WaterFire Staff Stories: Nicole Nehiley

What do you do at WaterFire?

I am currently a part of the Development Team where I work with our other team members to help fundraise, work with our corporate sponsors, as well as interacting with board members and donors. I also previously managed the WaterFire Arts Center and am currently working with another team member to transition out of that role.

For how long?

I’ve been at WaterFire for almost a year now!

What is something that people might not know about WaterFire that you think they should?

I think something people should know about WaterFire that they may not is our small but mighty staff. For a small staff, we sure do know how to make the impossible, possible. I mean we literally light the river on fire! There’s nothing that has proved this more than how we have been able to pivot during COVID-19 by venturing into virtual events and developing a new art installation. I’m super proud to be a part of such a smart and hardworking team during such a crazy time.

Nicole’s recommendations:

What was the first place you visited after the Rhode Island economy began to reopen?

The first place I ventured to after state-wide reopening was Plant City and the Pedestrian Bridge. I took advantage of their curbside pick up and enjoyed a delicious snack while watching the sunset behind the Providence Skyline. It’s now my favorite way to get out and enjoy the city while safely socially distancing!

What is a hidden gem in our community that you think people should know about?

The WaterFire Arts Center, obviously!

Name a place that you support that has inspired you with its coronavirus response.

I absolutely love how Frog & Toad has utilized the Governor’s now-famous phrase of “Knock it Off” to encourage coronavirus compliance while simultaneously supporting small businesses across Rhode Island, including their own! They helped make it cool to follow the COVID-19 guidelines in such a fun way with their t-shirts, masks, and even BBQ sauce. My “Knock it Off” tee is now a staple in my work-from-home wardrobe and Frog & Toad is one of my favorite places to buy gifts for my family and friends!

WaterFire at Sunset, photograph by Laura Paton.
WaterFire at Sunset, photograph by Laura Paton.

About WaterFire Staff Stories

Welcome to the new email series from WaterFire Providence. 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.

Subscribe now for more stories, news, and event updates from WaterFire Providence.

Support the WaterFire Relief Fund

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 and shut the doors of the WaterFire Arts Center, 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 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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