Volunteer Spotlight: Jane Carlson

Captain Jane Carlson with guest lighters.

The smell of the cedar and pine heavy in the air, clad in all black, you are surrounded; surrounded by wood, by water, by people, by a city normally busy by day and deserted by night. But, tonight it is different. It is rich in culture and filled with vibrancy. You are a WaterFire Wood Boat Captain and you are in the middle of the WaterFire Lighting Ceremony.

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is a guest lighter at WaterFire Providence.

WaterFire Captains come from so many different backgrounds, and have so many different professions and experiences. They truly are a reflection of the community we serve. Jane Carlson for example; by day, she is the Vice President Day and Residential Programs for the Groden Network. Jane has a lifetime of sailing and boating experience behind her. She says:

I love boats, always have and always will, so being a boat captain at WaterFire was a natural choice for me. Captaining a boat for WaterFire is one of the most unique experiences a person can have.  Being a captain is crazy!  It’s physical, dirty, hectic, and nerve-wracking.  But here’s the thing, we get to make the art that is WaterFire happen!  And while the crowds get to watch us few cruising up and down the river doing our thing dressed in black, we get to see the people, faces bathed in the warm firelight, as they experience this beautiful and powerful event.  The view from the captain’s position is, truly, the best view of the City of Providence.”

WaterFire’s Wood Boat Captains get an experience very few ever will! An opportunity to enjoy WaterFire from a totally new angle, and actually be a performer in this piece of art.

Now WaterFire Providence is giving you the opportunity to join the ranks along with these Captains!  Starting in April, WaterFire Providence will host several training sessions. These sessions include a day inside our building with a presentation and a look at our boats while they are out of the water. After that there are four on river trainings. Finally you will learn one on one with these Veteran Captains on the river to determine your readiness. Whether you are an experienced boater, or have never stepped foot on a boat before, if you are interested in being a part of the magic join us!

About the author

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In 2009 I started volunteering with WaterFire. By 2010, I was so engrossed with the art, the event, and the volunteers that I became an intern in the Special Events Department, which only pushed my passion further. I kept volunteering and in 2013 became an intern in the Development Department where I was hired and in 2014 brought onto the volunteer team where I happily help recruit, train, retain, and manage over 150 volunteers per event.

2 thoughts on “Volunteer Spotlight: Jane Carlson”

    1. Hi Pasco, thanks your interest in volunteering with WaterFire Providence. A member of our volunteer team will be contact you directly with more information.

      Cheers, Tim

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