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Arts funding in Rhode Island needs some help!

This in from Lisa Carnevale, head of RI Citizens for the Arts.  If you like Bright Night, please respond.  Our funding from the state has been cut 75% over the last 5 years.  Don’t let us get cut out entirely!

The House Finance Committee’s recommendations for FY12 budget will come out tomorrow. RI CFA is hearing from legislators that the cut to RISCA funding will likely move forward. We need to send the message to our legislative leaders that this small saving in the overall budget deficit (0.03%) will have a hugely negative impact on the community at large.
Get this message to Chairman Melo and Speaker Fox TODAY:

Governor Chafee’s proposed budget included a $100,000 cut from RI State Council on the Arts’ discretionary grants – a 17% cut in this pool of funds. Combined with a cut to RI from National Endowment for the Arts, our creative community faces a 20% cut overall.  Funding to RISCA is the only way the state invests in this growing  economic sector.  These funds produce a positive return on investment for our state: Every $1 spent through RISCA yields an additional $11 in additional funds, supporting over 13,000 jobs, creating nearly $500 million in economic impact, and plugging school budgets by providing arts education inside our schools.  

Over the past nine years, arts funding has whittled away to what is now a concerning level. A cut this year will jeopardize this significant asset in the state of RI – causing loss of jobs, loss of social services and programming, as well as the cultural vitality that attracts many to live, work and visit in our state. 


House Finance Chairman Helio Melo: 401-222-2738

Speaker of the House Gordon Fox: 401-2466


In addition, Chairman Melo has expressed that his committee need also weigh in on the issue. We’ve spoken to many who are supportive. Help them take this message to the speaker! Email the rest of the House Finance Committee members.

The arts and creative sector in RI is a strength and an asset. The state’s small investment in this sector has continued to reap high return and yet, has been whittled away at over time.  To cut a proven economic asset is bad business and bad policy.

The Big Noise– and Happy New Year!

Bright Night culminated this year with a new phenomenon that we called the Big Noise–

We encouraged everyone to gather at Kennedy Plaza at 11:45 for a “Battle of the Bands” that wasn’t a battle at all. At around 11:55 we had a trial run of making some noise, and then we all counted down together and made the loudest noise we could. It was really spectacular, and a really great feeling of community right there on the steps of City Hall. We had about 600 people or so in Kennedy Plaza at the time, with about 200 dancing and singing and playing along with ERB (Extraordinary Rendition Band) and the Banished Fools.

It was a really special moment of community, and we hope to continue to spark and continue this feeling.

Happy New Year from the whole group of Bright Night artists to you and yours!

We hope to see you next year, dancing and singing and celebrating with us!

Travel & Leisure Picks Providence as one of the Top NYE Cities!

That’s right, Bright Night was a major factor in making Providence one of the top destinations for New Year’s Eve!

See the article and the rest of the cities.

Bambouk featured in Projo

They juggle, they make music, they entertain, and you’ll have a ball laughing at Bambouk (Matthew Duncan and Brian Foley) on Bright Night on Friday at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Internationally renowned Bambouk is two guys making people laugh — at Bright Night

12/30/2010 01:00 AM EST

By Rick Massimo

Journal Pop Music Writer The New York-based clown duo Bambouk, comprising Brian Foley and Matthew Duncan, are making their first visit to Rhode Island on Friday to headline the Bright Night celebration, but the pair has a lot of miles under their belts.
The red-nosed, bald-headed, formally dressed duo juggle, ride a six-foot unicycle, play the accordion, make music by bouncing balls off bass drums and more, combining the simplicity of wordless movement with impressive showbiz skills.
New York magazine said “This duo will instill a love of the clowning that mostly expired with Buster Keaton,” and a quick look at any of their videos (available on their website,, or on YouTube) will confirm that.
Foley and Duncan met in 2003 at a theme park where they were both jugglers, and Foley says, “we both realized that we had skill sets that were complementary. I was a vocalist and he was an instrumentalist. He was a juggler and I was a magician with a few juggling skills as well. And when you put all that together it makes for a pretty good variety show.”
It’s a pretty good variety show that has gone from the Midwest to California, China, Puerto Rico and Alaska, to comedy festivals and theaters, cruise ships and more.
“Everywhere we go,” Foley says, “we learn something different, but we always learn that people love to laugh.”
One reason the duo gets to do so many international shows is their mostly language-free show. Silent comedy (“we like to say we’re a mostly silent show. I tend to have a hard time keeping my big mouth shut”) affords them the opportunity to get around language barriers, but it also has aesthetic advantages.
“That’s what our heroes did,” Foley says, citing influences such as Victor Borge, Bill Irwin and Dick Franco, all of whom had “these tight acts that could play anywhere in the world.
“And when you’re not a slave to the text, you need to key into something that is more at the core of humanity. And that’s something that everyone can relate to. You leave the comedy more open to interpretation, and hopefully everyone can find something that relates to them directly.”
Bright Night runs noon to midnight on Friday at various venues throughout downtown Providence. For a full schedule, map of venues and ticket locations, go to or call (401) 621-6123.

