Capitalizing on Providence’s arts scene was a major pillar of Elorza’s campaign for mayor. Now he’s announced plans for an event dubbed the Providence International Arts Festival. With a budget of about $800,000 dollars, the festival is slated to start in mid-June. Elorza said he was inspired by the South-By-Southwest festival, which draws tens of thousands of visitors to Austin Texas.
“I certainly want this festival to grow into a phenomenon. Something by which we can brand our city around. We are the creative capital, this plays to all of our strengths.”
Elorza was quick to point out that the festival was an opportunity to showcase artists already working in Providence. “We’re not talking about creating culture. What we’re talking about is taking all of the culture that already exists, bringing it together in a synergistic way to create something that we can market and publicize to the rest of the world,” said Elorza.
The festival will center on downtown Providence and will feature concerts, art installations and public events. Organizers hope it will last longer than previous city festivals that had to be shut down for lack of funding.
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