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The Beacon of Hope installation at the WaterFire Arts Center has concluded its initial phase. We are planning for a permanent memorial to be installed at the WaterFire Arts Center at some point in the Fall or in Spring 2021. Meanwhile, we will be sharing videos, photos, and written memories and reflections on the artwork here on our website in the coming days and weeks. Please stay tuned.

Thanks to all who attended the memorial in person over the last few weeks and special thanks to everyone who assisted with the lighting ceremony over the nearly 100 nights of remembering those lost to COVID-19 in Rhode Island.

Beacon David Galkin

‘Wishing for a speedy recovery for Ellen Galkin and all those affected by COVID-19″

– David Galkin

Beacon Joan Nocera

“I lost most of my family 30 yrs ago + understand about loss. I share your sorrow. To those affected by Covid19, wishing you peace, the courage to face the days ahead + memories to hold in your heart. My thoughts + prayers are with you.”


Beacon Paul Schierenbeck

“Gary, you never got to see WaterFire with us, and you would have loved it. I miss you dearly every day.”

All my love, Paul

Beacon Roger and Lorraine

“To Roger and Lorraine, sending healing and love.”


Beacon Andrea LaFazia

“To Judy and her laughter, her joy, and her strength. We love you.”

Love, Andrea, Dailyn, Melanie, Adam, and Vinny.

Beacon Marybeth Blanchette

“In gratitude to all those on the frontline in this epidemic. In gratitude to the art community who give us inspiration & hope. Thank you all!”

Marybeth Blanchette

Beacon Laura Duclos

“I’m proud to be a part of a strong WaterFire family. Together we grow stronger each day. #AloneTogether Through art may we all continue to heal, to know hope, and inspire each other each day. #Art4Impact”

Laura Duclos

Beacon Markowitch

“To Health and Hope for Everyone.”


Beacon Jared Winslow

“My heart breaks to see this season postponed. My favorite atmosphere and installation of all time, run by some of the friendliest people of all time. WaterFire is a place to find peace within the chaos, and that’s what it’ll be for many years to come.”

Jared Winslow

Beacon Devanshi

“For my wonderful team at WaterFire”

Devanshi Ved

Beacon 15

“The second family that helped create the leader I have become.”

Jenn Kobza

Beacon 14

“To the WaterFire staff and volunteers that quickly became like family to me.”

Katherine Entwistle

Beacon 13

“Dedicated to the Light of Hope and buoyant Resilience”

Duane Brouillette

Beacon Peter Mello

“Dad, your star will forever shine brightly in all of our lives. Miss you and love you always!” dedicated to Dan “Buppa” Mello

Peter, Luke, Joy, and Nana

Beacon 11

“In honor of ‘Somebody’s Mom,’ Happy Mother’s Day Fabby, Coins are great! Love, Fab”

Margaret Mulligan

Beacon 10

“To all my hard-working co-workers – miss you all!!!”

Marguerite Bernier

Beacon 9

“To all who bring art into our lives and the many ways they can move us and shape our days.”

Paul Kochanek

Beacon 8

“In gratitude to all the medical and essential personnel working during this difficult time. You are a beacon of light and hope. And thank you to WaterFire for the beautiful daily inspiration. You, too, are a beacon of light and hope.”

Kamila Barzykowski

Beacon 7

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

Tim Blankenship

Beacon 6

“In memory of those on the frontline that have lost their battle with COVID19. May your sacrifices not be in vain.”

Jeffrey Meunier

Beacon 5

“Many thanks, everyone for all you are doing to bring joy to us stuck at home. I can’t want to see WaterFire again. Be safe.”

Patti Heckman

Beacon 4 Catherine Beyer Hurst

“Honoring the passing of all who died alone. Hoping for WaterFire’s return later this season.”

Catherine Beyer Hurst

Beacon 3

“Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.”

W. H. Auden

Beacon 2

“The artist’s vocation is to send light into the human heart.”

Robert Schumann

Beacon 1

“The creation of works of art is the creation of the world.”

Wassily Kandinsky

WaterFire Providence, like all of us and so many nonprofits and businesses, has been profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. But even the coronavirus won’t stop us from creating art that celebrates life, binds our community together, and honors our heroes working on the front lines to keep us all safe.

The WaterFire Beacon of Hope is a dynamic art installation where a single brazier illuminates the Main Hall of the WaterFire Arts Center representing a beacon of hope looking forward to the time when we can all gather together again in the heart of our capital. Once again we will experience WaterFire with our city filled with vibrant joy and discovery and our exhibitions and events again enlivening the WaterFire Arts Center.

Surrounding the solitary brazier is a field of luminaria, each memorializing a Rhode Island soul lost to COVID-19.

WaterFire’s own future is also significantly threatened by the coronavirus. Sponsorship of the WaterFire event downtown and event rental fees from the WaterFire Arts Center represent our main income. With physical distancing orders remaining in place for the foreseeable future, these sources of funding have effectively disappeared. Your donation will make the Beacon of Hope shine brighter and support WaterFire Providence through this very challenging period so we can rejoin you once again. 

More on the WaterFire Beacon of Hope:

Your donation will make the Beacon of Hope shine brighter and support WaterFire Providence through this very challenging period. 

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12 thoughts on “WaterFire Beacon of Hope”

  1. I lost my dad on April 17th due to Coronavirus. Less than a week later my uncle lost his life from this horrible situation. God bless u dad and uncle Al. You will never be forgotten.

  2. I would like to thank you for your thoughtfulness. Will there be any way for families to donate to add the name of the deceased to the display? In the future, perhaps a permanent plaque from the donations of the families?

    1. Hi Judy, you can use the donation form linked on this page to make a dedication. All of the dedications will be shown on the website and will be permanently archived in some form (to be decided) when this installation has completed its run.

  3. TinaLouise Kandzerski

    It was my great honor and privilege to work with too many of these lives lost to Covid19. I am a frontline worker at Orchard View Manor and I want you all to know that we worked tirelessly and sometimes 1CNA aka me and 1 nurse per unit w up to 5 dying a day per unit. CNAs now have to put the deceased in the body bag, our friends, our chosen family and it’s been hard. Knowing the relief it would bring to y’all is what got us through and please know NOBODY died alone or scared unless they were sleeping and then alone maybe but no one was scared and if they were I sat w them and talked them trough it…PPE came down and all. Eye to eye I let them know they weren’t alone and they get me because the virus is keeping their families away and it’s not their choices, it’s a pandemic. I hope you all find peace and comfort in knowing we didn’t leave anyone scared of alone. May each person rest in eternal greatness

  4. What a wonderful tribute, and an example for the rest of the country.
    Can you advise regarding which visit times are least crowded? I hope to see it, but am avoiding gatherings.

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for supporting WaterFire Providence. Honestly, there is never a crowd at the Arts Center these days. Each night there have only around 6-8 visitors coming to view the Beacon of Hope and in the Main Hall, there is plenty of room for physical distancing. You should feel quite comfortable coming in at any time.

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