A huge multi-cultural event that continues to grow every year kicks off Thursday night in Providence, and continues through Sunday evening.
PVD Fest is a multi-cultural celebration of arts, music, and cuisine that’s a party where everyone’s invited. And is almost entirely free.
Providence has been dubbed not only the "Renaissance City" for good reason, but also "The Creative Capital". For the artist known as Tapia, PVD Fest is a chance to express and reach.
There's the message of a proud history of the Taino Indians, from the Caribbean, conveyed not only in his music, but in his art as well.
“Our writing, our pictographic system,” he says. “It’s that (which) makes us different and what makes us all the same,” says Tapia, dressed in traditional garb, giving passers-by a taste of what’s to come, with the sun breaking through, at Kennedy Plaza. “We take the opportunity to talk about that and how we're still proud to be who we are.”
Tapia and his group are some of the 800 diverse local and international artists transforming the city as their palate for the four day festival. There's also a dedicated Ideas Conference, Food Village, other music performances, and a gathering of like minds: those who create for fun.
“A platform for culture, and art and creativity, and I think PVD's the place and a perfect festival for it,” adds Tapia.
Among other notable events, the parking lot at 40 Snow Street in the Capital City will be closed off. You’re invited to show up, and help break a world record. No experience necessary.
On Friday night at 8, “we are going to attempt to break the world record for the most couples dancing a choreographed costumed bachata,” says Stephanie Fortunato, the Director of Providence’s Art, Culture, and Tourism. Instructor and free tee-shirts included. For a complete list of the events --mostly all free so everyone can enjoy—click here turnto10.com.
At a Press Conference to bring attention to the event, now in its fourth year, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza reflects “At a time right now in our country, where we're perhaps building walls and sort of closing doors to folks who are different, what we're doing here in Providence, we're celebrating that culture and that diversity. I think that that's beautiful, and that's a representation of who we are as a city.”
Having been in the military, and lived in many parts of the world, Tapia thinks about the beauty of the Spring in this city. “Come see our culture in a different way than maybe you've been used to appreciating it,” he says with a smile.
And follow Tapia on social media @tapiauno1.