  35. Paris Martin – acrylic
  36. Juliana Dolby – soft pastel
  37. Iyonna Faria-Tucker – watercolor / colored pencil
  38. Gayatri Buchta – watercolor / colored pencil
  39. Mary Penta – pen & ink
  40. Mary Penta – pen & ink
  41. Jaylenne Ellis – soft pastels

Find a full article here: https://motifri.com/east-providence-high-school-gallery-show-art-students-undeterred-by-quarantine/

View The Live Stream




Viral Video: Far from Perfect: Thoughts on a Global Pandemic hits the net

Lenny Schwartz and Nathan Suher wanted to make a movie fast. Because it was about the time of corona, made in the time of corona, it couldn’t be produced using normal methods. So the prolific Schwartz wrote an extended series of one-person scenes that play out over the internet and could be shot by individual actors in their homes.

The result, Far From Perfect: Thoughts on a Global Pandemic, is long – 2 hours and twenty minutes. But it’s online, so you can always pause it to pee or to finish later. It is oddly fascinating and very watchable – like letting YouTube autosurf for you or like a particularly riveting Zoom gathering, in the new order of things. There are around 100 segments, almost all are short, sweet, concise and often intense. Each stars a different actor addressing the camera, and the tales are loosely tied together – each character is somehow tied to the previous and next one, but each tells his or her own story. It’s a series of monologues – some funny, some dark, some touchy. With more than 100 segments, some naturally miss the mark, but they’re so short you’re on to the next one before ADD can set in. Many different viewpoints are represented, and the montage-like presentation is gently captivating. Think of it as “The Corona Monologues,” and you’ve got the right spirit. And rest assured, no matter what you think of our current state of affairs, you will find at least one voice to horrify you, at least one you’re in full agreement with, and any number to amuse you.

Plus many of them are local actors and this is Rhode Island, so you’re likely to see someone you know in here.

The film may have enduring appeal – as an inspired snapshot of the thoughts and concerns from this moment in time, at the very least. But as the first substantive work of filmmaking to address what’s happening in our world, it’s a streaming must-see.

The film premiered April 18 and can be seen here: vimeo.com/409093359. It will be available in the coming weeks on Amazon Prime.




Car Hopping: Dine-in restaurants grapple with turning to takeout

At this point, your favorite restaurant has done one of two things. Either they’ve closed for the foreseeable future, or they’ve gone to curbside/takeout/delivery. Among those offering takeout, some are working to leverage inventory they built up or had in reserve, and you can expect them to stop offering takeout in the next few weeks when they run out of supplies. Others are making a pointed effort to keep as many of their workers employed as possible with sustainable takeout options – but still, going from dine-in to takeout means using a skeleton staff. 

Off the record, we heard from quite a few operations that are seeing slower business than usual, even when measured against typical recent takeout business. With the economic uncertainty spreading at least as quickly as germs and the supermarkets getting a heavy work-out, many who might have typically eaten out are conserving either their funds or their exposure and cooking at home – but there may be enough activity during this bridge period to keep some of our favorite food shops alive. Here’s what a few of the eateries we talked to told us:

Sicilia’s Pizza, which normally does a brisk takeout and delivery trade with a more modest dine-in base is continuing takeout at their Federal Hill location: 

“Things have been steady, but slower than usual,” said the manager on duty. “The biggest surprise is we have a lot of people who don’t know we’re still doing takeout. We’ve gotten so many calls just asking if we’re still open. I think once the word gets out, we’ll get back close to normal.”

GPub and the Rooftop G, which also manage Sarto restaurant in downtown PVD, have ceased operations for the duration of the quarantine:

“We took the steps on the Monday prior to the mandate, focusing on our employees, artists and partners and their safety. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to lay off the majority of our really hard working employees. Right now, we’re mostly thinking forward about how we can bring everyone back. When we do reopen, whenever that may be, how can we get the tourism and hospitality industry and live music up and successful again. We had to cancel 45 events in March and the beginning of April. I’m still going a week at a time – it’s a day-by-day situation. I’m thinking about the summer now, and it’s definitely going to take a while for our industry to recover. Sports is also what the GPub is known for, and without any sports, if we can bring something back we’ll be focusing on our other community activities – like retro video games and our comedy night that launched right before all this started.

“It’s going to be hard, but one silver lining: I love to see so many people out there buying gift cards and supporting their local businesses as they can. It can’t compare to being open for business, but there is a spirit of us all being in this together that’s reassuring.” – Brendan Chipley Roane, director of marketing and communications

Mike Delehanty, one of the owners of Providence’s Union Station, Barnaby’s Public House and What Cheer? Tavern, all known for their food but primarily for their libations, said it was a very difficult decision to close up shop temporarily at each location. What Cheer? is really, first, a neighborhood bar. Barnaby’s has a top-tier chef they felt wouldn’t make sense working on just a few takeout orders a night, and both Barnaby’s and Union Station, while they have substantial local support, are really sustained by hotel customers. “The hotels are at about 10% of their usual occupancy. They have no customers for us right now. We had to make the decision to wait this out,” he said [Note: In the time between that statement and publication, many have closed down completely for the time being].

