On Saturday, September 28th, the first annual IonaFest will kick off with a public procession from PPAC to Grant’s Block. Hosted by the Art League of Rhode Island, the celebration recognizes the life and legacy of Iona Dobbins, arts advocate and former executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Moving forward, a different arts organization will host the event each year, with funds raised to benefit scholarships, programs, or operating expenses for that organization.
The New Orleans style second line procession will begin at 4 PM, featuring a variety of groups including the Extraordinary Rendition Band (ERB); Folk Arts Fellowship winner Luyi Shao; the Chinese Lion Dance group; New Urban Arts; Washington, DC internationally acclaimed performer, Charles Williams; Project 401; musician Mark Taber,puppeteer Dan Butterworth, and youth performers from Festival Ballet. The group will arrive at Grant’s Block, near the Roots Cultural Center, for an outdoor celebration with music, colorful umbrellas, and dancing from 5-6 PM.
Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for the fundraising event at Roots Cultural Center. VIPs are invited to a special event at 6:30, featuring Charles Williams. Then, from 7-9, guests will enjoy live music, food, and a silent auction. Tickets are $125/person. For more info, visit ionafest.org.