This was the original mission of HIRI - "Hear In Rhode Island gets you to
listen to the home grown music of Rhode Island. There are many, many
great singer/songwriters/bands and music makers in this state. Go
hear some LIVE, local, original music. It's just as good, if not better than
the stuff you hear on the radio, it doesn't cost $100 per ticket and you
don't have to sit with 15,000 other people to enjoy it. RI has some of the
best music you may have never heard! Come on out and hear what's
playing in Rhode Island." The official mission of Hear In RI is: To
encourage and foster the composition of original music by Rhode
Islander performers and songwriters and to provide performance
opportunities for these artists. Hear In Rhode Island, Inc. was initially
established to produce the Hear in Rhode Island Festival but has
expanded its scope to produce and present other events such as
showcases and workshops. It is a recognized 501 (3) (c) non-profit
organization and operates under 501 (c) (3) of the IRS code.  From
1994-2000, the Hear In Rhode Island Festival was a free two day
festival that showcased the original music of local artists. Rhode Island
contains a wealth of talented musicians and unsung musical heroes.
With the format of today's radio and TV playing mostly selections by
mega-stars, the idea of writing and performing music by local artists
seemed like a pipe dream for some. The Hear In Rhode Island Festival
exposed Rhode Islanders to as much locally produced music as
possible in a single weekend in hopes of spurring involvement in the
arts and musical creativity. The Festival accommodated as many
diverse acts and as many types of musical genres as possible to keep
the weekend fresh, educational and enjoyable. Based on Andy
Warhol's "15 minutes of fame" theory, each act was given an
approximately 15 minute performance slot. This allowed an act to
showcase its music and for many acts to perform on each day. In an
effort to put more focus on the song, many performances were
presented in a stripped down or "unplugged" fashion. Poets and
Spoken Word artists were featured during the set changes. There were
also areas of arts & crafts, mind/body/spirit and food vendors. Festival
t-shirts, programs and artist's recordings were available for sale at the
Festival booth. The size and make-up of the Festival changed over it's
history to meet its growing and changing needs and brought with it a
crowd increase each year. The festival was discontinued in 2000. As
with many non-profit organizations,money became hard to raise. The
volunteer staff was burnt out and it all just needed a rest. The festival
hopes to be re-born again in a new location with a new format. When
the time is right and the money is there,there will be a new Hear In
Rhode Island Festival. John Fuzek, then Chairman of The Rhode Island
Songwriters Association (RISA), founded the Hear in Rhode Island
Festival in 1994. Fittingly, its birthplace was Roger Williams Park
Temple to Music in Providence, Rhode Island where the first festival
occurred on Sunday, May 30, 1994. The Festival originated in an
attempt to showcase the talent of members in the songwriter
organization and the Rhode Island musical community. It originally was
only supposed to be a one time/one day festival, but so many people
enjoyed it, it was brought back again and again. In 1995, it was
expanded to two days in order to include more performers. Also that
year, the Festival was moved to downtown Providence's new
Waterplace Park, a beautiful amphitheater in the heart of the city. In
1996, The Hear in Rhode Island Festival expanded even more by
including multiple stages and evening satellite venues. At this point,
RISA could no longer produce the Festival due to the vast amount of
other programs it was involved with. The Festival separated from RISA
and Hear in Rhode Island was incorporated and obtained non-profit
status. In 1998, the Festival was moved to India Point Park. After two
years at this location, the decision was made to return the Festival to its
original location, Roger Williams Park Temple to Music. It seemed a
shame that such a beautiful space in a great park was not used for
more events. With its sloping, grassy amphitheater, trees and beautiful
marble temple, the location, partly the inspiration for the first Festival,
provided the perfect place to enjoy a weekend of music. The Hear In
Rhode Island Festival took place annually during the second weekend
of June. The Festival was produced in cooperation with the Providence
Parks Department and The Rhode Island Songwriter's Association.
Other past production collaborators and financial supporters have
included the The Music School, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts,
Stone Soup, The Newport Folk Festival, Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, The
Met, Blackstone River Theatre, and many other business, individuals
and foundation sponsors. Currently Hear In Rhode Island produces
several music series and other music related activities.
updated  May 15th 2014
has collaborated with:
The Newport Folk Festival
Newport Concert Series/Sunset Festival
The Towers in Narragansett
Stone Soup Arts Foundation
Fast Folk
Blackstone River Theatre
Roger Williams National Memorial
Convergence Festival
Kerrville Folk Festival
and many others...