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.

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