Heritage Programs Rhode Island’s 40th Annual Heritage Day Festival’s Flag Parade at the State House. The Rhode Island Heritage Commission was founded on July 1, 1977, in recognition of the need to cultivate and preserve the pride of the diverse cultural heritage of Rhode Islanders. In 1995, the Heritage Commission was merged with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission. The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission recognizes our state's remarkable ethnic diversity and the contributions that Indigenous peoples and immigrants from around the world have made to Rhode Island's social, economic, political, and cultural history. For more than four decades, the RIHPHC has supported and maintained a state heritage program by sponsoring and coordinating an annual Rhode Island Heritage Festival; promoting heritage festivals, seminars, conferences, symposiums, and publications of other public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Individuals, groups, or institutions desiring to promote the social, cultural, historic, or ethnic heritage of Rhode Island are invited to email Donna Alqassar or call her at (401)222-4133.