Explore the world through art and music: Rhode Island's 45th Annual Heritage Festival on October 21st at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence

Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission will host Rhode Island's 45th Annual Heritage Festival on Saturday, October 21st, from noon to 5 PM at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence.   

Leave your passport at home, and join a lively celebration of our state's rich cultural heritage. WaterFire Arts Center will be filled with culture, music, and dancing from around the world. We are honored to have Governor Dan McKee provide a welcoming address, and Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore share information about RI’s 250th Anniversary Celebration. Kobi Dennis and Angela Sharkey will return as festival emcees.   

This unique event bridges Rhode Islanders’ cultures and showcases a world of creative talent within the state. Rhode Island heritage groups will present cultural exhibits, visual art, and musical performances. Cultro PVD, Eat Village Greek, Angkor Boba Tea House, and The Luxe Lemon food trucks will offer an array of traditional foods and drinks to purchase. The children’s area will have free face painting, arts, and crafts.  

Starting at 11:50 AM, the festival officially begins at noon with a parade of international flags from over 30 countries.  

Rhode Island’s 45th Heritage Festival features a world of cultural performances, including singing and dancing from various heritage backgrounds. Check the schedule for performances and presentations, including: 


12:00 PM 

Governor Dan McKee 

Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore  

RIHPHC Executive Director Jeffrey Emidy 

Ahlyha Nicole Bright – Singing the National Anthem  

Eastern Medicine Singers - Drum and Singing 

PADAM - Dance  


1:00 PM 

Jason "Panman" Roseman – Steel Drums 

Nazeli Armenian Dance Group - Dance 

Dance BFF - Bollywood Dance   

Arte Latino of New England - Storytelling  

Azama Dance Group  - Middle Eastern Dance  


2:00 PM 

French American School of Rhode Island - Singing 

Colombian American Cultural Society – Dance 

Valiant Arts - Haitian Dance 

Quisqueya In Action Folklore Dance - Dominican Dance 

Rhode Island Black Storytellers 


3:00 PM 

Mayor Brett P. Smiley - Remarks

Medalit Scott - Peruvian Dance

Aftab Dance Group - Iranian Dance  

Mohitosh Talukder Taposh - Bangladeshi Musical 

Kelley School of Irish Dance - Dance  


4:00 PM  

RI Swedish Heritage Association – Swedish Folk Songs  

Seoyon Kim - Korean Harp        

Napua O' Polynesia - Dance  

India Association of Rhode Island - Dance 

Falun Dafa Association of New England - Meditation Instruction   


Heritage organizations will host table displays to share information about their cultures, sell arts and crafts, and engage attendees in hands-on activities. Presenters include: 

Andean Cultural Center of Rhode Island

Armenian Community of Rhode Island

Arte Latino of New England     

Books Are Wings  

Cape Verdean Museum  

Center for Southeast Asians  

Cultural Society 

Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island  

Ecuador Cultural Alliance   

Falun Dafa Association of New England     

French American School of Rhode Island  

Greater Providence YMCA   

Haitian American Partnership For Positive Actions Inc.   

India Association of Rhode Island   

India Museum & Heritage Society  

International House of Rhode Island   

Iranian American Cultural Society of Rhode Island   

Jason "Panman" Roseman  

Korean American Association of Rhode Island   

Lady Elfreda H. Thorpe and Williametta Thorpe 

Medalit Scott representing Peru  

Nixon Leger 

Peace Flag Project   

Providence Children's Museum   

Refugee Dream Center  

RI Black Heritage Society   

RI Day of Portugal  

RI Office of Attorney General   

RI Office of Division of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion  

RI Swedish Heritage Association  

Roger Williams Park Zoo    

Shea Fashion 

Turkish American Cultural Society of Rhode Island   

United Way 211 RV  

This festival is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Sponsors include United Way of RI, Amica Insurance, Coastal1 Credit Union, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Bird, and Navigant Credit Union.   

For more information about the Rhode Island Heritage Festival, please visit: https://preservation.ri.gov/heritage/45th-ri-heritage-festival

RIs 45th Heritage Festival