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10th (and final) Urban Pond Procession

Free & Open to the Public (all ages)

Discover Mashapaug Pond with UPP Arts’ 10th Annual (and final) Artist-Led Procession. This Year’s Focus is Stories of Mashapaug: Ecological, Historical, Indigenous and Industrial. Join the procession and celebrate Mashapaug with costumes, puppets, music, and art.

Where: Meet at Mashapaug Pond Boathouse (behind Ocean State Plaza, 361 Reservoir Avenue, Providence). The one-mile procession will stop at Reservoir Avenue School at 156 Reservoir Avenue, and then proceed to Mashapaug Cove behind Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School (375 Adelaide Avenue, Providence) for water ceremony and finale.

 UPP Arts will host its 10th annual Urban Pond Procession on May 13 in partnership with local artists, musicians, scientists, historians, schools and community members. The 2017 Procession begins with the sounds of the Eastern Medicine Singers (an Algonquin drum group) as participants gather near the Mashapaug Pond Boathouse (behind Ocean State Plaza). The procession will begin there, and marchers—all are welcome, no registration required—can select costumes, props and banners for the one-mile walk to Mashapaug Cove and Alvarez High School.

The Extraordinary Rendition Band, What Cheer Brigade and Big Nazo puppets will lead the way. There will be music by the Extraordinary Youth Ensemble during a stop at Reservoir Avenue School, then on to Mashapaug Cove and newly remediated Gorham fields around Mashapaug Cove behind Alvarez High School. At Mashapaug Cove, Tomaquag Museum and Gladstone Street School’s Kidventure will lead a water ceremony, followed by viewing site-specific interpretive signs created by Alvarez and Central High School students and large and small comic books about the old West Elmwood neighborhood. The finale will feature hip-hop performances from Sokeo Ros & Case Closed!, drumming and accordion from Mike Capeles and Phil Edmonds, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, food, and more. The evening will conclude with a multimedia “sound collage” by Erik Carlson and Erik Gould. Food will be provided. Park at Alvarez High School, bring a blanket or lawn chair for finale.

Every year, the procession attracts over 250 youth, families and other community members, and every year UPP Arts supports teaching artists working in schools near the pond. This year’s Teaching Artists include Narragansett Artist and Educator Wanda Hopkins at Reservoir Avenue Elementary, graphic designer and public artist Anna Snyder at Alvarez and Central High Schools, and Wanda Hopkins & comic book artist Walker Mettling with Cranston 21st Century Learning Community at Gladstone Elementary & Bain Middle School.

This is UPP Arts’ final procession; in June founder and director Holly Ewald will begin working with an archivist to collect and organize UPP’s physical and digital archives to be preserved, available to the public, and offered to Providence Public Library’s Rhode Island Collection.

 The annual Urban Pond Procession has been UPP Arts’ signature event, and in its last iteration as Stories of Mashapaug: Ecological, Historical, Indigenous and Industrial, it will draw together the themes that have inspired the previous nine processions. The goal of the procession, and of UPP Arts as an organization, has been to interweave art, science, and culture to celebrate and build stewardship of Mashapaug Pond and the Lower Pawtuxet River Watershed among residents, schools and elected officials. Over the last decade, UPP Arts has introduced thousands of students and citizens to Mashapaug Pond via school and community-based workshops and projects. It has encouraged people to learn about Mashapaug Pond and its history, and to take on the role of citizen-conservationists, artists and cultural historians.

Photo Opportunities: Drumming at Mashapaug boat house (5:30 pm); Extraordinary Youth Ensemble at Reservoir Avenue School (6:15 pm, 156 Reservoir Avenue); water ceremony at Mashapaug Cove (7:00 pm); hip-hop by Sokeo Ros/Case Closed!, Mayor Elorza, (7:30 pm, fields around Mashapaug Cove, behind Alvarez High School).

Contact:           Holly Ewald, Executive Director  (401) 862-4229