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WaterFire Staff Stories: Tim Blankenship

A view of the Basin in Waterplace Park shot during the 2019 Clear Currents Community Paddling Event. Kayaks with Illuminated Koi fish attached circle the ring of braziers in the Basin. Photograph by Tim Blankenship

Introducing 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.

How long have you worked at WaterFire and what appeals to you about working for WaterFire Providence?

“As I mentioned in my video I started at WaterFire in 2003 on the production team and then in December 2012 I move into what is now called the Creative Services department where I handle the organization’s information technology needs, marketing, PR, and media production among other things. Working at WaterFire is always challenging, it can be frustrating at times because we are always moving and adapting to changes, but when it all comes together it is very rewarding to see the joy we bring into the city and to be a part of something on such a grand scale.”

What is something that most people might not know about WaterFire that you think is important?

“I think that most people don’t think about the sort of impermanence of WaterFire. In a traditional venue, all of the infrastructure needed to operate is essentially permanent, at WaterFire, we have set up almost all of that infrastructure, the lights, the audio system, trash cans, all this stuff, (and then put it away when we’re done) every single time we do an event. This allows us to be extremely flexible in what kind of events we can produce, but it’s also very labor-intensive. One of the most exciting things about the WaterFire Arts Center is that it gives us the opportunity to operate in a more traditional venue. So we can still be really creative, but we can challenge ourselves in different ways.”

Highly Recommended

“One of the best ways to beat the stress of working from home and our physical distancing lifestyles is to get outside and get active as much as possible. Living in Providence we’re really lucky to have great places to escape a bit back into nature. The walking and cycling paths at Roger Williams Park and along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway offer quick and easy ways to get some fresh air and refresh the spirit.”

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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 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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