The Creative Capital: A Planner's Canvas

A city to spark the imagination

By Eming Piansay

Providence, Rhode Island, is home to all the elements of an essential experience for planners. Providence is known for its culture, food, and education via Brown University, an Ivy League institute.

The capital of the state is comprised of a seaport, an industrial and commercial hub, and a vibrant and diverse metropolitan area. Planners looking to create their next experience should consider making the city their next co-created space.

Local Expert Tip

Providence is the perfect blend of history and modernity—a city that fosters its burgeoning Innovation District while celebrating the culture and history that make the city so unique. Our historic and well-preserved venues, like the Providence Art Club or Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum, are ideal spaces for breakouts or team-building activities. Let attendees immerse themselves in the civic and cultural events that happened here hundreds of years ago.

– Alana O’Hare, Senior Director of Communications


5 Reasons Meetings Profs Love It

aerial view of buildings
Brown University

The WaterFire of Providence began as a sculpture by Barnaby Evans which was installed on the three rivers of Downtown Providence. WaterFire is comprised of over eighty sparkling bonfires, the wafting scent of aromatic wood smoke and music that will spark creativity within its visitors.

For guests looking to explore the art of watercolor, Blithewold Masion, Gardens & Arboretum is offering a class called Winter Watercolor series with Artist Mary Ellen Dwyer. Beginning and intermediate artists will get a six-class series to learn the basics of watercolor, composition, and techniques.

Read MoreRhode Island: Small, but Oh My!

Visitors coming to RISD Museum will get an opportunity to see artwork that played an integral role in exploring civic engagement. Until June 2024, the museum will feature Fantasy, Myth, Legend: Imaging the Past in Works on Paper since 1750. The museum will also be featuring The Artistry of Utagawa Kuniyoshi until April 7th, 2024.

For those interested in taking in a show, Trinity Rep, whose goal is to reinvent the idea of the public square that features dramatic art that educates the diverse community it serves will be forming La Broa’ (Broad Street), inspired by Latino History of Rhode Island: Nuestras Raices by Martha V. Martinez. The performance will be in Spanish and English and will run from Jan. 18th to Feb. 18th.

Love books and history? The Providence Athenæum has existed for nearly 200 years and existed before libraries. Its goal is to inspire and encourage discourse. It offers an extension collection of “old fiction”, children’s literature, history and science, and travel and exploration.


5 Fantastic Places to Meet

Eat on the Rhode

cheese and meats

Named after the mountain range that runs through South America, Los Andes features the flavors of Peru and Bolivia. Their menu includes a wide variety of chef specials such as Pique a lo Macho, an angus sirloin and pork chorizo sauteed with Dijon mustard deglazed in Marsala wine, along with a Lobster Paella, a 1 ½ lb. hard shell Maine Lobster, with sauteed chorizo and strips of chicken breast.

Massimo, found in Providence Federal Hill Neighborhood, offers a wide selection of Italian dishes including Spaghettoni alla Carbonara with guanciale and farm-fresh egg and Point Judith Padella. The restaurant also offers space for meetings and events. The 2nd floor private function room can seat up to 116 people and the Massimo Dedham private function room can seat 36 guests.

On the go? Need a late dinner? Or do you need catering for your team? East Side Pockets on Thayer Street in Providence covers all your options. East Side Pockets offers vegetarian wraps, protein wraps, open face pies and platters. Catering platters include tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves, Syrian bread, hummus and much more.

Jo’s American Bistro in Newport Rhode Island has award-winner burgers and gluten-friendly menu choices. Some of their signature dishes include Bacon Onion Jam Burger, Lobster Salad Roll and Point Judith Calamari. Some of the gluten friendly choices are Beef Carpaccio, Steam Littlenecks, Sear Salmon and more!

For casual dining on a budget in Newport, Annie’s on Bellevue serves breakfast all day. Guests can pick from hotcakes, benedicts, and omelets for breakfast, or sandwiches for lunch which includes choices such as whole belly clam roll, lobster salad roll and lobster mac-n-cheese.  Annie’s menu also includes baked cod casserole and fried bay scallops.

Chanterelle Restaurant, recently reopened under the new name, blends French and American flavors in their dishes. Chanterelle Restaurant has gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options. The menu offers several tasty options like lobster cardinal, tuna dijonnaise, wild mushroom ravioli and pork en croute.

15 Point Road lives alongside the Sakonnet River. 15 Point Road also offers majestic views of the ocean through the panorama windows. Guests can also watch local fishing boats while enjoying their meal. Visitors can enjoy Lemon Thai Grilled Shrimp, Baked Brie, Sesame Pan Seared Tuna Steak and Sweet Potato Salmon.

Hemenway’s aims to offer the freshest selection of seafood. Guests are able to enjoy the signature Shellfish platter while gazing out across the Providence skyline. The menu offers choices like yellowfin tuna, grilled swordfish, grilled kohrabi, pan roasted salmon and more! Hemenway’s also available to host private events.

Modern Diner located in Pawtucket, is the first diner to be accepted on the National Register of Historic Places. When guests arrive, they can find 30+ daily specials on the wall as they walk in. Modern Diner serves breakfast all day, which include their famous Jimmie Gimmie, two poached eggs on English Muffin with sliced tomatoes and topped with melted cheese, bacon with a side of home fries.

Maderia Restaurant

Maderia Restaurant serves traditional Portuguese cuisine that can be paired with their vast wine selection from around the world. Maderia Restaurant is available for corporate meetings, fundraisers, and holiday parties. Their house specialty incudes filet mignon, sirloin, marinated pork blended with rotated potatoes and littlenecks, grilled marinated bone-in chicken topped with spicy sauce.

The seafood options range from grilled bone in codfish, to fried battered filet of scrod in mild tomato sauce, and fried bone-in codfish topped with sauteed onions, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Guests can also order party platters that range in size from small, medium and large.

This article appears in the January 2024 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.