WaterFire Beacon of Hope Art Installation Open for Public Viewing

WaterFire Arts Center and WaterFire Store open Wednesdays through Saturdays during Phase II of the Rhode Island Reopening Plan

Beacon of Hope at the WaterFire Arts Center during Day Time (photograph by Melanie Steinbrecher)
Beacon of Hope at the WaterFire Arts Center during Day Time. Photograph by Melanie Steinbrecher.

7/15/20 UPDATE: Additional evening viewing hours added until the installation closure on Friday, July 31. Hours listed here.

WaterFire Providence announces that effective Wednesday, June 24,  the WaterFire Arts Center will be open on a limited basis for visitors to experience the WaterFire Beacon of Hope installation. Created by the WaterFire team under the artistic direction of WaterFire creator and executive artistic director Barnaby Evans, the WaterFire Beacon of Hope presents a solitary illuminated WaterFire brazier in the Main Hall of the WaterFire Arts Center surrounded by a field of luminaria, each memorializing a Rhode Island soul lost to COVID-19. The installation, which also includes a field of stars overhead and WaterFire soundtrack can also be viewed online 24 hours a day 7 days a week

Each weekday evening at 8:30 p.m. EDT, a ceremony takes place with luminaria added to the installation for each Rhode Island life reported lost that day. The installation is now open for public viewing at the WaterFire Arts Center, Wednesdays through Saturdays.

“Art’s primary function is to help bring meaning and compassionate perspective, We have been blessed to have scores of people join us to set out over 900 candles honoring those we have lost to COVID-19. It is deeply humbling to quietly help people find closure in these times.”

Barnaby Evans, executive artistic director and coCEO

Reflective Lenses: WaterFire Volunteer Photography Show in the Visitor Center Gallery has been extended through the end of July. A vibrant collection of photographs by WaterFire’s Volunteer Photographers featuring highlights of their WaterFire experiences. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented some very significant challenges to our organization. However, our creative team is committed to making and presenting art relevant to the times and is excited about reopening the WaterFire Arts Center to the community again.”

Peter Mello, managing director and coCEO

The WaterFire Store, Visitor Center Gallery, and Main Hall will be open to the public from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. on June 24, 25, 26, and 27 and July 1 and 2. The Arts Center will be closed for the Independence Day Holiday on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4. Regular opening hours from 12:00 – 6:00 Wednesdays through Saturdays will resume on July 8th.  Additional hours and expanded availability are planned for Reopening Phase III.

In accordance with all Rhode Island Phase II reopening guidelines, limits on the number of visitors allowed in the Arts Center at one time will be enforced and all visitors are required to wear a cloth face covering at all times while inside the Arts Center. No more than 15 visitors will be allowed inside the Arts Center at a time. Visitors to the WaterFire Store will be asked to refrain from handling merchandise and to ask for assistance if they want to purchase or take a closer look. No more than two visitors at a time will be permitted in the WaterFire Store and one visitor at a time in any restroom facility. 

On June 12, 2020, WaterFire launched the WaterFire Relief Fund to help alleviate the catastrophic loss of funding due to the coronavirus pandemic and to support the retention of WaterFire Providence’s full-time staff during a transition to virtual and alternative programming in the WaterFire Arts Center and to prepare to bring back the WaterFire event downtown when conditions permit. Find more information or to donate to the WaterFire Relief Fund.

About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career here I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. I have recently transitioned to role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I find it very rewarding working to increase engagement with our supporters both locally and globally.

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