Growing Artfully at the Downtown Farmers Market

Last week during the Downtown Farmers Market artist Angela DiVeglia, from art in the park, put on a program for kids called “Growing Artfully”.


Angela is a self-taught visual artist. She works primarily with recycled fibers, cardboard, and other low-cost and discarded objects. Angela also has a lot of experience as a puppeteer. She apprenticed and performed with Bread and Puppet Theater and with the Mettawee River Theater Company, which led to her knowledge of how to create sturdy and imaginative objects out of free or low-cost materials. For “Art in the Park”, Angela created gigantic colorful truffula trees, a mountain, bright hanging hot air balloons, and a giant toaster that allowed the park to transform and imaginations to grow.

Angela’s project this week involved making dyes from plants and imprinting them on to fabrics. Angela came up with this project idea because she was looking for an interesting, non-cooking project to do with produce from the farmers market. “I thought about how red cabbage can be used as a fabric/fiber dye (as well as a pH indicator), and then I decided that since I’m really into yarn, maybe I should dye some wool yarn with local plants, flowers, roots, and vegetables,” Angela said.


The take-home project at the market was designed so that kids and families could explore plant pigments on their own.  Angela mentioned that she “collected flowers and leaves from all kinds of plants growing along the banks of the Woonasquatucket River in Olneyville, and we used them to make pounded flower prints on fabric and watercolor paper.” She later explained “Basically, you pound the plants with a hammer, which breaks down the fibers and releases their natural pigments onto the fabric’s surface.”

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To dye the yarn the local plants she used included: goldenrod, red sumac, poke berries, and blackberry leaves. She gathered these plants (sustainably!) in Neutaconkanut Park in the Silver Lake neighborhood. She also used a red cabbage from local farm, red zinnias from her community garden plot, and turmeric and locally roasted coffee grounds from her kitchen.



Angela’s next “Growing Artfully” project will be on September 3rd at the Downtown Farmers Market. She will be instructing families to leaf rubbings. She will also bring yarn and a hole punch to make the rubbings into the beginnings of field journals.

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If your are interested in doing your own dye projects Angela recommended taking a look at Sasha Duerr’s “The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes”, as well as Bobbi McRae’s “Colors From Nature.”

Imagination Week (8/22-8/27)

The Imagination Center is now open! Come explore Greater Kennedy Plaza’s new home for family fun, arts and crafts, interactive play and more in the center of Burnside Park.

IC SItting


The opening celebration continues with Imagination Week (8/22- 8/27) -  this week come let your imagination soar through creative writing and play! Full schedule below.


11-2PMOpen Air Reading Room with Book Making for the Book Show
Come work on your book or make different kinds of books all week during our Open Air Reading Room hours! We will be making books for Thursday’s Imagination Week Book Show.


11-2PM - Open Air Reading Room with Book Making for the Book Show
Come work on your book or make different kinds of books all week during our Open Air Reading Room hours! We will be making books for Thursday’s Imagination Week Book Show.


11-2PM - Open Air Reading Room with Book Making for the Book Show
Come work on your book or make different kinds of books all week during our Open Air Reading Room hours! We will be making books for Thursday’s Imagination Week Book Show.

3-6PMImagination Playground
Using huge blue foam blocks families construct castles, forts, vehicles and other imaginative structures.

3-6PMDowntown Farmers Market
Fresh produce and delicious treats for folks of all ages.

4:15PM & 5:00PMBIG KIDS’ BOOGIE! Free Open Dance Class
Calling all kids with the wiggles, the squiggles, and the itch to move! Kids learn basic dance moves and explore music from around the world with Julie Raimondi of The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance! Julie will be in the park until 6. Classes are 30 minutes, email to ensure a spot.


11-2PM - Open Air Reading Room with Book Making for the Book Show
Come work on your book or make different kinds of books all week during our Open Air Reading Room hours! We will be making books for Thursday’s Imagination Week Book Show.


11-2PM - Open Air Reading Room with Book Making for the Book Show
Come work on your book or make different kinds of books all week during our Open Air Reading Room hours! We will be making books for Thursday’s Imagination Week Book Show.

Bring your book back to the Imagination Center any time during our open hours to be showcased in a special Book Show and share your story with others! Come and check out the imaginative stories created during the week.

- Burnside Park Music Series
Rootsy rockers The ‘Merican’s take the Burnside Stage, with a special set by Girls Rock! Rhode Island’s Maddy Wood.

You can find announcements on the Imagination Center and all Greater Kennedy Plaza programming on our events page!

WHAT IS THE IMAGINATION CENTER? The Imagination Center is a new home for fun family activities in Burnside Park!  Come spend a morning reading in the open air reading room, work on an art activity or play a game at one of the multicolored picnic tables or explore our Imagination Playground where you can build forts, vehicles and other structures from giant foam blocks!  The Imagination Center is a project of the the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence in partnership with Southwest Airlines.

Given to Providence with LUV by Southwest Airlines.
Celebrating the Heart of the Communities

Imagination Center Opens in Burnside Park!


Mayor Taveras kicks off the opening celebration on Thursday morning.

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The ribbon is cut -  imaginations (and paper airplanes) soar!

IC SItting

Families stop by to enjoy the Imagination Center’s open air reading room.


Burnside Park fills with Storytime goers.  Angel Taveras read his book How to Do Well in School followed by stories with Jen Corace and Allison Paul.


A perfect place for a good book…

Grand Opening of the IMAGINATION CENTER

The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, the City of Providence and Southwest Airlines have partnered to bring The Imagination Center to Greater Kennedy Plaza - a fun destination for arts, crafts and more, and the new home for family activities in Burnside Park!

Come celebrate with us this Thursday as we kick off a full week of art, music and adventure! Details below.  


