As Mayor of the Creative Capital, I am proud to celebrate Providence's unwavering commitment to the arts and to our vibrant arts community. I invite you to join the City of Providence and FirstWorks at the first annual Providence International Arts Festival, a dynamic, multicultural arts festival that celebrates both the visual and performing arts.

This event is an exciting gathering of art, music and spectacle. More than 500 local, national and international artists will converge in downtown Providence for the celebration, which runs June 11-14. The centerpiece of the Festival will be Saturday, June 13, featuring headlining performances throughout the day, including a parade, art exhibits, live dance and music performances, and more. Grammy-award winning West African singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo, the "guerilla opera" group Squonk Opera, the contemporary string ensemble Earth Harp, and the local gospel group RPM Voices are all part of the planned program.

To truly make this a community celebration, we need your help. Volunteer support is critical to the Festival's success. There are opportunities to volunteer for five-hour shifts on June 13, with responsibilities that may include:

• Backstage (ex. ID check, manage artist requests, manage artist hospitality with festival caterer);
• Info booth (ex. assist with questions/directions, hand out maps & schedules);
• Merchandise booth (selling artist CDs/DVDs/t-shirts, track and report transactions);
• General Production (set-up, tear-down, errands).

To sign up to volunteer, visit If you have any questions about volunteer opportunities, contact Amber Ilcisko at or 401-680-8541.

And don't forget to promote the event on social media with hashtags #PVDfest and #PVDfest2015. We look forward to celebrating with you and to launching a festival that truly embraces all the Creative Capital has to offer.