Matunuck Oyster Bar in Wakefield has converted to takeout. We spoke to Perry Raso, owner of the renowned dine-in establishment.

“It’s different. We’ve converted our dining area into a mission control center where we process orders. And we’re down to a very reduced staff, so my GM is doing the dishes right now, My chef’s cleaning the blower and I’m wrapping fish. It’s like starting a new business. Everything’s changed and we’re trying to figure it out.” How are their customers reacting? “It’s not very busy yet, but it’s something we’re hoping to be able to build on. It’s mostly curbside pickup. We’ve always offered that.”

Even the Capital Grille is experimenting with takeout and is open for pickup orders. Staff are prohibited from talking to the press and spokespeople for the corporation could not be reached for comment, but fine dining staff have been furloughed. One who spoke with us off the record was finding a silver lining in an enforced vacation, making plans to go backwoods for a while and “get away from all this.”

Revival’s and Troop’s (in Cranston and Providence, respectively) Sean Larkin spoke with Motif right before all dine-in restaurants were ordered closed. At that time, they were carefully weighing their commitment to keeping employees employed and their commitment to be as safe as possible for everyone. Their plan was to let each worker make their own decision about whether to work, so no one was cut off. Then the mandate went into place and they switched to full takeout. We asked how takeout was going so far:

“It’s modest at best – it’s not super busy, because we’re not a takeout restaurant, but we came together with a takeout menu pretty quickly and we’re going to do the best that we can to keep it going.” Do you think people know you have takeout as an option? “I think our followers know we have takeout, especially through social media, but I think a lot of people have to consider their economic situation now. Takeout is really a way for us to keep the restaurant open and keep some of our employees working and earning a living. As long as we’re not losing money, we will keep this going as long as we can.” Larkin is most interested in knowing how the state plans to repeal the ban – what’s the plan to get people back out safely?

What about the most mobile members of our culinary scene, the food trucks? We asked Eric Weiner of PVD Food Truck Events and FoodTrucksIn. We learned that some with regular spots are still trucking along. “They’re trying to figure it out. Some of them are trying to figure out if they can do delivery. But those conversations are just starting out. Those with trucks and physical locations are definitely moving to curbside and using their trucks to do that.

“For [PVD Food Truck Events], we don’t sell tickets or have contracts with talent or pay rent in advance. So we can be really flexible. Right now, we’re looking 10 to 14 days out and canceling as we go. I haven’t canceled April events yet. I think the next two weeks will really make clear what those decisions need to be. All the events food trucks were servicing. They’re taking it with humility – they know their season doesn’t usually start until May. But many of those big events they’re typically a part of require a lot of planning, and they’re calling those off for April and May, so the trucks will lose a lot of their events, even if the mandates are removed.” 

How all this will continue to evolve is anyone’s guess, and of course it depends on how long measures stay in place. But if your taste buds are aching for some culinary treats, don’t forget to look to the curb.

Eat Drink RI is attempting to maintain a list of restaurants open for takeout – it’s sure to be changing fast. Check it out at eatdrinkri.com/2020/03/18/restaurants-with-online-ordering-and-take-out




Breaking it Down: America was poised for a burnout

“I’m honestly glad for the break,” said one restaurant owner when I recently interviewed him about the effects of social distancing on his business. “I’ve been going full-out for so long, having a forced vacation is kind of nice.” Even if it’s the universe forcing it on you? “I’m sure I’ll feel different soon, but for a few days, yes.”

“I’m relieved to not have to go out, honestly,” another recent interviewee, who suffers from social anxiety. “I needed a break.”

Although the changes the coronavirus may wreak on society, the economy and just plain old reality can definitely be stressful, it is possible that many Americans are embracing quarantine and self-quarantine because they just needed a break.

Americans are known for a work ethic that far exceeds most other developed nations. We work more days a year. We have institutionalized expectations of two weeks of vacation a year, compared to six in most European countries. We put in more hours per week. If you have a hobby and you live in any other given Western country, you pursue it for fun and gratification, spend some money on it and perhaps share it with your friends. If you have a hobby and live in the US, people have almost certainly suggested you monetize it – on the side, or as a future career (kudos if you’ve resisted that pressure). “Ooh, those things you make are awesome, you should sell them on eBay!”

As a nation, far too many of us were waiting for a chance to take a breather. No one wants an indefinite breather, of course, but a little quarantine may be good for our collective soul and reveal just how burned out the current economic system – now due for a serious overhaul of undetermined proportions anyway – has made all of us. The wealth gap isn’t something most of us have much time to really consider, because we’ve all been kept too busy working. A communal stop could be the sort of thoughtful pause we need; and the wide-ranging anticipated negative side effects, especially for the poorest in our society, might combine to incite a reconsideration of the lifestyle we have collectively adopted over the last couple of generations.