Given to Providence with LUV by Southwest Airlines
Thursday August 22nd – 10AM – 7:30PM
 Burnside Park – All ages – Free!    


10:30 – 11:30AM - Join Kidoinfo Storytime with special guest, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who will read his children’s book How to Do Well in School. Followed by readings by Storytime favorites local illustrator Jen Corace and author/illustrator Alison Paul!

11:30AM – 12:30PM - Participate in the finale of the Kidoinfo Art in the Park series “Oh the Places WE’LL Go!”, inspired by Dr. Seuss’s community-minded books, with an art project based on Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle and display of previous weeks’ art projects.

1PM – 2PM - Free, delicious PVD Pops popsicles for kids and blank book giveaway (until supplies last). Kids can author and illustrate their own books to be displayed at a special Imagination Center Book show next Thursday from 4:30-5:30 pm during the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden! Come drop off your book or work on a new one at the Imagination Center’s Imagination Week open-hours! See below for hours and special activities.

PLUS grab a food truck fare from the Washington Street market and have a picnic in the park!

4:30PM – 7:30PM - Catch a special night of music and local brews at the park at the Burnside Park Music Series + Beer Garden! Local favorites Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes, Tyler James Kelley (of The Silks) + Jess Powers!


And this is just the start to a whole week of fun at the Park! See the full Imagination Week schedule below! Everything is free, fun and for all ages.

Imagination Week schedule

Seen on the Plaza 8/6/13 – 8/20/13

Kids showing their farmers market spirit by drawing fruits and veggies with sidewalk chalk

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An alien invasion in Kennedy Plaza!!!!!!!

Big Nazo Alien invasionAliens at the bus

Alien dance parties. Who knew they could break dance or do conga lines?

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Alien Conga line

Interns turned into aliens?!

Intern Aliens


A banner of toast in the trufula trees in burnside park

toast banner


shark week shirt and tatoo shark week chalk





























Boo City and The Parkington Sisters rocking out!
































Construction in the park…Stay tuned for more details.100MEDIA_IMAG1535 DSC_0350


Len Cabral posing and teaching kids that if they watch too much TV they won’t be good looking.


A new sculpture in the park that you can touch! How awesome is that!


Weird Fruits and Veggies In honor of National Farmers Market Week

Look at this interesting hot pepper from Pezza Farm, it’s turned into a curly cue

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White eggplants. Have you ever seen such a thing?

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Can you guess what these vegetables are?

fairy tale eggplant - purple

What color group does this vegetable fall into? Yellow or green? There are always mysteries at the downtown farmers market.

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National Farmers Market Week Recap

This week we had out first children’s nutrition program with coloring worksheets and an obstacle course.  The interns ran the program and we were focused on teaching the kids about the function of different colors of fruits and vegetables. The slogan we used (from Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Healthy Foods Healthy Families Program) is “vary your vegetables and focus your fruits”.

At the market we were able to look at all of the produce to provide examples of each of the different color categories. Below are pictures and functions of the different groups:

White: Keeps your body strong and safe against germs. Even though it lacks color white produce is jam-packed with substances that lower our cholesterol and blood pressure, and increases our body’s abilities to fight infections. In particular the onion family carries some of the best substances to protect good health. Produce in this category has been found to speed up recovery from colds, lowers the risk of having a heat attack, and may stop the spread of stomach and colon cancer.

eggplant - white

Red: Keeps your heart strong and your memory sharp. Red and bright pink types of produce contain special chemicals that are thought to reduce the risk of several types of cancers. Additionally, many red fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that help our bodies control high blood pressure and protect against heart diseases.

necatarines - red tomatoes - red

Green: Helps you go to the bathroom. Doctors recommend that green leafy vegetables are eaten daily. The more green veggies you eat, the healthier you will be because they are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and substances that protect our bodies against many types of cancer Certain chemicals found in green leafy vegetables maintain good vision in our eyes and reduce the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration

leafy greens - green bell pepper - green

Purple & Blue: Helps you learn and remember. Blue/purple fruits and vegetables keep us feeling young and are thought to slow down the aging process. Many contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that reduce the risk of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

fairy tale eggplant - purple

Yellow & Orange: Keeps your eyes healthy, your skill glowing, and helps you from getting a cold. Bright orange and yellow types of produce reduce the risk of many types of cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants in these colors help our bodies maintain good eyesight and boost our immune systems. Citrus fruits certain chemicals that work together with Vitamin C to reduce the risk of cancer, strengthen bones and teeth, help heal wounds, keep skin healthy, and lower the risk of heart attacks.

cherry tomatoes - orange plums - yellow peaches - orange

So remember to vary your veggies and focus your fruit so that you eat a rainbow of produce. By eating produce in each color group, our bodies benefit from a wide range of healthy chemicals, essential vitamins, and minerals.

Get ready for Bike to Market Week from August 20th – 26th!

Get to Know Your Farmer: Matunuck Oyster Farm

Matunuck Farm stands out at the market every week with their nautical poster and bins of iced shellfish. When approaching the table Garrett (the man running the stand) and his sister were talking in Spanish with a man about the aphrodisiac nature of shellfish. “It’s the number one thing people ask me about,” Garrett laughed.





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Farmers Market Cooking with the Healthy Families on the Plaza Interns

This week each of the Healthy Family on the Plaza interns (Allison, Obed, Kelly, and Faith) bought Cubanelle peppers. With just one ingredient, each intern came up with completely different recipes to use the same item. Creativity was not lacking when it came to cooking. Our experimentation shows that going to the farmers market and buying local foods does not limit what you can cook! Check out the delicious recipes we made and come to the Downtown Farmer’s Market on Tuesday from 3-6pm to buy ingredients!

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