Updated March 25 at 6:26pm

IonaFest picks first honoree

IonaFest, a new arts festival, has named Kate Petrie, founder of the Jamestown Arts Center, as its first award recipient.

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IonaFest picks first honoree


PROVIDENCE – IonaFest, a new arts festival, has named Kate Petrie, founder of the Jamestown Arts Center, as its first award recipient.

IonaFest is dedicated to support of the arts in honor of the late Iona B. Dobbins, who is recognized as Rhode Island’s “First Lady of the Arts.”

The award is intended to help perpetuate Dobbins’ legacy by recognizing an individual who embodies her spirit: someone with universal love of the arts in Rhode Island, who demonstrates great skill at convening diverse artists and audiences, and is a true advocate for all art forms.

Petrie was selected unanimously from a field of more than 20 award candidates.

“Iona would be so pleased to know that Kate will receive the first IF Award,” said Pamela Danforth, chairperson of the IonaFest Organizing Committee. “Kate’s spirit, energy, powers of persuasion and love of the arts are in perfect alignment with Iona’s legacy.”

Formerly the arts center president, Petrie is now on the board of directors.

The JAC is a multi-disciplined arts center providing arts and design classes, camps, theatre, dance, spoken word and film. Collaborating with such organizations as FirstWorks, the Trinity Repertory Company/Brown University MFA theater program, the Rhode Island School of Design, Art League of Rhode Island, Save The Bay, and this fall, with the International Heifetz Institute, the JAC has firmly established itself in the Rhode Island arts scene.

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee. who with his wife, Stephanie, is honorary co-chair of IonaFest, said Petrie “embodies Iona’s spirit” with joy and all-inclusiveness.

The award, designed by Rhode Island artist Peter Diepenbrock, will be presented to Petrie on Sept. 28 at a ticketed fund raising event to be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Roots Cultural Center, 276 Westminster St., Providence. Art donated by some of Rhode Island’s most esteemed artists will be auctioned by Louis Raymond, a well-known Rhode Island gardening professional and chairman of the Southside Community Land Trust.

Capacity at the Roots Cultural Center is limited, so tickets are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis, at $125 each.

IonaFest also includes a 3:30 p.m. procession, open to the public, that will form at the Providence Performing Arts Center, wind its way through downtown Providence and culminate with a dancing-in-the-streets party at Grant’s Block, where free performances, food trucks and family-friendly entertainment by local performers will take place. Registration is suggested at www.ionafest.org.


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