New festival could bring culture, economic benefits to Rhode Island

By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com
 
 
 

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode island is about to get an infusion of culture and art.

A new festival will hit the streets of Providence this fall, featuring performers from around the world.
 

The festival, called Iona
Fest will highlight hundreds of performers and artists in the hopes of
attracting people from across the area.

The festival could bring with it some economic benefits for Rhode Island. With more people, comes more
money – Iona Fest is in honor of the late Iona Dobbins. State
Arts Council Executive Director Randall Rossenbaum says, “I think
she'd be glad that the arts community had an excuse to get together and
celebrate something.”

As the former Executive Director for the Rhode Island State Arts Council, Iona helped infuse and define the arts community. She was politically aware of the impact art and culture brings to the state.
 

Today,
supporters including Governor Chafee gathered inside the Providence
Performing Arts Center for the Iona Fest announcement.
 
 

“We're
still missing her a lot but I know she would be very proud that her
name's being used in this way and we're very proud too,” says Debbie
Dobbins, Iona's daughter.