The Roger Williams Park Conservancy is thrilled to announce our first Program Manager, Olanda Estrada-Dos Santos. Olanda, a Providence native, comes to us after almost a decade in the visual arts department at Brown University and brings a great enthusiasm for and connections to the local arts and culture scene.
We caught up with Olanda recently and asked her a few questions so you can get to know her. Read on and keep the conversation going in the comments below.
Olanda, welcome to Roger Williams Park. Tell us about yourself!
“My name is Olanda Estrada-Dos Santos (she/her/ella), a proud Latina and the daughter of parents who immigrated from Guatemala. I have a deep passion for public spaces, the arts, social and restorative justice, and building community. It is exciting to be joining the Roger Williams Park Conservancy as the inaugural Program Manager, where I will be working collaboratively with our community members and Park partners to continue revitalizing the Park. As a native Rhode Islander who grew up on the Southside of Providence, I know first-hand how vital the Park is to our community and wish to help others create lasting memories of their own in the People’s Park. If you ever want to chat about the Park, potential events, partnerships, or just life in general, please reach out!”
What made you want to work in Roger Williams Park?
“Over the years, I created lasting memories in RWP and now wish to help others create lasting memories for generations to come.”
What kind of programs will people see in the Park this year?
“My goal is to develop programs that foster mindful creative practices in the Park and help our partners elevate the incredible programs that already exist throughout the park. I’m personally eager to bring more artists, community leaders, and educators to Roger Williams Park and work collaboratively to develop programming that visitors will enjoy and bring about meaningful change in our lives and our communities. Kindly stay tuned and make space to engage in upcoming events!”
Are there any new things you might like to try, either as a host or a participant?
“Yes, and I’ve already started! Within my first few days I have joined the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium on a walking tour of the Park. I’ve helped our park partners plant different species of magnolia trees and shrubs. I plan to continue helping our partners with their initiatives to restore the park and plan to participate in wellness sessions plus attend all the programs I help realize in the Park.”
We have to ask: favorite place in the Park?
“Selecting just one favorite place in the Park is difficult since there are many remarkable places to visit, like the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Botanical Center, the Temple to Music, the Museum and Planetarium, the Zoo, and much more. That said, if I had to pick just one place, I would have to choose the Temple to Music. Some of my fondest memories have taken place there, including countless visits to slide down the hillside areas after a snowfall or attending cultural celebrations and performances or just enjoying the breathtaking view with family and friends.”