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June 11, 2003

Kudos to festival board for drawing director to city

The organizers of Pawtucket's Arts Festival have scored a coup by convincing film director and local native Michael Corrente to come to the city in September as part of the annual film festival.

Corrente, director of the Rhode Island-based films "Federal Hill" and "Outside Providence" is scheduled to make an appearance, according to Rick Roth, who is organizing the fourth-annual film event.

Roth said Corrente will screen "Outside Providence" on Sept. 10 and "Federal Hill" on Sept. 11, in the theater inside the Pawtucket Visitor Center on Main Street. The director will also discuss the films with the audience.

While Corrente is the latest high-profile personality to be secured for the festival, he certainly will be in fine company. The Rhode Island Philharmonic is also scheduled to give a free performance in Slater Park, a repeat of last year's well-received concert.

The festival, which runs over three consecutive weekends, will also include the popular dragon boat races. The organizing committee is still lining up other events and performers.

Some new events and a few changes are in store for this fall. One event set for the park will feature 60 or more quality arts and crafts booths.

And while most events will be free, the Sept. 5 opening night gala, now aimed to feature Latin-flavored music, will carry a $2 admission price. The previously-free gala, to be held at the Visitor Center, will offer dozens of food items donated by restaurants, markets and other festival supporters.

A rubber ducky race has been added this year and the annual photo contest will be judged.

The Pawtucket Arts Festival, formerly known as Convergence, grows in size and scope every year. Not only does the festival give Blackstone Valley residents an opportunity to experience visual and performing arts, the festival showcases the city itself and its arts district.

While the majority of artists and performers are local, attracting nationally-known artists to Pawtucket helps to boost attendance and lends credibility to the arts showcase.

"It's very exciting to have a guy from Pawtucket and who is a big-name person come in," Roth said of Corrente. "It's great."

ŠThe Pawtucket Times 2003

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