The restoration of the Newport Performing Arts Center will bring year-round performing arts to downtown Newport – dance, music, theater, comedy, speakers, educational programming and much more – and revitalize an architectural treasure in historic Washington Square.

“Through arts and community leadership, NPAC will be a catalyst for excellence in education, sustainable economic development, and rich civic engagement to enhance the quality of life in the greater Newport County region.”

Our Plans


Board of Directors

John Cratin

Business Management Consultant with over 30 years of experience, Former Co-Chairman of the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Hayden Bates

Serves on the Board of Directors of the Charles Ives Performing Arts Center in Danbury, CT.  Holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Phil Bender

Founded Sea Captain Coaching after serving as a Managing Partner in a Fortune 100 firm in the New York City metro area.  Holds a B.S from the University of Missouri.

Jerry McIntyre

Managing Partner, McIntyre – Tate LLP. Former President of Jamestown Town Council, Commodore of Conanicut Yacht Club. Graduate of Columbia College, AB, and Fordham School of Law, JD.

Dominique Alfandre

Founding Executive Director of the Newport Contemporary Ballet. Was a 2005 RI Foundation Fellow and received the Arts & Business Council’s Arts Advocate.

Christopher Bicho

President and Founder of Landings Real Estate Group. Holds an MBA from The Carroll School of Management at Boston College and Finance degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Liz Drayton

Newport resident since 1980 In addition to her continued service to NPAC, Liz is currently Board Chair of the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, RI.  Graduate Trinity College.

Ed Henry

Former President and CEO of the Doris Duke Foundation. Currently Chair of United States Artists. Holds a degree in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

Marc Lewinstein

With credentials in both finance and law, Marc has worked in investment banking including Berkshire Capital Corporation, Lehman Brothers, and Cantor Fitzgerald. He has also worked as an attorney at Dickstein Shapiro, Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Kirkland & Ellis.

He is a long-time supporter of many Aquidneck Island philanthropies and has been involved actively with many arts-oriented organizations in New York City, including the Frick Collection and the New York Philharmonic.

Jack Murphy

President and CEO of BankNewport. Prior to joining BankNewport, Jack was President of Business Banking at Citizen’s Bank and has over 30 years’ experience in the banking industry.

Donald Sanders

Renowned director, presenter and producer. Executive Artistic Director, Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, Director of Theatrical Production for NYC’s Ensemble for the Romantic Century. Holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

John Shehan

Interior/Architectural Designer; Color Consultant; Historic Restoration Specialist, Founder of Shehan & Estabrook Decorative Arts Former Chair of Newport’s Historic District Commission.

Alison Vareika

Co-Owner, William Vareika Fine Arts Gallery. Aquidneck Land Trust, President 2003-05; Newport Art Museum 2001-2006; Chair; Newport Art Museum Special Events Committee 1998-2005; Trinity Repertory Company 2011-present; Appointed by Governor Lincoln Chafee to Rhode Island State Council on the Arts 2011-present.

Key Staff

Melissa Caldwell Quinn

Managing Director
NPAC staff since 2016, Melissa is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory [at Berklee]. Melissa has called Aquidneck Island home for over 30 years and, in addition to her management & administrative career, has performed as both Principal Clarinet and concert soloist for over 20 years with regional orchestras and ensembles.

Susan Palmer

Development, President of Palmer Westport Group
Susan Palmer founded the Palmer Westport Group (PWG) in 2005 after a distinguished career leading historic theaters from start-up phases to successful award-winning venues. In previous leadership positions, Susan was a co-founder of Barrington Stage Company, a producing theater company that won two Tony awards for The Putnam County Spelling Bee; managing director of The Berkshire Theater Festival; Information Systems Manager at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; and Director of Major Gifts at WGBY Public Television. Susan has been a program presenter at the League of Historic American Theaters at their national and regional conferences in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Schenectady, NY, and has been on the faculty of the Association for Performing Arts Presenters. Susan has also taught workshops for the Center for Nonprofit Success, an approved training and educational provider for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) program.

Capital Campaign Leadership Team

John Cratin


Ed Henry


Chris Bicho


Marc Lewinstein


Colin Kane

Jack Murphy

Cynthia Sinclair

Alison Vareika

Liz Drayton

Arthur Chapman

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