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Rain Harvest Arts Festival at Roger Williams Park
A yearly community celebration of water quality and habitat improvements

Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI

Festival Information at Boathouse Lawn

Free and Open to the Public

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The inaugural Rain Harvest Arts Festival at Roger Williams Park’s Stormwater Innovation Center is a community celebration of the City of Providence’s investment in over 40 projects to clean polluted stormwater runoff before it enters the Park’s ponds.

Indigenous artist, Dawn Spears and artist and educator, Andrew Oesch will paint sidewalk murals to highlight the importance and functions of two of the stormwater projects. Visitors can walk along a new blue dot trail that features 9 stormwater projects from the Dalrymple Boathouse lawn, around Roosevelt Lake, behind the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium and back to the Carousel. Park visitors can help decorate the trail with chalk provided at the Festival.

More information about the artists and scientists below

Dawn Spears (Narragansett/Choctaw) is a doll maker, photographer, and multi-media artist, who uses cultural symbolism and the vibrant colors of our natural world as inspiration for her work. Sparked by the appearance of a hungry groundhog, and the lush plantings of cattails, joe pye-weed and other pollinator plants, Dawn has chosen to paint her mural near a stormwater project between the Japanese Gardens and Roosevelt Lake.

Andrew Oesch is an artist educator who has conjured many thought-filled participatory art projects in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He looks forward to helping all participants understand how dirt cleans water and how their imaginations can help them see ways to address rain harvesting at home. Andrew will be working near a stormwater project behind the Museum of Natural History.


Holly Ewald, is a community engaged public artist who first learned about the toxic impacts of rainwater runoff from our streets while raising awareness about Mashapaug Pond. After 10 years of celebratory processions in honor of Mashapaug, she’s worked her way down the watershed to the Roger Williams Park Ponds. Here she hopes to inspire everyone to imagine innovative ways they can be part of cleaning the ponds that we, and all the creatures that call them home, love.


Phil Edmonds, a musician, gardener, and author, has lived in South Providence for over 50 years since he emigrated from Ireland as a teenager. He’s often found playing music in public places, and  helping out with community organizations and gardens. His day-to-day focus is on material simplicity, growing community, and nurturing kindness. You can catch him playing his accordion along the blue dot trail midday of the festival. 


Will Helt, a coastal restoration scientist with the Nature Conservancy will be giving a demonstration on how community members and neighbors of the park can help track and identify cyanobacteria in the Roger Williams Park ponds.  

The mysteries of how these stormwater structures capture rain and filter water pollution will be explained by Ryan Kopp, hydrologist and stormwater coordinator of the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center at 9:30 am and at 1:30 pm on the Boathouse lawn

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