Editorial: BrighterFire Night
01:00 AM EST on Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Recently, Mayor Cicilline announced with regret that the municipal subsidy for Bright Night — the successor to First Night — would be slashed by 75 percent. Some performances had to be cut from the schedule. Artists engaged to entertain the public on New Year’s eve would get paid less, or nothing at all.
Now comes “WaterFire Providence” with a gift that will go a long way to keep Bright Night going this year. “WaterFire” approached one of its anonymous donors with a request for a gift to be split evenly with the Bright Night organization. One donor came through big-time, giving $16,000. Anonymously.
We applaud all donors, and “WaterFire,” for their big-heartedness. As “WaterFire” celebrates its 15th anniversary — 11 flaming braziers on First Night of 1994 was the first “WaterFire” — we must not forget that it has been a boon for artists since its beginning (and restaurants, hotels and other local concerns, not to mention the city’s global reputation).
“WaterFire’s” magnanimity is the more laudable because, in spite of its huge popularity over the years, it still must beg and scrape for money to bring each lighting to the public. This year is no different. Folks who attend “WaterFire” this New Year’s eve (till 10 p.m. at Waterplace Park and till 12:20 a.m. at Memorial Park) should keep that in mind.