The Village Common Newsletter - February 2020
If you are having difficulty reading the newsletter click below:
View this email in your browser
Barrington Village Launch 
By Laura Young
Photo by Phil West
Please join us on Sunday, March 22, 2-3:30 PM for the official launch celebration of the Barrington Village. The Barrington Village Steering Committee has been working towards this day for well over a year, and has organized this event for potential Barrington Village members, as well as others in the larger Rhode Island community. The committee has been holding regular meetings in preparation for developing services, activities, and programs for its future members.

The keynote speaker for the event is Rose Amoros Jones, the Director of the RI Office of Healthy Aging (formerly the Division of Elderly Affairs). On August 14, 2019, Jones and her colleague Maureen Maigret published an article in the Providence Journal which noted the importance of the senior population in our state.
"Today, people age 50 years and older account for nearly 60 percent of consumer spending in Rhode Island, according to a 2017 study commissioned by AARP. This study, which analyzed the total economic contributions of older adults, found that the $27-billion impact of our “longevity economy” was largely driven by elders’ spending, at $22 billion… Older Rhode Islanders deserve to be celebrated; they deserve a positive narrative, the right to author their own life, and plentiful opportunities to participate in society. They’ve earned it — and they’re still earning it." (Rose Amoros Jones, 8-14-19)

Jones is a strong advocate for the senior community, and we look forward to hearing her speak. In addition, those who attend will be able to:
  • Learn about the Village Common of RI and Barrington Village membership.
  • Participate in shaping the plans for Barrington Village in 2020 and the services we will begin with.
  • Celebrate with us with refreshments in the Gallery!
If unable to attend, but have interest in joining or questions, please call us at (401) 400-5599 or email at
Village Common Board Welcomes Susan McCalmont
By Jo Ellen Mistarz
Photo by Phil West

The Village Common of RI is pleased to welcome a new board member, Susan McCalmont, the first board member representing Barrington Village. Members elected Susan at a special meeting on Thursday, February 18, in Providence RI. She has been involved with the Providence Village almost from its inception, serving as a volunteer driver for Providence Village since 2015 and as a Barrington Steering Committee member since 2019.

Susan has been a Rhode Island resident for 50 years, living in the same Barrington house for most of that time. Although she is now retired, Susan worked for more than 30 years in the state judiciary as a planner, a role requiring a Master's Degree in Public Administration. Since retirement, Susan enjoys traveling to many remote and exotic places, mostly for birdwatching. She stays active as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate in Family Court, as the treasurer of the Barrington Democratic Town Committee, as a participant in the Life Long Learning Community, and in her exciting new role as Grandma Susu! 

Susan and her husband’s two daughters live on the other side of the country, in Oregon and in New Mexico. They both work in the health care field; one is a primary care doctor and the other is a nurse practitioner, both providing care to underserved populations. The Village Common looks forward to Susan’s continuing contributions.

Deborah Dunning, Obituary

Deborah Dunning died recently from complications resulting from pneumonia, with her children at her side. The illness was sudden, escalating over a period of less than 10 days until her death on Feb. 19. Deborah was an active member of the Providence Village and the Village Common, serving on its Board of Directors almost since its inception. She was part of the planning process before the Providence Village was officially created as a non-profit. She also served as the Co-Chair of the Village’s Advisory Council, with Phil West. Phil had this to say about Deborah: “Life is precious and fragile. Deborah embodied dignity, communicated genuine respect for others, and worked tirelessly to repair the world. She showed us all how to live.” Barbara Sokoloff, another member of the Advisory Council, noted that “Deborah was an amazing woman. She made the world a better place.”

Deborah was a passionate environmentalist and was devoted to fighting the human causes of climate change. She was a member of St. Martin’s Church in Providence, active in their Women’s Group, as well as the Women’s Spirituality Group. Deborah’s memorial service was held on Sat., Feb. 29 at St. Martin’s Church. Deborah brought her lively and engaged presence to all she did, and we will miss her greatly.

Note: Some material in this obituary was based upon a St. Martin’s Church announcement
Photo caption: Deborah Dunning with Pat Mattingly
Photos by Phil West
East Providence Village Gathering, Coming Soon!
By Polly Walker
In order to launch as an official Village, we need volunteers of all kinds – some to provide services for members, and others to help organize. At the Gathering, we will answer your questions about volunteering such as:  What’s involved? How much time will it take? What is the vetting process? How do I sign up? We’ll also answer any other questions you may have.
If you are interested, please email us at We will then be able to let you know the date for the Gathering at the Weaver Library. We hope to see you there.  
The East Providence Village Steering Committee
Valentine's Day
By John Harkey
Photo by John Harkey

Our invitation to celebrate Valentine’s Day was, we’ll admit, a bit jarring:
“The Providence Village “Hope Circle” invites you to a Valentine's Day showing and discussion of the film Death, A Love Story.”

Yet, you came. A dozen members of The Providence Village and Hamilton House arrived at this event on the afternoon of February 14. Hosted by the Hope Circle, one of our Village’s neighborhood circles, a romantic table had been laid: cupcakes in pink and white, tea in china cups, rosé wine, with a centerpiece of flowers and candles.
But still there was that film titled Death, which threatened an uncomfortable shift of mood. What could we have been thinking?
Credo: All loving attachment comes with the prospect of devastating loss. Love and loss are part of life’s package, and that is well known by all of us.