Bright Night on Channel 10

A preview of the Bright Night Festivities on Channel 10 last night!

Along with Big Nazo’s own Rusty Dawg, Bright Night festival director Adam Gertsacov talks about some of the great events happening in Providence on New Year’s Eve.  Let’s not forget aliens, monkeys, robots, and talking dogs!

Bright Night has lots of new artists this year!


$10 before Dec 24/ $15 afterwards

We’ve got over 10 new artists this year! 
Here’s a list with a little background information on each of the new artists.  (These are artists and groups that haven’t worked with us before. )

We have over 50 acts working that night, to see them all, visit the artists webpage.

And just a reminder– Tickets are going fast, and after December 24 they go up $5.  Get a tremendous savings by purchasing them before December 25!

BAMBOUK: New Vaudeville Escapade
(RI CONVENTION CENTER @ 6, 8, & 10 pm)
Our featured act this year is BAMBOUK, a new vaudeville escapade that features a blend of juggling, magic and physical comedy, performed by two elegantly dressed bald men in clown noses. The show is a seamless blend of character comedy, circus skills, and theatrics that will tickle your funnybone and strum your heart strings.
BAMBOUK has opened for the Drifters, the Platters, and Charo, and shared the stage with award-winning circus artists from the Moscow Circus, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil. Together and individually they have been the featured physical comedians in stage productions, ice shows, cruise ships and theme parks since 1990. BAMBOUK has been seen multiple times in China, Japan, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, and throughout the continental U.S.
In 2009, they won the prestigious Sherman Brothers Award for Best Clown Duo, and are 2010 Golden Nose Award winners for Audience Choice Best Clown Act.
Dreams Before Waking will take you on a journey of complex rhythms and original compositions as well as imaginative re-workings of dark and traditional English ballads. From the unique musical framework of the group’s genre fusing approach, one may be reminded of Michael Brook, Dead Can Dance, David Sylvian and Rain Tree Crow. Come along with Dreams Before Waking on an atmospheric journey into Myth, Magic and Mayhem and experience the dreamworld made tangible.
(9:30 PM- 12 Midnight, STROLLING)
The Extraordinary Rendition Band (ERB) is a Providence-based street band of reeds, brass and percussion. They are a democratic organization that plays a wide variety of music (from Klezmer to Michael Jackson) that uplifts everybody within earshot. They will be popping up all throughout downtown during Bright Night, bringing silly antics, divine raiments, and spontaneous moments of raucous musical joy.
Jason Roseman
A native of Trinidad/Tobago Jason Roseman is a master steel drum performer, builder and educator. Steel drums were born as a means of playing music when drums were banned in Trinidad. Jason plays the classic calypso tunes the island is known for as well as jazz and his own compositions. Jason has over 30 years of experience performing all over the world, and is now based in Rhode Island.

Jon Campbell
Jon Campbell is a prolific composer of contemporary maritime music based in New England. A multi-instrumentalist and reluctant singer, his songs address issues relevant to inhabitants of any of the four coasts (East, West, Gulf, Alaska). He has been a RISCA Folk Artist since 1982.