“I finally got to spend some time with my kids.” “I had a basement full of fun projects I just got to dig into for the first time in years.” These comments and others show that there was an imbalance waiting to be corrected, and maybe the force of necessity, like a bloodless societal revolution, will prove the instigation for a reconsideration of our core values and life choices as an economic society.




Coronatine?: I blame zombie movies

The Corona virus is a real bug, and social distancing absolutely makes sense as a method to slow the spread, buying time for the medical infrastructure to prepare supplies, treatments and tests, and to not be overwhelmed with a surge of patients any greater than absolutely necessary.

But the way complete and total isolation has been embraced, in many cases with disregard to common sense – the way so many people seem to think that any exposure could lead to certain death – the speed with which people have come to understand how to quarantine and embraced it as a survival technique. For all of that I blame zombie movies.

Zombies were still a niche part of pop culture when the movie Outbreak soared to germ-borne fame around the time of the ebola scare. Since then, TV phenoms like “The Walking Dead,” and top grossing movies like World War Z, 28 Days Later and Resident Evil have permeated everyone’s awareness.

In zombie movies, if you get bit, you’re done. It may take a scene or two, but you always turn. Seeing this play out time after time – seeing the heroes who survive by not getting bitten, at least for a while, and playing the game of “I would totally have survived, because I would have not done that stupid thing, or would have wrapped every inch of myself in duct tape, or whatever” has all prepared us to jump right in to the idea of pandemic protection. Social isolation? Learned it from Will Smith (or Vincent Price, for you older folks). Avoiding strangers? A Quiet Place has important lessons. Scavenging for toilet paper? Study the second or third season of “The Walking Dead.”

So, if your friends are treating coronatine as if having your healthy, uninfected self come over for a visit should be handled through a clean-wipes-encased door chain, blame George Romero. And if you think that our collective attention to hygiene will save the world, well, thank the collective auteurs of all those bloody, jaw-snapping corpses.




Angélique Kidjo Raises Voices in the Light: The artist reimagines The Talking Heads’ album at The Vets

African pop star, international world-music sensation and 2020 Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo is returning to Providence on Saturday (Feb 22) to perform her reimagining of Remain in the Light, the landmark album by RI-conceived band The Talking Heads.

Kidjo has visited Providence before, performing in Kennedy Plaza as part of a FirstWorks event that was a precursor to PVDFest back in 2015. “People were transfixed,” said Kathleen Pletcher, executive artistic director of FirstWorks. “She makes everyone want to be dancing.” Kidjo has also performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in the past.

Remain in the Light, was selected because of the lyrics and themes of the songs on the album, and also because some of its more afrobeat notes hearken back to musical styles typical in Africa. The songs allow Kidjo to weave together content about gentrification and social control, modernization and the struggle around beauty standards with musical evolutions that mirror those themes. Although the album is from 1980, the themes are at least as relevant today. Hits being reinterpreted include “Once in a Lifetime” and “Houses in Motion.”

Kidjo is also well known as an activist, with a focus on women’s advocacy and girls’ education around the world. She conducted an educational talk back as part of FirstWorks’ “Raise Your Voice” series, in partnership with Classical High School, on Friday, Feb 21. The talk, and the entire series, are aimed at combining education and the arts, “Using the arts to amplify different perspectives and voices that aren’t always heard, and bring them to the fore.” Pletcher says, “The educational element has become the beating heart that is so important to FirstWorks – reaching over 5,000 students with a curriculum that uses the arts as a different way into subjects, topics and academics, providing a gateway to help launch classroom learning.”

Kidjo is especially known for the engagement level of her live performances. “An album is like having a business card,” she told Pletcher, “but what happens on stage is what I love.” “That’s her through and through. As electric as she is on stage, her voice literally and powerfully tells her story – she’s doing far more than singing other people’s songs. “The shared sense of community that happens with people in an audience can foster further conversation around some of these bigger issues,” says Pletcher, explaining the larger goals behind both Kidjo’s work and the series of FirstWorks performances.

Kidjo is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award. She has performed with several international orchestras and symphonies including the Bruckner Orchestra, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Philharmonie de Paris. Her live show was captured at the revered Austin City Limits and made its television debut in January 2016.  

Other upcoming FirstWorks artists, seeking to entertain but also strike conversation on a much deeper level, include Haitian artist Daniel Bernard Roumain, who will give a talk back about redemptions songs over Haitian food at RISD’s ProvWash auditorium on February 26 at 7pm, as prelude to his violin concert at the Unitarian Church in Providence on February 29 at 6pm, where he will perform with six local powerhouse musicians. With a presentation on the March 25 at Providence College and a conversation at RISD on March 28, Miwa Matreyek, whose mixed media video art “Infinitely Yours,” is part of the Earth First series on environmental justice and “Enters your mind in a whole different way,” according to Pletcher.

Angélique Kidjo’s “Remain in Light,” takes place on Sat, Feb 22 at 8pm. The VETS, 1 Avenue of the Arts, PVD. More info at first-works.org