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Mayor Elorza Announces 2016 PVD Fest Lineup

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Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the lineup for this year’s PVD Fest, renamed from last year’s Providence International Arts Festival, Monday.

Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the lineup for this year’s PVD Fest, renamed from last year’s Providence International Arts Festival, Monday.

The arts festival, now in its second year, will include live music, art, theater, and dance performances.

Elorza has said he hopes the festival will someday rival internationally renowned events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. He says bringing the festival back demonstrates the city’s dedication to the arts.

“Last year’s festival made it clear how valuable arts, music, and cuisine are to Providence and it also made clear that we are in fact the creative capital right here in Providence Rhode Island,” said Elorza.

This year’s event will be considerably larger than last year, including an added outdoor stage. City officials say there will be some 500 artists performing on 13 stages. Additionally, 30 food trucks, 13 outdoor bars will be part of the event.

And here’s a number to remember: 18. That’s the average height of the roaming group of dinosaurs that will be stalking the city streets as part of a theater performance. The larger-than-life puppets as part of the Norwegian-based Close-Act Theatre are among the performance artists which helped define the feel of the festival last year.

Kathleen Pletcher, the Executive Director of First Works, the city’s creative partner for PVD Fest, says the event is special because it connects people from across the city and state.

“Magic occurs when a festival is filled with thousands of people of all different ages, backgrounds cultures listening dancing meeting discovering music or dance or art or just their neighbors,” said Pletcher.

PVD Fest will run from June 2-5 throughout the streets of downtown Providence and area venues, and will be free and open to the public. 

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and First Works' director Kathleen Pletcher at PVD Fest press conference last year, 2015.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and First Works' director Kathleen Pletcher at PVD Fest press conference last year, 2015.