Bright Night Providence is looking for a few good artists.  Well, actually we are looking for a few hundred good artists.

If you’d like

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.

The Weather is looking good for Bright Night

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!

FALL RIVER HERALD: BRIGHT IDEA: Providence plans family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration

BRIGHT IDEA: Providence plans family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration

By Linda Murphy

Posted Dec 22, 2010 @ 03:49 PM
Last update Dec 22, 2010 @ 03:52 PM


They’ll be plenty of clowning around at this year’s Bright Night Providence festival on New Year’s Eve. “We’re really excited about it this year, it’s going to be a great festival,” said Festival Director Adam Gertsacov.

This year’s festivities feature more than 160 performers in various locales throughout downtown Providence, new partnerships with performing arts venues, ice skating, a masquerade ball, and Bambouk, a headlining clown act staging three shows at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Bambouk’s Brian Foley and Mathew Duncan, bald-headed clowns sporting snappy tuxedos and old-school red clown noses are a vaudevillian style physical comedy act that’s taking New York’s off Broadway scene by storm. “They sacrifice their dignity for people’s enjoyment. I saw them off Broadway and I thought they were amazing. And I’m a professional clown, so that says a lot,” said Gertsacov, who hangs up his clown gear on New Year’s Eve to act as ringleader of the artist-run Bright Night, Providence.

In addition to sharing the stage with the Moscow Circus, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil, Bambouk also won the prestigious Sherman Brothers Award for Best Clown Duo and the 2010 Golden Nose Award winners for Audience Choice Best Clown Act. “The headlining act has to have broad appeal. They’re silly enough for kids to enjoy them, and smart and talented enough for adults to appreciate them,” said Gertsacov. “There’s also a fair amount of audience interaction.”

The festival gets under way at noon with strolling performers, half-priced skating at the Bank of America Center in Biltmore Park and storytellers, clowns, jugglers and performers taking the stage at four different venues. The Providence Children’s Museum will host puppet shows and other children’s activities, storytellers will take the stage at Perishable Theater from 1 to 5 p.m., the Beneficent Center will feature jugglers, clowns and acrobats, and URI’s Shepard Building offers up a circus workshop with Marvelous Marvin, Indian story and dance workshops with Shanti Muthu, storyteller/performer Keith Munslow and the ever-popular Big Nazo Puppet Band at 5:30 and 7 p.m.

The performances at all of the venues, which also include the AS220 Cafe, Grace Church and the First Baptist Church, start at 6 p.m. after the official opening ceremony in Biltmore Park at 5 p.m.

Singer/songwriters take the stage at Perishable Theater from 6 to 10 p.m. at the annual Bright Night Acoustic Coffeehouse followed by A Night at the Disco: The 70s Strike Back performing a fun retro tour through the gilded age of mirrored disco balls and leisure suits at 10 and 11 p.m.

The First Baptist Church is host to local jazz legend Greg Abate, Fishin’ with Finnegan, a Celtic music act, and Rhythm Room, a first at the festival. “They’re kind of a rogue music group with 10 players and 40 different instruments,” said Gertsacov. “They have a wonderful, danceable sound: I’m expecting the place to be rockin’ it out.”

Two other Bright Night favorites, mentalist Rory Raven, and sideshow artist Matt the Knife are slated to perform at AS220 in advance of the annual Bright Night Poetry Slam at 10 p.m. flowed by an array of bands on the AS220 stage performing up to 2 p.m.

The Bright Night Blues Bash with the Black and White Blues Band kicks off at 8:30 p.m. at the Beneficent Center, and an array of performers are also scheduled to perform in its sanctuary starting at 6 p.m. with master steel drummer Jason Roseman. “I’m really excited about him,” said Gertscov. “He learned how to make steel drums from his father and he’s been performing for 35 years. He plays calypso music, but he also plays jazz.”

The Rhode Island Children’s Chorus and the feminist chorus, Woman Spirit Rising are scheduled to perform at the Grace Church, which will also feature storytellers Mark Binder and Bill Harley.

“There’s a wide diversity of performers, and we also have some extraordinary street performers too,” said Gertsacov.

Bright Night Providence is also pairing up with the Providence Performing Arts Center, which is offering discounted tickets to 8 p.m. performances of Mama Mia on Friday and Saturday, and Trinity Repertory Company is also discounting tickets to its New Year’s Eve plays: “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Another partnership this year offers a reduced ticket to the World Masquerade Ball, a black tie, 21 and older event at the Rhode Island Convention Center. See the Bright Night website for the fine print details on these partnerships.

Bambouk: A New Vaudevillian Escape will be held at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. at the R.I. Convention Center. A Bright Night ticket (a Tyvek wristband) will guarantees 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).

With New Year’s Eve taking place on a Friday, Gertsacov is expecting a good turnout at this year’s artist-run New Year’s Eve event. Tickets purchased before Dec. 24 cost $10. Tickets after the 24th cost $15; group discounts are also available.

Check out for a full schedule of events and a listing of ticket sellers.

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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