Category Archives: Cultural Arts

Come join us for RISHM’s upcoming Black History Month event February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024 St. John's Episcopal Church

Black History Month Dedication February 25, 2024 St. John’s Episcopal Church

The Rhode Island Slave History Medallions (RISHM) is inviting the public to
celebrate Black History Month at a program honoring Black abolitionist and
church founder Peter Quire on Sunday, February 25 at 3PM at the historic
St. John the Evangelist Church, 61 Washington Street in Newport. The
event is free, open to the public, and a reception follows.

With speakers and gospel music, the event will feature US Congressman
Gabe Amo of RI speaking about Black History Month. RISHM Founder and Executive Director will speak about the history of Peter Quire, who worked with the Pennsylvania Quakers on the Underground Railroad freeing enslaved people, and his wife Harriet,
both lifelong advocates for equality who were leaders of the Black
community in Newport. The St. John’s Choir will perform with special guests
Mixed Majic Exult Choir.

RISHM will be installing a medallion at the church’s entrance and it will be
among the 14 markers installed across the state that tell the inclusive
stories of African and Indigenous Americans during the Colonial Era. In
Newport, medallions are marking the landscape at Bowen’s Wharf, Trinity
Church, and the W.E. Channing/Quamino House on School Street. Other
medallions being installed this year are at the Vernon House, Clarke St.,
and the Trinity School-Shiloh Baptist Church, School Street. Medallions
provide a QR code for scanning with a mobile phone, linking visitors to the
slave history archive at . For more information, contact
RISHM director Charles Roberts at

Click here to discover more about St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church and Peter Quire

Peter Quire and the Church of St John the Evangelist

Peter and Harriet Frances Quire, a free Black man and woman, held the first services of St.
John’s Parish above their cobbler shop. Before moving to Newport, Peter Quire worked with
the Quakers to free enslaved people in the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania. Upon his
death in 1899, he bequeathed $419, his life savings, to founding the church.


The Living History Cultural Arts Celebration Performance

Patriot’s Park Living History

On August 28th 2021, RISHM provided the community with a family-friendly gathering of BIPOC traditions and colonial history at Patriots Park in Portsmouth, sponsored in part by RISCA, BankNewport, the NAACP and the Newport Port Marker project.

Parents and their children shared in an unforgettable experience, an Act of Remembrance. They witnessed their history come to life before their very eyes. We are Building a New Tomorrow. One Child, One Family at a Time.