Jacob Salguero, a freshman at North Providence High School who aspires to become a veterinarian, appreciated the opportunity to learn about different medical devices. “I enjoyed training with the blood pressure cuff.”
A diverse lineup of student and community artists
However, the night’s events were not just about medical education. Following a torch-lighting ceremony in which members of the Brown community gathered in the Providence River Basin to help light the night’s fires, the University hosted tents for home for Brown parents and families on Market Square, members of the Warren Alpert Medical School community on Washington Street, and alumni leaders on College Street.
The evening also included a diverse range of public performances and events featuring Brown’s student organizations. A cappella performances filled the streets with music from the Ursa Minors and Shades of Brown, as well as Beauty and the Beats, a troupe that performs Disney songs. DAEBAK K-Pop, who performs Korean pop music, joined other dance acts, including Brown Salsa Club.
For Brown Chance musicians and students Emerson, Satch Waldman and Jack Riley, the opportunity to perform at WaterFire Providence was a homecoming of sorts. From September 27 to October 8, they traveled to concert halls on the East Coast as the opening act for the famous Blues Traveler. Saturday’s set list was a bit shorter, but the crowd was just as excited to welcome a Brown-based band that was making waves nationally.
Emerson – a dual major in computer science and archeology – said her music is inextricably linked to her experience at Brown and the town she calls home.
“I write, record and produce everything here in Providence,” Emerson said. “I work with my best friends and my bandmates are my roommates. I learned a lot about music production through my classes. I wouldn’t be on tour if I hadn’t come to this school. And we wouldn’t be making this kind of music if we hadn’t been part of this community.
Other bands featured during the night’s festivities included Art4Service, a student organization that makes art for the public good. This semester, students are working with Sojourner House, a nonprofit that helps those affected by domestic violence, to design and paint a mural that promotes healthy relationships; Previously, they created coloring pages for pediatric patients at Miriam Hospital.
On Saturday, more than 20 Brown students from Art4Service led a live painting event capturing the views of WaterFire throughout the evening. Brown’s sophomore, Sarah Wong, co-chair of Art4Service, was eager to try painting the scene in real time: “This is the first time I’ve sat down with an easel to paint a scene in live,” she said. “When I’m painting, I’m usually looking at an image online or a photo, but it’s exciting to be here and take it all in.”
Throughout the night, throngs of visitors paused along the city’s illuminated walkways to admire fire dancers, Teiko drummers, origami artists and even stone gargoyles that suddenly took over. life.
Local artist Brian Bigalow led a glassblowing demonstration in which he used a torch to melt and mold rods of glass into smaller objects. The Providence-based studio Gather the glass offers introductory glassblowing classes where students ages 8 and up can make ornaments, paperweights, vases, pint glasses and bowls. But bringing the art of flamework to WaterFire is central to Gather Glass’ mission to connect with the local community through art, said studio founder and fellow glass artist Benjamin Giguere.
“Our name embodies who we are,” Giguere said. “Gather symbolizes bringing people together, and Gather glass artists have been conducting demonstrations at WaterFire for 12 years. We respect what WaterFire brings to the Providence community, to the state, and to people’s lives. I tell everyone you have to go to at least one WaterFire in your life. It is a unique experience that attracts the soul.