NEW: Rogeriee Thompson & Barnaby Evans Receive Humanities Awards

Monday, October 03, 2011
GoLocalProv Features Team

Tom Roberts Prize: Barnaby Evans
The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) will honor Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson, federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and internationally-recognized artist Barnaby Evans at "Red, Hot, and Legal," the 9th annual Celebration of the Humanities next week on October 17. Event Co-Chairs are Joan Abrams and Kate Kilguss.

This social event brings hundreds of artists, scholars, and community leaders together each year to honor exceptional Rhode Islanders and to raise funds for the Rhode Island Council of Humanities and its public humanities programs, including the Council’s popular grants for K-12 civic education. The Council presents two awards annually: The Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities and the Honorary Chairs’ Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities.

Evans: Tom Roberts Prize

The Tom Roberts Prize is awarded to an individual or group whose work demonstrates an innovative approach to traditional humanities fields of study, blending the wisdom and methods of the humanities in an inventive, original, and imaginative way, and distinguished by public appeal. This year, the Prize celebrates Barnaby Evans of Providence, selected for his internationally-recognized public sculpture, WaterFire.

Evans created WaterFire in 1994. Since then, the sculpture and the programming and activities that Evans has developed around it, has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Providence and has gained international acclaim for its artistry and innovation. Waterfire has welcomed more than ten million visitors. Evans received his Bachelor’s degree from Brown University, which also presented him an honorary

Lifetime achievement: Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson
Doctorate of Humanities. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Rhode Island College.

Thompson: Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual or group whose career achievements demonstrate humanities excellence, reflect RICH’s mission and core values, and enrich public life in Rhode Island. This year, the Award is presented to the Honorable Rogeriee Thompson for her distinguished career in jurisprudence and her commitment to civic life. Nominated to the federal court by President Obama and unanimously confirmed, Thompson is the first African American woman to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which is based in Boston, and hears appeals from Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico. Thompson holds degrees from Brown University and Boston University School of Law. She has received honorary degrees from the University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University and Bryant University. She has served many local and national organizations, including as a Trustee of Brown University, and a board member at the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation, the College Crusade of Rhode Island, and Dorcas Place, among others.

“Red Hot and Legal” from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston.The Celebration is open to the public; reservations are $75 per person ($45 for students). Opportunities for sponsorships, which range from $125 to $5,000, are available. The event will feature live and silent auctions and the awards ceremony. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged; a complete guest list will be maintained at the Registration Table at the event. To make your reservations or register as a sponsor, please call 273-2250 or e-mail


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