October 19 marked the 7th Annual FireBall Gala and by all accounts, it was a night to remember!
We were honored to present four extraordinary Rhode Islanders with WaterFire Impact Awards: Barbara Papitto, The Honorable David N. Cicilline, Dr. Silas Otniel Rodrigues Pinto, and Umberto Crenca. With such incredible honorees and a great lineup of performances and guests, it’s no surprise that the evening was so memorable.
It was also the most successful FireBall Gala yet! With your help, we raised over $130,000 for WaterFire Providence, including $28,000 in a Fund-A-Program to directly support our two educational and professional development programs: WaterFire Accelerate and ArtLab@WaterFire. We were blown away by this level of support and cannot thank everyone enough for being a part of the festivities.
A large part of this success is thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, especially our in-kind partners. To transform an empty room into a spectacular gala is no small feat, but the teams at High Output, Russell Morin Catering & Events, PEAK Event Services, and Golden Gate Studios made it look easy. We are profoundly grateful for all the ways these partners support our shared community.
The highlight of the evening was the WaterFire Impact Awards Ceremony, which hinged on one crucial element: the awards! Gather Glass created beautiful glass awards using the fiery orange and royal blue colors that represent WaterFire so well. We are doubly grateful to Gather Farm for also contributing to the dessert course with a custom Campfire S’mores ice cream flavor developed specifically for FireBall.
Like all WaterFire events, FireBall was a celebration of the incredible artistic talent found in our community. We were honored to feature art by current and former Accelerate Artists at FireBall and enjoyed incredible musical, dance, and fashion performances throughout the night. Thanks to Joseph Phommasith and WaterFire’s own Caitlin McDonough for sharing their expert videography skills with us through the videos and projections that were a focal point of the night. We consider ourselves so lucky to exist in partnership with all these incredible artists.
We could write paragraphs and paragraphs about everyone who contributed to FireBall, but it would never be enough to encapsulate our gratitude. The list at the end of this message gives you a sense of the effort and teamwork needed to pull off such a successful event, and we couldn’t be prouder to work with such exceptional people. As we look forward to our 30th year, it is deeply humbling to see how our community shows up for us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
Barnaby Evans and Peter A. Mello, coCEOs of WaterFire Providence
Special thanks to
- Adolfo Peralta, Andrea Pascual, Denzel Amoah, Emily Gray, Hannah Nahas, Kannetha Brown, Leiyana Simone, and Sydney Darrow, current and former Accelerate Artists whose work was on display during FireBall
- Big Lux, wrapped up the night with a grand finale on his violin
- WaterFire’s own Caitlin McDonough, directed and produced the WaterFire Providence Programs video
- Jay Breen, captivated us all with an extraordinary solo dance performance
- Joseph Phommasith, produced the stunning footage of WaterFire that was projected throughout the night
- Willeen Capehart and the PHASE team, brought the house down with an incredible fashion show
- Gather Glass and Gather Farm, created the breathtaking glass awards and a stupendous custom ice cream flavor for FireBall
- Golden Gate Studios, contributed all the beautiful floral centerpieces
- Gooseneck Vineyards, Narragansett Brewing Company, and Sons of Liberty Spirits Co., provided the beverages that elevated the event to a truly memorable evening
- Gretchen Wright, WaterFire’s own Development Associate who was instrumental in coordinating all the details and work that went into FireBall
- High Output, went above and beyond to address all of our lighting, sound, and projection needs
- PEAK Event Services, helped with the rentals that transformed the WaterFire Arts Center into such a fabulous gala
- Russell Morin Catering & Events, provided the most excellent catering and event planning services we could hope for
- Arnold B. Chase, Jr.
- Barbara Papitto
- Barbara Sokoloff and Dr. Herb Rakatansky
- Candy Adriance
- Joseph A. Chazan, M.D. and Victoria Veh
- And Vincent J. Buonanno Jr., all of whom demonstrated incredible leadership in support of Fund-A-Program and WaterFire more generally.