DPPC Summer Programming Kicks Off

Photo by James Lastowski

Photo by James Lastowski

The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, a project of The Providence Foundation, kicks off another season of free arts and cultural summer programming. This year’s schedule includes the popular Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden, Storytime + Art in the Park, Play in the Park, Art Days at the Imagination Center, and the lunchtime concert series Noon Tunes rounds out the season in September. In addition, the Food Truck Market is bringing a delicious range of lunchtime options to Kennedy Plaza Monday through Friday each week.

 The season kicks off on Wednesday, June 5 with Art Days at the Imagination Center from 11am – 2pm. The weekly lunchtime series invites people to take a break during their day to make art outside. Each week a different theme is presented such as printmaking, watercolors, cubism, self-portraits and more! The series is not instructional, but rather establishes a creative space for people to sit and make art together. Bring your own supplies, or borrow some at the Imagination Center.

The season goes into full swing in July when Play in the Park kicks off on Tuesday, July 9 from 3–6pm. This family-friendly program features a range of different STEAM activities each week, and kicks off with a Stop Motion Animation workshop with local artist Rachel Blumberg. The DPPC’s Imagination Center, which includes the Open Air Reading Room and Creative Playspace, is always open during Play in the Park, offering free access to books, art and crafts, theater projects, and more.

Storytime + Art in the Park is two children’s programs in one: Storytime hosts local authors, illustrators, storytellers, and performers to inspire a love of reading. This series kicks off on Thursday, July 11 from 10:30 – 12:30 with Providence favorite, Big Nazo. Art in the Park brings the books of an iconic children's book to life through hands-on art projects led by local artist Keri King. This year’s Art in the Park theme is HER-STORIES: the stories of Virginia Lee Burton. Ratt Scallion Face Painting is in the park for every event offering free face painting for children.

 The Burnside Park Music Series + Beer Garden transforms Downtown’s largest public green space into a mini-music festival featuring local and regional musicians, as well as local beer from Trinity Brewhouse and food from a different food truck each week with delicious and fresh food available for purchase. The 2019 series kicks off Thursday, July 11 with Jesús Andujar y Grupo Sazón.  

The Food Truck Market brings food trucks to Kennedy Plaza every Tuesday-Friday from 11:30am-1:30pm; this year we are excited to have the following trucks: Pit Stop, HG-80, Incred-a-Bowl, Poco Loco Tacos, Portu-galo, Red’s Street Kitchen, and Rocket Fine Street Food.

 This is the 12th year of free summer programming in Greater Kennedy Plaza from the DPPC. “Healthy fun in public spaces is at the core of our mission to create a world-class parks system in Providence’s historic urban core,” says The Providence Foundation Executive Director Cliff Wood. “We believe the best way to transform a space is by transforming the way people use it. With a variety of activities and programming throughout the season, we’re transforming Kennedy Plaza into a first-choice summer destination for everyone.”


Historic Burnside Park is now home to Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park, a one-of-a-kind destination playground that opened in August 2017. This sensory-rich playground was designed for children of all abilities and was inspired by Providence’s maritime history. Climb, swing and play with children from all over the city. Brandon’s Beach is designed for children up to 12 years of age, and is open to the public every day of the week during daylight hours.

For more information, along with the weekly schedule, visit provparksconservancy.org. The DPPC can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @KennedyPlazaPVD.

Kristin Crane