Laughletics is a competitive improv comedy show that plays like a sports match complete with a referee. Teams compete in improvised games in order to win laughs and applause from the audience. The teams will play both games that they choose and games that they are challenged to. Let the comedy begin!



The 70's strike back


The 70’s Strike Back is a local troupe of singers and musicians that will bring you back to the nights of platform shoes and disco balls. Bringing you the sounds of the disco era, The 70’s Strike Back pride themselves on creating an authentic disco atmosphere through music, costumes and good times. So don your leisure suit and get ready to groove to the best disco tunes the 70’s had to offer!


The Piccolini Trio

The Piccolini trio, features 3 young clowns (all trained at Vermont’s Circus Smirkus) who arrive at the theater with an antique trunk full of circus props, and discovers that the audience is already waiting, but the show is late. When the circus doesn’t show up, they decide to perform the show themselves, playing all the roles and creating an amazing and hilarious performance full of clever surprises. They have recently finished taking New York by storm with an Off-Broadway run at the Canal Street Playhouse.WEBSITE

Rhythm Room Live!



The Rhythm Room interweaves the energy and power of percussion with dynamic vocals to create an explosive, captivating show that sticks with the audience long after it’s over. Integrating world percussion, horns, drums, guitars, piano, and keyboard, the Rhythm Room creates a rich, full flavored melodic sound that provides a visually-stimulating experience for audiences of all ages. WEBSITE



(1:30 PM & 3:30 PM, Providence Children’s Museum)

A widely successful music program in NYC, Rock-a-Baby is now making music in Rhode Island. Rock-a-Baby is an interactive, educational music experience for young children. Three energetic musicians/teachers lead an exploration of rock, pop, blues, traditional, and classical music genres by singing songs, playing games and dancing… Along with the help of whimsical puppets – Rhythm, Melody and Harmony!

New Artist

Thea Hopkins


Critically acclaimed Boston performing songwriter Thea Hopkins calls her music American Short Story Folk: concise, striking narratives, they tell of American romance and tragedy in modern terms. In 2004, folk icons Peter, Paul & Mary recorded one of her songs, and described her song as a “compelling composition with a riveting story-telling style. This is one of the most important songs we have sung in recent years.” Her album Birds of Mystery was declared one of the top ten local albums of the year by the Boston Herald. She’ll be accompanied by Andy Hollinger on mandolin.


Bright Night discounts at PPAC– Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack

We’re happy to report that Providence Performing Arts Center has agreed to give $35 tickets for the December 31 8 pm performance of Mamma Mia!, the fantastic Broadway musical based on the music by ABBA.

Tickets are typically $66, so this is a HUGE discount!

Here are the details (please be sure to read the fine print!)

For Friday evenings 8pm performance, 2 ways to purchase:
1) Purchase your Bright Night wristband in advance, and show it at the PPAC Box Office window for a special $35.00 ticket at least 30 minutes before show time, best available at the time of the purchase. These seats will go fast – purchase sooner than later!

2) Purchase your $35.00 tickets ahead of time using the Validation Code “BRIGHT”, either online at, by phone at 401-421-ARTS (2787), or in person at the Box Office window (Mon – Fri 10am to 5pm, Sat 10am – 2pm). Applicable fees will apply. This special offer is also available to Bright Night fans for Saturday, January 1, 2011 8pm show. (Saturday 2pm matinee excluded.)

Restrictions do apply: Special pricing excludes Golden Circle and Loge; no adjustments on prior purchases; tickets subject to availability; all tickets sales final, no exchanges or refunds.

All PPAC / VMA RI ticket prices are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.

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KILL DATE 12/31/10


December 6, 2010, Providence, RI
This New Year’s Eve, don’t be surprised if you see two bald men in clown noses and tuxedos.  It’s not a new fashion trend- it’s the headlining act of this year’s Bright Night Providence.  The show, called BAMBOUK, is a New Vaudevillian escapade that features a blend of juggling, magic and physical comedy, performed by two elegantly dressed bald men in clown noses.

Masters of the variety arts, the clown duo juggle plates, flip hats, ride a 6 foot unicycle, play the accordion, and juggle all manners of objects.  Their show is a seamless blend of character comedy, circus skills, and theatrics that will tickle your funny bone and strum your heart strings.


