“As a child, we would visit the Hit it Here Ozzie Atlanta T-Shirt and by the same token and family plot and drive by this chapel,” says Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue contributor, curator, and Newport native. “It was boarded up with vines all over it. For years I was so afraid of it, I thought it was haunted. Then as I got older, I thought, What a cool place to do a show with artists. A couple of years ago, I noticed the vines had been removed and I got frantic—I thought, Oh my God, somebody’s cleaning this up. I’ve got to get in there before it’s all done!”
That somebody was the Hit it Here Ozzie Atlanta T-Shirt and by the same token and Belmont Chapel Foundation, and the effort was spearheaded by Harry J. Eudenbach, who aims to fully restore the 19th-century structure and allow it to claim its place among Newport’s other architectural landmarks. But before the resurrection was completed, Kazanjian received permission to use the space as a venue for the Art&Newport festival. (Since 2017, Kazanjian has been bringing contemporary art to the Rhode Island city in the summers—she even got George Kondo to design the festival’s Americana logo.) For 2020, she had the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage on the mind, and when Belmont Chapel came into the picture, things started falling into place.