I love attending events in Boston and Providence. And there are lots to choose from. For lists of more events in the area than you can possibly attend, check out these websites:
Find shopping events in Boston like trunk shows, grand openings, and sales on Spreedia.com.
For pretty much anything else happening in Boston stay up to date on the blog thebostondaybook.com.
If that doesn't fill up your date book head over to the calendar at Boston.com.
For events in Providence check out the "things to do" calendar on goprovidence.com.
RISD has a lot of events but is not great at keeping their public calendar up to date. If you are at all affiliated with RISD or are taking a continuing ed class you can get access to their private calendar on the RISD Intranet which is excellent!
There is also an extensive calendar on rimonthly.com. And while you are there subscribe to their magazine. It's excellent and will keep you up to date on EVERYTHING including new restaurants, galleries, emerging artists, galas, craft shows, etc..
For events happening in the downtown area shopdowncity.com is a good site.
Swaps in the area can be found on the Swapaholics blog events.swap.com.
For more events anywhere search by topic and area on eventbrite.com. My favorite search words are fashion, style, art, craft, and swap.
Have fun exploring and I'll see you around town!