Brian Foley and Mathew Duncan, the performers of BAMBOUK, are favorites in the NY downtown variety scene, and have shared stages around the world with award-winning circus artists from the Moscow Circus, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil.  They’ve also opened for the Drifters, the Platters, and Charo.  Together and individually they have been the featured physical comedians in stage productions, ice shows, cruise ships and theme parks since 1990. BAMBOUK has been seen multiple times in China, Japan, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, and throughout the continental U.S.   In 2009, they won the prestigious Sherman Brothers Award for Best Clown Duo, and are 2010 Golden Nose Award winners for Audience Choice Best Clown Act.

“These guys are out and out hilarious,” says Adam Gertsacov, Festival Director of Bright Night Providence. “I saw their Off-Broadway show a couple of years ago, and have been thinking about having them for Bright Night ever since.  It’s the kind of show that’s silly enough for kids and smart enough for adults.  It will leave the whole family laughing. “

“Bright Night will be great fun,” says one of BAMBOUK’s founders and performers Brian Foley. “We’re really looking forward to being part of the festivities.  We love what the artists of Providence are doing, and are excited to be part of it.” 

BAMBOUK will perform three shows in Providence as part of Bright Night. The shows will be performed at 6, 8, and 10 pm at the RI Convention Center. Your Bright Night ticket (a Tyvek wristband) will guarantee you admission to one of those three performances, plus more than 50 other performances at 12 other venues throughout the day and evening (on a space available basis).

Other artists on the Bright Night bill include local legends Big Nazo Puppets, bebop great Greg Abate, Grammy-winning storyteller/singer Bill Harley, magician Chris Carbone, storyteller Mark Binder, The Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, a special Bright Night Poetry Slam, and a host of other artists and events. A full schedule will be available in mid-December on the Bright Night website,

Tickets to Bright Night are available online at, and in person at all BankRI locations, the Providence Children’s Museum, and at the EastSide Marketplace.

For more information about tickets call 401-621-6123 or visit

Tickets are $10 each if purchased on or before December 24. Starting December 25, tickets are $15 each or a family fourpack for $50. There are a limited amount of tickets, so purchase early to insure getting your choice of times for the BAMBOUK show.

Donation and corporate sponsorship opportunities are still available. To donate to Bright Night’s GIVE $20, TELL 10 campaign, visit

To find out more about Bright Night Providence, visit

To find out more about the clown duo BAMBOUK, visit


Special Day of Event Discount at World Party Masquerade Ball

By special arrangement with the producers of the WORLD PARTY 2011 MASQUERADE BALL, we’ve arranged day-of-event discounts for Bright Night bracelet holders at this 21+  special event taking place in the RI Convention Center Ballroom from 9pm- 3 am.

Tickets are normally $50 each to the event,  but if you purchase your ticket on the day of the event, you can get in for $40!   That means if you pre-buy your Bright Night wristband (before December 24) you are getting into all of Bright Night Providence for free!  (and if you buy both tickets day of the event, your Bright Night wristband only costs $5!)

Day of event tickets for both events will be sold at the RI Convention Center Box office.

Advance Bright Night tickets are available at a number of locations. Visit for more information.

Here’s the skinny on the World Masquerade Ball


Join the first annual World Party Masquerade Ball for an evening of dancing, drinking, and fun. Tickets are $50 each and features live music by Rob Soul, 3 DJ’s CR, Joint & Vibe, and a comedy act by Improv Uprising Comedians. There will also be celebrity Patriot guest appearances, a cash bar, available food, and a complimentary champagne toast at Midnight. Masks are optional, and will be provided at the event. Proceeds partially support the Free Your Mind Foundation,a non-profit that fights bullying in schools.
Show your Bright Night wristband on the night of the event, and get in for only $40. That’s $55 to go to both the Masquerade Ball and all of Bright Night. A strict dress code will be enforced. Suits for men, cocktail dresses for ladies.

For more information go to

Please note that this event is not being produced by Bright Night Providence– this event is separately produced.


Here’s the video for the Bright Night Providence 2011 New Year’s Eve Celebration, graciously designed by Ramp Media Lab