Books Through Bars, Inc. provides free reading materials for prisoners across the country. Every month, it receives more than 120 letters from prisoners requesting books. The organization responds by sending donated volumes from individuals, libraries, and community organizations, making selections based on the stated preferences of the inmate. Reading the books provides a productive activity for the inmates and can help them develop politically, spiritually, and academically during their time in prison.
The Coastal Wine Trail Market gathers together the appellation's nine coastal producers, whose vines speckle hillsides along the southern coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Each winery—Truro Vineyards, Travessia Winery, Coastal Vineyards, Running Brook Winery, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, Sakonnet Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Newport Vineyards, and Langworthy Farm Winery—sends representatives bearing bottles and fully housebroken grapes to the Westport Fairgrounds building. Under exposed beams, they greet guests alongside local chocolate, cheese, bread, and other culinary artisans, including Hearth Artisan Bread, Shy Brother's Farm, City Girl Cupcake, and Hana's Honey. Visitors may learn about and perhaps purchase each producer's favored libations—mostly whites and sparkling wines but a few reds—which are characterized by their growing proximity to the coastline and the dual-climatic influences of Gulf Stream waters and the screams of passing waterskiers.
The team members at Rok Bar n Grill describe their domain as a "rock n roll-themed establishment" that cultivates an immersive, party-centric experience for its guests. But while dramatic decor and architecture feed eyes, and a packed schedule of events beckons ears, it's a menu of artfully crafted American favorites that keeps mouths and bellies satisfied.
The professionally trained fencing instructors at Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club seek to develop their students' mind, body, and character through participation in the centuries-old sport. During the academy's classes, students of any skill level may choose to learn on all three Olympic weapons: foil, sabre, and épée. The one-hour sessions generally last for six weeks and each builds on prior material to help students improve their skills on the strip. Two meetings are composed entirely of competition with fellow classmates, allowing students to show off their newfound skills, and the last session is a class tournament.
Rhode Island Fencing Academy & Club, which originally operated as a two-location enterprise, consolidated into one 12,000-square-foot full-time professional fencing studio in March of 2012. The air-conditioned facility features 15 electric strips and zero chandeliers from which swashbuckling fencers may swing. Though the sport finds its roots in the practice of sword fighting, modern fencing is much safer, and the academy has advanced equipment and instructors that hold CPR certification just in case.
As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garbs race through the Glowbash 5K's metropolitan courses. But the late starting time and futuristically-clad participants are not the only things that set this race apart from other 5K trots. Competing in teams of two or more, runners must follow ten clues provided at the start of the race that will guide them to a series of predetermined checkpoints and challenges. Depending on the route they take, runners can cover anywhere from 3 to 5 miles in a path that can take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. After the race, each participant receives a medal and access to a post-race party, where they can mingle with fellow runners rather than going home and jogging alone on their human-sized hamster wheel. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.
Amidst cocktails and dancing, 35 to 40 students of all skill sets recreate classic works of art within hours at Drink and Dabble under the tutelage of comedian and RISD graduate Charlie Hall. He supplies classes with artistic gear including a blank 16" x 20" stretched canvas, water-based acrylics, and aprons that protect outfits from paint more effectively than showering in paint-thinner. Charlie selects the evening’s canvas from famous artworks including Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” though students can opt to try their own painting instead. He guides his class through every layer step-by-step, circling the room to dispense individual tips. During short breaks, he and his students eat, drink, and make merry along to a soundtrack of party tunes. By class’ end, the acrylics dry into a new version of a priceless canvas that you can take home.
Drawing creative inspiration from hobbies that include crafting and cooking, photographer Jennifer Owens specializes in capturing spur-of-the-moment images of engaged couples, families, and newborns. She also shares her expertise in classes that introduce beginners to concepts such as adjusting ISO settings on a digital camera or using the right shutter speed for moving subjects. Owens is equally comfortable in outdoor settings, and can demonstrate how to take advantage of the magical "golden hour," the time around dawn or dusk when the sun adds warmth to portraits and turns photographers’ photos of raw pizza dough into fully baked pizzas.