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WaterFire Staff Stories: Kat Entwistle

What do you do at WaterFire?

Hi all, I’m Kat and I am the Volunteer Coordinator here at WaterFire! I started here in May 2018 as the Volunteer Management and Engagement intern as my last requirement before receiving my bachelor’s degree in Program and Event Management from the University of New Hampshire. In May 2019 I started my full-time position in the Volunteer Department creating relationships and coordinating volunteers, leading many, many ‘Woodpile Workouts’, preparing materials and communications for our downtown lightings and so much more. Working at WaterFire has made me grow and learn in so many different ways than I could have ever imagined. I will never look at a WaterFire lighting the same, but I appreciate it so much more to know that our small team, interns, and hundreds of volunteers can transform Downtown Providence in one day to create something so magical. If you have the same heart, dedication, and passion that our team of volunteers have and believe in WaterFire Providence’s mission then I want to welcome you to join the WaterFire volunteer family!

Tell us something fun about WaterFire that you believe visitors should know.

DYK? A small, but fun! tradition started a couple years ago on the river with the volunteers. Late at night during the last feed of the last full fire of the season our wood boat captains bring graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars to make s’mores over the lit braziers on the river. The captains, fire tenders, and even spectators will enjoy them as the crowds and the fires dwindle down. To me this small, yet powerful and fun tradition defines our community of volunteers – work hard and have fun!

What place did you visit or are you looking forward to visiting after our pandemic shut-downs are over?

The first place I went to once restaurants started opening up again was Mare Rooftop as a first timer, the view of the city was amazing, the scallops were delicious and the sangria too! I cannot wait until Tortilla Flats is opened for dine-in! They are opened for takeout right now but it’s just not the same as sitting at their bar enjoying chips and guacamole, a burrito and of course their delicious margaritas.

Name an organization that impressed you with their pandemic response?

The Wilbury Theatre Group, Troop PVD, and of course WaterFire Providence impressed me the most. Through these challenging times we were able to work together and create amazing art to bring the community back together safely. Being able to work with new people was amazing as we navigated through this pandemic together. That’s truly what it’s all about is collaborating and working with the community we have around us.

What hidden gem in our community do you think people should know about?

A ‘hidden gem’ that I like on Hope Street in Providence is Blooming Blossoms! I always get the most beautiful flowers and succulents from here and am never disappointed.

Light boat procession lining up at WaterFire in 2019. Photograph by Luis Andrade.
Light boat procession lining up at WaterFire in 2019. Photograph by Luis Andrade.

About WaterFire Staff Stories

Each week we will bring you stories of WaterFire from the perspective of our staff members. This series will feature short videos produced by each team member and they will be sharing stories and facts about our organization as well as their recommendations for places and activities around Rhode Island that you can enjoy.

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For 25 years WaterFire has been transforming place and building community in downtown Providence with impacts that reach into every corner of Rhode Island. Unfortunately, we’ve had to indefinitely postpone the WaterFire season, losing the earned revenue on which our work depends. We need your help—now more than ever—to get us through this financial crisis.

About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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