Belcourt of Newport in Newport, Rhode Island emanated an abundance of positive energy and showcased the marriage of historic preservation and sustainability on the summer solstice – thanks to Renewable Now Network – a leading platform of sustainability – who presented an exciting event there with global lifestyle brand Alex and Ani on June 21, kicking off summer with RNN Solar Day Gilded to Green Live at Belcourt of Newport, a live broadcast event (also streamed live) celebrating summer, the solstice and sustainability. The at-capacity crowd was a who’s-who of East Coast sustainability thought leaders and practitioners including Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of Alex and Ani, Carolyn Rafaelian, architect Shahin Barzin, the President of Rhode Island College, the Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, Carol Grant, and the Mayor of Newport Harry Winthrop.

The two-hour program – hosted by RNN Founder & President, Peter Arpin – included panels on the restoration of Belcourt, the state of clean energy in the Ocean State, the marriage of sustainability and history in Newport, Rhode Island College’s programs and Boston Greenfest’s tradition in sustainability. Following the panels, architect and Chairman of the Rhode Island Green Building Council Ken Filarski and renowned storyteller Valerie Tutson presented the RNN Innovation in Green awards for the restoration of Belcourt – to Carolyn as Arts & Culture Humanitarian of the Year, and to Shahin as Architect of the Year.  From Shahin’s ability to incorporate clean energy without compromise to the Belcourt’s original architecture and design – to Carolyn’s love of history, art and desire to educate – they have made this restoration a reality. For RNN, this is the perfect example of the principles of sustainability at work, and one that we showcase as an example of its endless potential.

Guests in attendance were treated to a private tour of Belcourt of Newport, while enjoying a catered reception co-sponsored by Fastlane Communications and the Donovan Institute’s Bridge of Exchange and RNN, a wine tasting compliments of Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, and an Alex and Ani gift bag (made of recycled paper) with an assortment of goodies celebrating art, nature, and sustainability – including a print from American Impressionist artist (and native Rhode Island-er) Lisa Palombo, snacks from Crispy Green, an RNN mouse pad, a copy of the current issue of Forbes Magazine with none other than Carolyn Rafaelian on its cover, and of course – an Alex and Ani bangle!  If you didn’t watch live, you can watch the award ceremony on-demand here.