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Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Be with us live today from 1-3p (ET)  and be thinking about this:   How are you, today, celebrating solar, solstice and summer in a transforming, meaningful way?  We'll help you answer that later today.

Providence & Newport, Rhode Island – Renewable Now Network (RNN), a leading sustainability media and business platform, salutes the summer solstice on June 21 from 1:00-3:00 PM EST with RNN Solar Day, a “gilded-to-green” celebration of solar energy, and sustainability through a global broadcast event, live from Belcourt of Newport, an iconic Gilded Age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island recently restored to its original splendor with one gilded-to-green difference: a commitment to sustainable design and the implementation of solar and geothermal energy without compromise to its original design.

 Hosted by RNN Founder and President, Peter Arpin and l Rhode Island Green Building Counci President and Architect,  Ken Filarski, the two-hour broadcast will be streamed live from RNN and Facebook Live AND presented to a live audience, featuring the Belcourt of Newport project, interviews with sustainability leaders, and the inaugural RNN Innovation in Green Awards to the Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of global lifestyle brand ALEX AND ANI, and design visionary Carolyn Rafaelian as RNN Arts & Culture Humanitarian of the Year for her commitment to historic preservation and sustainability everywhere, but specifically at Belcourt of Newport, and to world-renowned architect Shahin Barzin as the RNN Green Architect of the Year for the gilded-to-green design masterpiece that is Belcourt. Owned by Rafaelian, Belcourt of Newport is an architectural marvel on the National Register of Historic Places in Rhode Island, now restored to its old-world grandeur, while also using the most cutting-edge design and technology for clean energy, bringing a modern sustainable touch to a timeless classic. 

As a steward of sustainable design, Rafaelian has worked tirelessly with Barzin and his team on the preservation and innovation of this historic mansion on Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue. “I am honored to host RNN Solar Day and to accept the RNN Innovation in Green Award for my sustainable restoration of Belcourt of Newport,” said Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of ALEX AND ANI. 

Guests on the live broadcast will consist of local sustainability public and private sector advocates, and business leaders including the Mayor Harry Winthrop of Newport, Commissioner Carol Grant of the Rhode Island Department of Energy Resources, among other local sustainability proponents. Streamed directly from RNN’s newly launched website and webTV platform, the broadcast will reach RNN’s global audience and will also be on-demand – with Belcourt as the backdrop.

 “We are extremely grateful to Carolyn, Shahin, and the teams at ALEX AND ANI and Belcourt of Newport for hosting RNN Solar Day,” said RNN Founder & President, Peter Arpin. “Belcourt of Newport exemplifies how sustainability is possible anywhere on any scale, not to mention serves as the most ideal showcase for our mission and Solar Day celebration.

 Carolyn and Shahin are two extraordinary individuals who lead by example through their commitment to sustainability at Belcourt, and in everything that they do and touch. We are so proud to present them as our “Green Innovators” for 2017.” The broadcast will also be accessible on-demand on RNN’s brand new website – a highly engaging, interactive, and cutting-edge multimedia platform to educate the public on how to leverage sustainability for the environment, society, and the economic prosperity.

 The live event will be followed by a reception hosted by RNN and Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, a sustainable vineyard in Little Compton, Rhode Island. ALEX AND ANI has also very generously donated their eco-friendly gift bags to include gifts from RNN, sustainable frozen food brand Crispy Green, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, and notable American Impressionist artist, Rhode Island native and Rhode Island School of Design alum, Lisa Palombo – whose work is on display at Sheldon Fine Art on America’s Cup Way in Newport. ABOUT CAROLYN RAFAELIAN & BELCOURT OF NEWPORT: Born in Rhode Island, 

Carolyn Rafaelian transformed a family tradition of jewelry-making into the global lifestyle brand ALEX AND ANI, where she is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer. Through her commitment to historic preservation, the arts and culture, and sustainability, Rafaelian has not only restored her home Belcourt of Newport, an iconic Gilded Age mansion on Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue, she has also incorporated the use of sustainable design, solar and geothermal energy throughout the process.  

An iconic Gilded Age mansion built in the early 1890s and designed by Richard Morris Hunt, Belcourt of Newport is a living pastiche of history, resonant with the decorative and architectural arts from the Palace of Versailles in France to the Freemasons of America. Rafaelian has worked tirelessly with world-renowned architect Shahin Barzin on the restoration of this magnificent mansion, which has not only been preserved to its former splendor, but also now comingles with cutting-edge innovation through thoughtful, precise restorations enabled by modern technology. Now open for tours three days a week,

 Belcourt of Newport showcases the vast potential of sustainability, marrying the past with the future. -

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