Hope Circle’s Valentine event was intended to create an opportunity to reflect together on our shared experience of love and loss. Providence Village volunteer Michelle Le Brun is a filmmaker ( and educator ( who shares her personal story in Death, A Love Story. Viewing the film together gave us the chance to share some of our own life stories in an open discussion afterward. There were tears, anger, and ultimately a resolve to embrace love, whatever the cost.
Michelle’s film Death, A Love Story begins with her marriage and becomes, too soon, the story of husband Mel's effort to survive liver cancer with dignity and grace, engaging the world of medicine, both traditional and alternative. Ultimately, the film is about the gift of lessons on love and life itself, shared between Michelle and her husband. Their experience shows us that life's greatest gifts can sometimes grow from the seed of death.

Are you interested in attending another event that follows a similar theme? We’d like to hear from you. Please contact Kate Sanders or John Harkey, co-leaders of the Hope Circle, by email. You are invited.
John Harkey,
Kate Sanders,
Barrington Volunteer Fair in April
Barrington Village and the Barrington Public Library will co-host a town-wide Volunteer Fair on Thursday, April 23, 2-4pm at the Barrington Public Library.


The Social Events Committee will present Pam Steager, on March 15, 2020, at 2:00pm at the St. Martin's Church in Providence.
Pam Steager is a researcher, trainer, and writer at URI's Media Education Lab. Her extensive experience with media also includes helping to develop media literacy curricula for the schools, writing a newspaper column for the Providence Phoenix, and performing as an actress and stand-up comedian.
She  will be speaking on media literacy -- the ability to receive, send, and evaluate the information we are all surrounded by, whether in old print-based forms or in the ever-changing 21st century media. This is an increasingly important topic, particularly in the current election season.

Please contact Ada Winsten ( if you are coming
or if you have any questions.
Providence Village
Group Activities February 2020

Photos by Jane Adler

Thursday, March 5, in the afternoon
Movie Day
Come with us to the Avon. We will let you know what’s playing when they announce it. Dutch treat. Register by March 3.

Monday, March 9th at 3:30pm 
The Providence Village Book Club.
We will be reading Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Private home. Register by March 7. Details at registration. Free.

Wednesday, March 11, 2pm 
Constantine Finehouse will present a classical piano performance. Free. Register by March 9. Details at registration.

Tuesday, March 17, 12-1pm 
Brown Bag Lunch at Temple Beth-El. Orchard St.
Mark Guyer, Ph.D. past Deputy Director, National Human Genome Research Institute. Dr. Guyer will tell us what the HGP is and how our knowledge of the
human DNA sequence has led to new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and maybe, most importantly, preventing disease and the promise this holds for the future. Don’t miss this interesting presentation. Register by March 16 so we can sit together at an up close, reserved table. Free.

Tuesday, March 17, 2pm 
Jack Craig, St. Patrick’s program 
Favorite Irish and Irish/American songs. Free. Register by March 15. Details at registration.

Wednesday, March 25, 4pm-5pm 
Welcome Meet and Greet, Wine and Cheese

The Providence Village invites all new members and volunteers from the Village Common to join the members and volunteers of the Providence Village for a Meet and Greet Celebration. Join us. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to meet new Village friends and enjoy wine, cheese, dips, fruit, sweets and much, much more. Free. Register by March 19.

Sunday, March 29, 5pm 
Our Fabulous Dinner Club.
We are going to The Old Canteen Italian Restaurant. 120 Atwells Ave, Providence. This high-end family-run restaurant serves traditional Italian specialties. This restaurant was a favorite of Providence's  “famous” mayor, Buddy Cianci. It’s a “must see.” Check the prices and the menu on the website. The restaurant is very popular; they request we register early, by March 17. Dutch treat; valet parking available. (Transportation is not available on Sunday. We will try to carpool.)

Save the Date.
Friday, April 17, 2020.
Join Hamilton House and Lifelong Learning members for an exciting bus trip to Peabody-Essex Museum. Leave 8:30am, arrive home approximately 5:15pm.
$67 includes bus transportation and admission to the museum. Gratuity for driver not included.

Admission includes self-guided tour to all galleries in the 2019 Gallery Expansion Project, but does not include the Chinese House. Lunch on your own in museum Café or nearby restaurant in Salem. Don’t miss this great opportunity to see this wonderful museum. Register right away to reserve a spot and to pay for this day long trip: and please cc Details at registration.
Type Peabody –Essex trip in the subject line.

If you’d like to go to any of these activities, it would be appreciated if you would please register promptly to avoid being put on a wait list. Also, some of us have waited until the last minute to register and discover something we wanted to attend has been cancelled because of a lack of response. Please register as soon as possible so we know how many are coming, and please let us know if you will not be attending after you do register to make room for another person. Thank you. All events are subject to rescheduling. Must register for all events. Please reply to: janevillage56@gmail. com
The Village Common of RI
Board of Directors
Suzanne Francis, President
Jim Maxwell, Past President
Anne Connor, Secretary
Peter Viner-Brown, Treasurer

Lenore Bunting, Lorraine Keeney, Pat Mattingly, Susan McCalmont, Bonnie Ryvicker, Terry Percelay, Joe Santarlasci, Phil West

The Village Common of RI
Advisory Council

Barry Fain, Jay Glasson, Beverly Ledbetter, Lynette Lopes, Marcus Mitchell, Herbert Rakatansky, Corinne Calise Russo, Barbara Sokoloff, Bill Twaddell, Phil West

Newsletter Staff
 Wendy Oliver
Design: Josh Kemp   
Writers:  Jane Adler, Sue Bayley, John Harkey, Rosalind Ladd, Vivian Malloy, Wendy Oliver, Diane Strommer, Eliza Sutton, Phil West 
Photography:  Jane Adler, John Harkey, Phil West,
Obituary Assistance: Anne Connor, Phil West
Copyright © 2020 Village Common of RI, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp