Category Archives: donation

Press Release: WaterFire To Help Bright Night

DECEMBER 15, 2009
John Crisafulli
(401) 255-3739

Updates for New Year’s Eve 2009
  • WaterFire to light Waterplace Basin and Memorial Park
  • Bright Night announces headliners
  • Eyes Wide Open Masquerade celebrates WaterFire’s 15th Anniversary

PROVIDENCE – The fires will burn brightly this New Year’s Eve thanks to a generous gift from a longtime donor to WaterFire.  WaterFire was first lit on New Year’s Eve in Waterplace Basin exactly fifteen years ago, so when WaterFire heard that Bright Night Providence was struggling and that the city might be dark on New Year’s Eve, they asked a long-time donor to help both WaterFire and Bright Night.  WaterFire is pleased to join with Bright Night and Mayor David N. Cicilline to announce they will share this anonymous gift with Bright Night Providence to ensure that the Capital City is alive with light, art, and community this New Year’s Eve.  Join WaterFire in Waterplace Basin at Waterplace Park at 5:30 p.m. on December 31st to kick off the evenings’ events!  Enjoy the fires and then explore all the great performances that Bright Night is offering.

WaterFire to light Waterplace Basin and Memorial Park
The circle of fires in Waterplace Basin will burn from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. and the 12 fires in Memorial Park will burn until after midnight.  Please join us in Memorial Park for the stroke of midnight and a group singing of Auld Lange Syne and Happy Birthday to WaterFire, to start off the New Year!  

Executive Director of WaterFire Providence Barnaby Evans said, “Like every other arts group we are struggling financially, but our mission is to use the arts to enliven the City of Providence.  We felt we had to keep the fires burning to make it a bright New Year’s Eve.  I am delighted our staff, volunteers, and donors have stepped forward to make a lighting on our 15th anniversary possible.  And we are tremendously pleased we could help Bright Night and its wonderful artists as well.”

Bright Night announces headliners
“We’re so thrilled to be working with WaterFire on their fifteenth anniversary celebration” said Adam Gertsacov, Festival Director of Bright Night Providence, “and of course immensely grateful for this donation.  This has been a tough year. It’s really making a big difference for us to ensure that this New Year’s Eve remains Bright.”
Bright Night Providence is Rhode Island’s Largest New Year’s Eve Celebration.  Begun in 2003 when First Night Providence announced it could not go forward, this artist-run festival creates a family-friendly and fun atmosphere to ring in the New Year, with a focus on showcasing local artists and performers.  

This year’s festival will feature over 150 performers in 15 venues throughout downtown Providence.  Highlights include IllusionQuest, a full-stage magic and illusion spectacular featuring master illusionist David Garrity, local legends Big Nazo Puppets, Grammy-winner Bill Harley, Jazz saxophonist Greg Abate, the RI Children’s Chorus, blues band Black and White and a host of other performers.

Tickets for Bright Night Providence are $10 if purchased before 12/24/09, $15 beginning December 25. Schedules, tickets, and more information are available online at or by calling 401-621-6123.

“Providence is fortunate to have two great arts organizations–Bright Night and WaterFire–that will join together on New Year’s Eve to light up the city,” said Mayor David N. Cicilline. “Grammy Award-winning musicians, illusionists, Big Nazo puppets and many more exciting entertainers will contribute to in the inimitable energy and joy shared by our community on Bright Night.”

Eyes Wide Open Masquerade celebrates WaterFire’s 15th Anniversary
Also on New Year’s Eve, WaterFire will host a Venetian Masquerade Gala, Eyes Wide Open, celebrating fifteen years of WaterFire.  This fundraising gala hosted by Barrett Bready and the WaterFire Board of Directors is going to be a sensational event in the historic Old Stone Bank Building on South Main Street. The evening will include a performance by Quixotic Fusion, a Kansas-City based ensemble of inventive, avant-garde musicians, dancers, aerialists and composers, some of whom will perform mid-air, while suspended from the Gold Dome.  The event will also feature world renowned tenor Nathan Granner, one of the Three American Tenors, who will present a range of wonderful offerings.  For more information please visit


With funding cut, Bright Night looks for donations

1:08 PM Thu, Dec 03, 2009 | Permalink
Philip Marcelo 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Bright Night Providence, an arts-oriented festival that is billed as the state’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration, is cutting expenses and making emergency appeals for major donations after losing city funding, according to Festival Director Adam G. Gertsacov.
The city normally covers about one-third of the festival’s $120,000 to $125,000 budget, said Gertsacov. But city Director of Art, Culture and Tourism Lynne McCormack has told Gertsacov that the city will be unable to come up with its $20,000 allocation for the festival.
The Providence Tourism Council, a city board that is financed by proceeds from the hotel tax, normally contributes an additional $25,000, but the festival’s request for funding has not yet been approved, said Gertsacov.
“The mayor has been one of strongest supporters to date,” Gertsacov said Thursday. “But this year the state budget crisis has affected the city, and it is unable to provide the support it has given us in previous years. This has put the festival in peril.”
Gertsacov says the festival is still moving forward, but “cutting costs like crazy.”
It has launched a grass roots campaign to get 2,010 people to give $20 and pass on the appeal to ten other people. Gertsacov says that artists have agreed to take a pay cut in order to assure that the festival has the same number of performers as in year’s past. He says he is also making “emergency proposals to corporate donors.”
Started in 2003 by a group of local artists and performers, Bright Night Providence was the successor to the city’s long-running First Night Providence event.
Last year, it featured 150 performers at 22 downtown venues from noon to midnight, including poetry, magic, music, skating, storytelling and dancing.


Channel 10 covered our money woes.

But they didn’t mention our website–or how people can donate.

GIVE $20, TELL 10


Severe Economic Times Threaten Festival:
Bright Night Seeks Community Support
 To Keep the Lights Bright on New Year’s Eve
12/3/09 (Providence RI)
For almost half a dozen years, a group of local performers have been lighting up the Creative Capitol’s New Year’s Eve with song, dance, magic, story and excitement.

This year, though, the festival, which has drawn as many as 20,000 people to downtown Providence, has had its brush with the dark side of the economy.

“Mayor Cicilline and the city of Providence have been one of strongest supporters to date,” said Festival Director Adam G. Gertsacov. “But this year the state budget crisis has effected them, and therefore us, and the city is unable to provide the support they have given us in previous years. This has put the festival in peril.”

“The City recognizes the intrinsic value that Bright Night provides to our community. Over the past six years we have invested over 100 thousand dollars and provided extensive technical support. Bright Night provides our city’s artists with important work opportunities and our city’s residents access to arts experiences. We are committed to continuing to work with the organization but the success of Bright Night requires a committment from the entire community especially during these economic times,” said Lynne McCormack, Director of Art, Culture + Tourism.

Rather than cancel the festivities, the artists and performers of Bright Night are making the risky decision to go forward anyway. And they’re not raising the ticket prices either. Tickets will be available for $10 and $15, depending on when you buy them, just as they were last year.

“We are committed to making this an affordable festival”, says Gertsacov.

So how are they going to make up the short fall?

“We’re starting a grass roots 20/10 campaign to get 2010 people to give $20 and then tell 10 people. We’re making emergency proposals to corporate donors. And we’re cutting costs like crazy (even though we’ve already been operating on a shoestring.) And nearly every artist I’ve talked to has agreed to take a paycut in order to make sure the festival happens.”

Gertsacov adds ” It is a risky proposition, but life is about risk. And after speaking with a number of the performers, it seemed clear that this option is preferable to just letting the city go dark on New Year’s Eve”.

It’s the performers of Bright Night. who are taking the real risk, says Gertsacov. “Our contract has a disaster/bonus clause that states that if there’s a financial disaster, that the artist fee may be cut in order that everybody gets paid something.” adds Gertsacov. “Over the last six years, we’ve paid out over $35,000 in artist bonuses, and never had to invoke the disaster clause, even after last year’s snow storm. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make it through this year too.”

“This is one of my favorite events to perform at,” said Providence author and storyteller Mark Binder, who has performed at Bright Night for the last six years. “I bring my family and get to share my work with people who are always appreciative. Maybe I won’t get paid for my work this year, but I look at it as a contribution to my community.”

To find out more about Bright Night Providence, please visit their website at

To donate to Bright Night Providence, please visit

To purchase tickets ($10 if purchased before December 24, $15 afterwards, visit or call Art-Tix 401-621-6123.