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Volunteer Spotlight: John Nickerson

Fire Feeding, photo by John Nickerson

Can you picture those friendly people answering questions, getting folks to smile and enjoy their WaterFire visit?

John Nickerson is without a doubt one of those people. As a Rhode Islander John was always a frequent WaterFire visitor and even volunteered on several occasions on the wood boats over the years. In July of 2011 he joined the WaterFire Photography Group and began to realize the depth and breadth of a WaterFire lighting!

From Waterplace Basin to the Crawford Street Bridge, from Memorial Park to the Turk’s Head Plaza Ballroom the professionalism required by the WaterFire staff and volunteers to host such an event is impressive.”

John Nickerson at Volunteer Appreciation Party

Working as a volunteer photographer helped John to experience the event from many interesting angles; with a few years of experience under his belt and help from the groups other photographers his photography has escalated to a whole new level.

I have learned that night photography is definitely a different skill. During WaterFire Photo Group meetings and at WaterFire events we would discuss different techniques used and lessons learned from past events to truly capture the beauty and passion of WaterFire. I have tried to reciprocate these courtesies extended to me by assisting new members of the WaterFire Photo Group by working with them to get them initiated at their first few events.”

Not only is John a wonderful volunteer and photographer but he is a natural leader and his encouragement and positivity is always valuable to other volunteers and staff.

In my opinion, the best part of being a member of the WaterFire Photo Group is having the ability to interact with the WaterFire staff and other volunteers at an event. Just to stop by, say ‘Hi’, discuss the event and snap a few photos is what makes it all worthwhile for me.

But in a larger sense, WaterFire; the Event, the Staff and the Volunteers, have made me proud again of the city where I was born and grew up in. WaterFire Providence is not just an organization that I am proud to volunteer for and support but an organization I feel privileged to be a part of.”

Join John and the whole WaterFire community to create this wonderful art by contacting the WaterFire Volunteer Department at 401.273.9727 or email us at [email protected].

About the author

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Over the last 10+ years, alongside some incredible co-workers and volunteers, I've worked to build the organization that WaterFire Providence is today. As Director of Creative Services, my team and I work on visual communications, graphic design, the visitor experience, merchandising as well as project management for programming at the WaterFire Arts Center. Being a part of the 'Rhode Island' experience for tens of thousands of people is incredible and I have an intense pride in place for both Downtown Providence and the Valley neighborhood.

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