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Posts Tagged ‘woonsocket’

A week ago, I went to a cheerful ribbon cutting enlivened by smiling faces and Woonsocket’s own Marching Milkman Band.

Local, state and federal officials, residents, nonprofits such as NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley and Rhode Island Housing, businesses such as the Federal Home Loan Bank, Bank of America and Navigant Bank — and a long list of equally important partners — were celebrating the conversion of the rundown Mulvey’s Hardware into a range of new community uses.

Sandy Seone has the story at the Valley Breeze newspaper.

“A downtown building that sat dormant for more than a decade was declared officially revived this week as NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley celebrated the grand opening of 40 South Main St.

“The $3.3 million renovation project began in 2014 and has resulted in the complete conversion of a former hardware store into six, [one-bedroom] apartments; a meeting space; a rooftop patio; a basement rental area for small businesses; and a kitchen ‘incubator’ space, which will provide top of the line appliances to small-time local cooks and bakers looking for a chance to sell their wares. …

“The six housing units in the building have all been rented – three men and three women are slated to move in soon – and the building has a waiting list of additional potential tenants. The one-bedroom apartments cost $700 per month, and include some 750 square feet of modern space with a kitchen, living room and bathroom.

“Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea was among a small group to tour the two-story building at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on [April 25].

“ ‘Those who have concerns about affordable housing can look at this and see how wonderful the right kind of development truly is,’ Gorbea noted. …

“The construction project is believed to have supported more than 25 local small businesses, and NeighborWorks officials said that the housing units should generate $100,000 annually in consumer spending.”

More at Valley Breeze, here.

Members of the Marching Milkman Band perform at the opening of the latest NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV) development. According to NWBRV Executive Director Joseph Garlick, band members Emily Lisker and Bill Calhoun have played a key role in building the arts community in Woonsocket.
042516-Milkman-Marching-band-Woonsocket

 

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Jan Flanagan at the Providence Journal has put together a great list of things to do on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, next Monday. I’ll highlight a few to help you plan ahead, but rather than lift the whole calendar, I hope you will go to the ProJo website, here.

The Providence Public Library will feature an exhibit with photos showing the famous Selma to Montgomery March, about which a movie was made in 2014.

In case you are near Newport on the 18th, Chevette Jefferies will speak at the Thompson Middle School at 9:30 a.m.; James Gillis will keynote a lunch at the Mainstay Inn; and St. Joseph’s Church will hold a special worship service at 5 p.m.

You could also consider participating in a Day of Service at the Martin Luther King Elementary School in Providence, a collaboration with RISD (the Rhode Island School of Design) “to help children reach their full potential by engaging them in arts, crafts, special activities and conservation.” And here’s something that sounds like fun: a celebration of black storytelling, ribsfest.org.

The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence will hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Sister Ann Keefe,  a longtime supporter of the Providence nonprofit, which follows in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr.

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, will hold a memorial service and reception 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Woonsocket.

Finally, the Providence Children’s Museum will feature living history portrayals of civil-rights activists Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks and others by local actors.

Get all the details about these and other January 18 events here.

Photo: AP
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at the University of Rhode Island on Oct. 5, 1966.

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I asked around whether any local nonprofits were providing a service opportunity in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on the Monday holiday. Here is what I learned.

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society told me it published a 12-page booklet to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March. The Dr. King Booklet is free. Postage is $3 for one booklet or $4 for two or more copies.  To have one mailed, send a $3 check to RIBHS at 123 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 or call 401-421-0606.

“Let Freedom Ring: 50 Years Later …” Woonsocket, RI. Memorial Service, King Memorial Sculpture Garden, South Main Street, across from St. James Baptist Church, 10 a.m., January 19, 2015. Youth Service Learning Project, St. James Baptist Church, 340 South Main St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Participants will help collect basic-needs items and snack food for the homeless. Contact nofokansi@neighborworksbrv.org or call 762-0993, ext. 234.

Providence College MLK Jr. Day of Service (2nd annual). Open Mic Night and Potluck, PC/Smith Hill Annex, 231 Douglas Ave., Providence. 2-5:30 p.m. Click here for info.

Special programs are being held to celebrate Martin Luther King Day at Audubon’s Environmental Education Center in Bristol, January 19, 10 – 2. Click here to volunteer to do crafts with children on Monday.

RI School of Design (RISD) has planned MLK Jr. events in Providence. Day of Service, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, 35 Camp St., RISD and the Mt. Hope Learning Center partner to celebrate King’s teaching by inspiring children to reach their full potential through the arts, crafts and special activities. 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Click here for details.

Greater Boston

I also wanted to check on what Kids4Peace Boston was doing because I know they are into service. Youth from the interfaith organization are volunteering on MLK Jr. Day at Solutions at Work. Matt says, “Approximately 12 of our teens will be helping to revitalize the space at Solutions at Work, which works to end homelessness in the Boston area.” Click here for some of the nonprofit’s other MLK Jr. service options.

Next year I hope to reach more nonprofits to give them — and the idea of a service day — publicity.

Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki
Martin Luther King Jr., Washington DC

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