2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the RIHS! All year we will be hosting celebrations to honor this momentous occasion, including four 200th Jubilees, our monthly Drink in the History series, our free monthly series Inside the Archives, our 25th season of Concerts Under the Elms, as well as a variety of other promotions & partnerships. Our great thanks to our generous sponsors for making all of this programming possible. Dates will be continued to be announced as details are confirmed, so be sure to check back! We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
Throughout the year, we will be celebrating our 200th anniversary with four jubilee celebrations themed around our 50-year milestones, including:
- On Saturday, March 19 an 1822 open house, spotlighting the bicentennial of our Aldrich House headquarters and featuring tours, exhibits, food, entertainment, and manners of the day.
- On Saturday, June 11 an 1872 birthday party on the Great Lawn of the John Brown House Museum. This free afternoon will include history-inspired ice cream flavors, lawn games, and period music, as well as celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the burning of the Gaspee and the 150th of the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
- On Thursday, August 25th a 1922 gala celebrating Providence in the roaring 20s, including the centennial of Rhode Island radio at the Squantum Association.
- On Saturday, December 3rd, we will seek inspiration from 1972’s landmark moment of Nixon’s visit to China, offering a series of programs exploring Rhode Island’s centuries-long relationship with China and announcing our 2023 theme!
Drink in the History
Each month, we will add a historic flavor to a different RI beverage partner by pairing their drinks with a history program. Events will alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic offerings and include:
- January 26 sees the launch of our 1822 Porter with Narragansett Brewery.
- February 26 welcomes Dave’s Coffee for a coffee tasting and presentation on their importing and roasting process, as well as a talk about the RIHS coffee trade logs.
- March 10 brings us to White Dog Distilling for rum and moonshine tastings and an exploration of the life of a woman running her own distillery in Providence’s Snowtown.
- April 10 offers a Chinese tea ceremony and the history of the tradition with Ceremony.
- May 26 has us visit Rhode Island Spirits Distillery, housed in a former jewelry factory, for a tasting of their Rhodium products and a talk about RI’s jewelry industry.
- June 25 brings us to Greenline Apothecary in Providence and Wakefield to discover the history of the soda fountain and sample some traditional favorites.
- July 19 finds us at the Industrious Spirit Company where we will learn about the first oyster-distilled vodka in the United States and RI’s oyster industry.
- August 13 offers refreshment from Little Maven Lemonade with flavors inspired from around the world and an exploration of Rhode Island’s immigrant history.
- September 24 brings us to Sowam’s Cider Works for a tasting of their traditional ciders and an exploration of their historic varietals of apples.
- October features apple cider and donuts with Hard Pressed Cider in Jamestown and a look at the discoveries of a detectorist on the island.
- November’s wine-based program has been delayed and will take place in early 2023.
- December 3 warms us with hot chocolate, eggnog, and milk and cookies from Wright’s Dairy Farm and a program celebrating the bicentennial of Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Inside the Archives
This free monthly series pulls back the curtain on our collections and offers insights into their modern relevance and accessibility. The series includes talks, project previews, and the opportunity to view materials from the collection. Events include:
- January 19 features Alea Henle and her work Rescued from Oblivion, exploring the formation of historical societies in the early United States.
- February 24 welcomes Gabe Loiacono on his latest work How Welfare Worked in the Early United States, which shares the stories of five Rhode Islanders who operated or benefitted from poor relief systems.
- March 16 highlights the transcription project of the RIHS’s Old Stone Bank Records, spearheaded by researchers and Federal Hill Irish Blogger Ray McKenna.
- April 9 explores the process to digitally restore the Providence Theatre Drop Scene, believed to be the oldest theatre curtain of America.
- May 15 spotlights our Putting Down Roots initiative to revitalize the landscape of the Great Lawn of the John Brown House Museum as part of our Annual Goff Lecture featuring public historian and filmmaker Laurence Cotton on Olmsted’s 200th.
- June 26 sees the RIHS’s Teen Advisory Board select pieces from our collection highlighting the history of activism and reflecting on history’s modern relevance.
- July 5 explores our Revolutionary War Military records and our efforts to digitize and catalog them with the support of the National Archives.
- August 3 features the development of the Museum of Work & Culture’s latest digital exhibit, Flowing Through Time, an exploration of the history of the Blackstone River.
- September 28 gathers representatives from archives across the state to discuss their collections related to activism.
- October 1 spotlights our Moving Image and Audio Collection and includes the screening of our 2nd Annual Archive Remix Film Festival.
- November 15 will highlight our Smithsonian Affiliation with a screening of the documentary, The Color of Care, offered in partnership with Medicine at Brown and featuring a panel discussion of healthcare access in Rhode Island.
- December reflects on the future of collections.
25th Season of Concerts Under the Elms
In honor of the 25th season of Concerts Under the Elms, the RIHS welcomed stakeholders to help select this year’s bands for a series of special evenings honoring their contributions to the RIHS. These stakeholders include our membership, Board of Trustees, Teen Advisory Board, Museum of Work & Culture Preservation Foundation, and Jubilee Year Sponsors.
This year’s six-week series concluded on Thursday, August 14. The full season lineup can be found on the Concerts Under the Elms page.
Promotions & Partnerships
AVAILABLE NOW: 1822 Porter by Narragansett Brewery
AVAILABLE NOW: Frog & Toad RI History Rocks T-Shirt Collection
150th Anniversary Behind-the-Scenes Tours of the Squantum Club
AVAILABLE ON JUNE 11: RI History-Inspired Ice Cream Flavors
Coming Soon: Bicentennial Ornament