Artists Engaging Students

FirstWorks Education Program Testimonial | Mary McMurtery


The most exciting moment a teacher can witness is seeing the lightbulbs in their students’ minds turn on! Mary McMurtery, an art teacher in Providence, applauds FirstWorks’ education programs for uplifting her students and bringing them one-of-a-kind arts experiences. Hear Mary’s thoughts on FirstWorks’ role in bettering arts-integrated education.

Find out more about FirstWorks education programs

FirstWorks Education Program Testimonial | Jamil Jorge


Interested in how FirstWorks fosters belonging in local youth? Listen to Director of Education Jamil Jorge share a captivating moment between artist Daniel Bernard Roumain and a group of students! Jamil’s dedication to helping young students express themselves through art is a great reflection of FirstWorks’ goal to foster connections between artists and audiences.

Find out more about FirstWorks education programs

Raise Your Voice – Daniel Bernard Roumain In-School Workshop


At this FirstWorks Arts Learning workshop, students at Providence’s Robert L. Bailey Elementary School Music heard sounds from the violin that they’ve never heard before, and got to add their voices to the mix with FirstWorks Artistic Ambassador Daniel Bernard Roumain.

For more info on DBR’s, visit: Our Team

Get the Parranda Started!


3.19.18: “The Voice of Venezuela” Betsayda Machado brings her dynamic Afro-Soul music tambor to a sold-out crowd at RISD auditorium of students from schools in Central Falls, Providence, Pawtucket, and Newport. Betsayda’s vibrant and joyful music brings audiences to their feet, turning the show into an all-out dance party. 600 students jamming to the boisterous parranda (party) sound! Part of FirstWorks’ Frontier Series in partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design Provost’s Office.

Providence Journal Video by David DelPoio

Slap That Bass


2.22.2018: Charlie Silva plays bass on Gershwin’s “Slap That Bass” as The Gershwin Big Band led by Michael Andrew plays a matinee for 1400 Rhode Island students at The VETS as part of FirstWorks Artistic Icon Series.

Providence Journal video by Sandor Bodo

Mummenschanz at the Vets


1.22.2015: Mummenschanz, the Swiss performance troupe who combine mime and creative puppetry, performed at the Vets Auditorium for over 1000 Rhode Island school children. Several characters interacted directly with their audience.

Providence Journal video by Sandor Bodo

Lincoln Center Musicians’ Performance part of Rhode Island Students’ Jazz Study

1.10.2013: Six members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed for some 650 students from area schools Tuesday at RISD Auditorium in Providence. The performance is tied to a curriculum the students have been working on this month to help students learn about jazz and where the music comes from and is sponsored by FirstWorks Spring 2013 Arts Learning Residency Program. On Jan. 27, the entire orchestra, along with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, will perform at the Veterans Auditorium.
Providence Journal video by Frieda Squires

Vocal Argonaut Bobby McFerrin Sings with Kids at the Vets

5.10.12: Students from RI schools participated in a workshop at the Vets with ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin. The workshop is a FirstWorks Arts Learning Event. Bobby McFerrin, a vocal argonaut, engages about 170 kids in a vocal workshop with improvisation as wells his four-octave range. He performed in concert later in the evening at the Vets.
Providence Journal video by Sandor Bodo

Alvin Ailey II Dancers Perform for 1300 Rhode Island Students

2.10.2011 : Over 1300 students from schools all over Rhode Island filled Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence for a performance by Alvin Ailey II dancers as FirstWorks kicked off their season of celebrating legendary choreographer, Alvin Ailey.
Providence Journal video by Sandor Bodo

Sweet Honey in the Rock Sings Sweetly in Providence

11.12.2010 : First Works’ season closes with a workshop with Sweet Honey in the Rock at Trinity United Methodist Church in Providence. Over 200 middle and high school students from Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, and Providence enjoy the renown six woman a cappella ensemble as they perform three songs and open the floor to questions and comments by the students.
Providence Journal video by Sandor Bodo

Silk Road Musician, Yang Wei, Plays the Pipa

1.27.2009 : As part of FirstWorks'”Season of the Silk Road” educational outreach program, Yang Wei, born in China but currently from Chicago, plays the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument, to students at JMW School for the Performing Visual Arts in Pawtucket.
Providence Journal video by Sandor Bodo