RIHPHC Bulletin

Supporting local preservation programs

Congratulations to the recipients of 2023 Certified Local Government grants

Inspired? Apply for a 2024 CLG grant. Deadline: March 15, 2024.

COVENTRY: $10,000 to survey Arkwright, Harris and Greene villages

CRANSTON/Preserve Rhode Island: $16,500 to prepare a National Register Historic District (NRHD) nomination for Garden City (pictured)

CUMBERLAND: $12,000 to prepare an NRHD nomination for Grant’s Mill

EAST PROVIDENCE: $8000 to complete a condition assessment and preservation plan for Newman Cemetery

PROVIDENCE/Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy: $7500 to prepare an NRHD nomination for Neutaconkanut Hill Park

SOUTH KINGSTOWN: $20,000 to survey areas of Matunuck threatened by coastal flooding and sea level rise

Diversifying representation on the National Register

Rhode Island's African American Civil Rights history initiative--launched in 2015--rolls on!

RIHPHC was recently awarded an Underrepresented Communities Grant from the National Park Service to fund a Multiple Property Documentation Form and National Register nominations for four properties related to the theme of African American Civil Rights. 

Meanwhile, work is underway to nominate the former home of John Carter Minkins to the National Register. A professional journalist, Minkins (1869-1959) is recognized as the first person of African heritage to lead a white-owned newspaper in the U.S. He was one of Rhode Island's leading civil rights advocates, wielding the power of the press and his oratorical skills to call out and fight racial injustice. 

At their February 2024 meeting, the State Review Board recommended the preparation of a nomination for 345 Glenwood Avenue in Pawtucket, former home of John Carter Minkins.

Rhode Island Cemetery Weeks

RIHPHC and the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries (RIACHC) will present R.I. Historical Cemeteries Awareness and Preservation Weeks in April - May 2024. Look forward to tours, clean-ups, gravestone conservation demonstrations, talks, and additional free programs that raise awareness about Rhode Island's historic cemeteries and promote their preservation.

Have a program proposal? Please contact Christine MacWilliams of Rhode Island Advisory Commission on Historical Cemeteries.

CAMP for local historic district commissions

Since October 2022, almost every single local historic district commissioner from 19 communities has attended a training workshop, fulfilling a new State requirement for members of municipal land use boards.

In January, 30 Rhode Islanders joined the virtual Commission Assistance and Mentoring Program (CAMP), presented by preservation planner Aimee Sunny and lawyer Will Cook on behalf of the National Association of Preservation Commissions.

Spot the group of Block Islanders at the virtual training

Thanks to our partners at Rhode Island Statewide Planning for their support of HDC training.

A friendly face in a new place

Donna Alqassar has taken a new position at RIHPHC as Senior Historic Grants Manager. In 2019, Donna was hired as the Heritage Program Coordinator, organizing Rhode Island's annual Heritage Festival and leading RIHPHC's outreach to heritage organizations. Since May 2022, she has acted as the Interim Senior Historic Grants Manager.

Donna will divide her time between the two positions until a new Heritage Program Coordinator is hired. We appreciate Donna's continued dedication to both the Grants and Heritage Programs.

Find the Heritage Festival on YouTube

Rhode Island's 45th Heritage Festival's performances can now be viewed on our YouTube channel.

▶️ YouTube Playlist: bit.ly/45thRIHeritageFestival

View the trailer below to get a glimpse of all the fantastic performances!

2023 RI's 45th Heritage Festival - Trailer

Great State Properties

When you visit the small state park that is home to Fort Ninigret in Charlestown, you’ll see the embankments of a 17th-century fortification, outlined by a 19th-century fence. Archaeological excavation has shown that this place was used by the Niantic and Narragansett peoples for thousands of years before the arrival of Dutch traders in the early 17th century. It’s possible that the fort was constructed with Dutch input, but there are four-sided palisaded forts with bastions built by Native peoples elsewhere in the region. Fort Ninigret was used by Niantics and Narragansetts during the 17th century as a settlement where wampum shell beads were made in great quantity, and during the 18th century as the primary shoreline access. It endures as an important place for the Narragansett and Niantic peoples.

Learn more about State-owned Historic Properties and RIHPHC’s regulatory review

Fort Ninigret from the air (spring 2023)

Spring grant opportunities and deadlines

There are many opportunities to secure funding for your preservation project:

Heritage Happenings for March

Have an upcoming event to share? Contact Donna Alqassar, Heritage Coordinator. For the latest listings, follow @rihphc_heritage on Instagram.

If you didn't follow us on social media last month, you missed...

  • much more!

RIHPHC at work

The R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission office is open with limited staffing during weekday business hours (9am - 4pm). Many staff members are teleworking and accessible by email. Public access is limited to deliveries and pickups. Please use the doorbell at the Benefit Street entrance.

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