Like Poe is to Baltimore, H.P. Lovecraft is to Providence. After a thirteen-year hiatus, this week the HP Lovecraft Convention returns to the authors hometown of Providence. NecronomiCon Providence inundates the city with Lovecraftian scholars and fans perusing the many historic landmarks referenced throughout the historic writer’s short stories. From lectures to film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances, this is one week where you want to be sure to know everything that is happening! In addition to all of the great events that NecronomiCon has organized at The Biltmore for the convention, WaterFire and has coordinated and produced several events themed around Lovecraft throughout the city.
Wednesday, August 21
WaterFire’s HP Lovecraft Talk with Henry Beckwith at Providence Art Club
Join us for an informal talk at the historic Providence Art Club, led by renowned Lovecraftian scholar Henry Beckwith.
Although Henry L. P. Beckwith was a child when Lovecraft died and never knew him, Beckwith shares much of the same ancestry and, like Lovecraft, grew up in Providence. In his mid-teens he became aware of HP Lovecraft, eventually writing a book of RI Lovecraft tours and teaching a course on Lovecraft at RISD. Because Beckwith knew a number of people who had been friends of, or directly knew, HP Lovecraft, his writings and lectures capture a distinctive perspective into the life and times of Lovecraft.
A creative placemaking project by WaterFire, this event is free and open to the public, featuring a special evening lecture at Providence Art Club in which Mr. Beckwith will share his unique insights gained from his half-century of casual study of HP Lovecraft as well as his personal interviews with those who actually knew Lovecraft. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers, the format will be informal yet informative.
Thursday, August 22nd
“I AM PROVIDENCE”
Finally, Providence brings the HP Lovecraft convention back to Providence! A multifaceted convention to explore the works of long-time Providence resident and famed horror/sci-fi author, HP Lovecraft, as well as other writers of “weird tales” both past and present. This multi-day convention features a multitude of special events, lectures, and exhibitions in various locations throughout Providence.
Convention Keynote Address at the historic First Baptist Church 5-6:30
Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi, church historian Stanley Lemons, and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras welcome all to Lovecraft’s city, and to NecronomiCon Providence 2013. In partnership with WaterFire, this very special public event will be held in one of Lovecraft’s favorite buildings in Providence (“…the finest Georgian steeple in America”). The hour will feature music by internationally-famed classical singer and organist, Gigi Velasco. In particular, Ms. Velasco will play Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, sing a unique Norwegian folk piece, and close with Boellman’s Toccata from The Gothic Suite. You might also hear a little something humorous for the occasion (can you guess what?). ALL are welcome! This keynote address is free and open to the public. Don’t miss the opportunity to check out one of Providence’s most distinctive and historic buildings.
Ars Necronomica exhibition opening reception—A Three-Gallery Survey of Lovecraft in the Visual Arts
Representing the myriad influences Lovecraft’s work has had on artists around the world, come and feast on the singular collection of art the convention organizers have amassed. The official convention openings for two of the three exhibitions are located at Brown’s Cohen Gallery and the Providence Art Club’s Dodge House, the third is located at Julian’s, a hip restaurant located on the West Side of Providence.
Not into all things Lovecraft?
Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series
If you’re looking for a free, family-friendly outdoor concert featuring great local music, check out the Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series in the heart of downtown in the park at Kennedy Plaza. The series continues its weekly programming, this week featuring with the american folk/blues duo of Tyler-James Kelly + Jess Powers, as well as the experimental pop of Roz Raskin & the Rice Cakes.
Friday, August 23rd
Register online to participate in the convention for a full day of lectures, fascinating panel discussions, film screenings and more. Tickets can be purchased for the evening Ball which will be held in the grand ballroom at The Biltmore hotel from 9 to midnight. The ball is a fancy-dress, costume, masquerade, cosplay, semi-formal affair of Cyclopean scale. Attire representative of the period of Lovecraft’s life, 1890 – 1937, or costumes inspired by his works, is strongly suggested. This is sure to be “the most eldritch soiree that hoary Providence has ever seen.”
Still not into all things Lovecraft?
Providence Ghost Tours
Check out some of the historic landmarks and history of the East Side of Providence. This tour is likely to peak your interest in the quirky and often bizarre history of Providence’s historic district. Perhaps you’ll be more inclined to check out Lovecraft after this tour.
Friends of Pawtuxet present: 2nd Annual Theatre in the Park
Theatre in the park! Free and family-friendly, The Players present a selection of skits and songs under the sky. Located about fifteen minutes South of Providence, this lovely park in Warwick is a great spot to bring a picnic blanket, snacks and your favorite beverage to enjoy an evening of entertainment.
Saturday the 24th
Lighting of the bonfires will happen at 7:30pm but head downtown early and check out the WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza beginning at 6pm, featuring over a dozen local artists offering fine art for sale with a wide variety of vendors: from paintings and photography, to handcrafted jewelry and ceramics, to glassware and more. Also, make sure you stop by Old Stone Bank on South Main Street where you’ll have the opportunity to check out the SteamPunk exhibition at Old Stone Bank in downtown Providence that has been produced by WaterFire as a creative placemaking project, and curated in partnership with Red Fork Empire and Steapunk United. This unique gallery show is free and open to the public from 2-11pm. In addition to fascinating artwork, performances from various performance artists, circus acts, and musicians are scheduled throughout the day with a special concert and awards ceremony will be held at 8pm. This historic Providence landmark, built in 1854, is rarely open to the public so be sure to visit (exhibition also open Sunday from 11am to 10pm with additional performances throughout).
The streets are alive with music, dancing, and Lovecraftian-inspired monsters and creatures at Steeple Street Music Stage! Produced by WaterFire and curated by NecronomiCon Providence, don’t miss hometown favorites, Big Nazo Band, as well as Darkest of the Hillside Thickets (from Vancouver, BC) & Difference Engine (Boston).
Thanks to our August 24th WaterFire sponsor, Cox Business
Sunday the 25th
Pack up your books, Lovcraftian memorabelia, and convention trinkets as the HP Lovecraft convention comes to a close. A final event is planned for an afternoon lunch at Julian’s where you can experience Love Craft Beer and more Lovecraft-inspired artwork.
Held every Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm on the Providence River Greenway at South Water Street (across from Bacaro), this Flea Market continues to grow in popularity as new vendors are added weekly. A mish-mash of vintage finds, handmade wares, upcycled clothing and goods, this newest addition to Providence’s urban scene is a nice way to spend your morning walking off whatever culinary delights you sought out for brunch. Of course if you’re still hungry there are food trucks by the plenty on site.
SteamPunk exhibition at Old Stone Bank
The exhibition continues on Sunday from noon to 10pm! Music, amazing art, and more!