17 Aug 2022

Mark Your Calendar: POC’s Second Annual WaterFire Celebration Happens August 13th

Josh Pereira


For the second consecutive year, The Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC) will celebrate Rhode Island’s communities of color with a full lighting of WaterFire on Saturday, August 13 in downtown Providence. The event will be the largest WaterFire of the 2022 season, and will be an immersive cultural experience filled with exciting performance artists, locally renown musicians and singers representing Black, Hispanic, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Latino cultures.

Bringing Communities Together:

Among the highlights of the evening’s celebration is the POC Community Village which features more than 35 POC-funded organizations that are coming together to offer an interactive experience to share information about critical programs and opportunities for communities of color in Rhode Island.  


Visitors strolling along Steeple Street, Canal Street and Washington Street can connect with the Indigenous Empowerment Network, Progresso Latino, and Center for Southeast Asians and more!  Learn about hundreds of career opportunities at Lifespan and the critical job-training program Rhode Island’s largest healthcare network has put together, with POC support, to help ensure its workforce and its leaders reflect the communities it serves.  Understand how Button Hole provides critical thinking and life skills for inner-city youth while putting your golf skills to the test with their interactive putting green and learn about how the SouthSide Community Land Trust is working to eliminate food deserts in Rhode Island’s inner cities, while getting first-hand insights into how to grow fresh produce and enjoy healthy food.


Bring Your Dancing Shoes:

You’ll want to be sure bring your energy and wear your dancing shoes as dozens of exciting performances highlighting a variety of cultures will perform at Waterplace Park and at stages along the WaterFire activated Providence River.

Alexus Lee

A rising star from Providence, Alexus Lee’s commanding R&B vocals and powerful presence will captivate visitors to WaterFire’s Washington Street bridge stage.

Becky Bass

A native of the US Virgin Islands, Becky Bass brings her angelic, soulful voice and skillful steel pan play to the WaterFire stage for a second straight year.  A two-time New England Urban Music Award winner and Brown University graduate, Becky performs uplifting and engaging Caribbean soul music.

Chachi Carvalho and the International Players with DJ Cadillac Jack. 

An energetic multi-talented performing artist and educator, Chachi is a native Rhode Islander whose roots stem from Cape Verde. A well-known artist, he sends a positive message of hope through his music. Chachi will perform with his exciting and engaging hip hop band, the International Players.

Clatta Bumboo and the Roots Government Band

Influenced by the commanding reggae sound of the likes of The Wailers and Bob Marley, Clatta Bumboo showcases his Jamaican culture and ignites the stage with reggae, along with his band Bumboo and Roots Government.

Dance BFF

Dance BFF (Bollywood and Fusion and Fitness) will ignite the stage with its upbeat and mesmerizing Bollywood and Bhangra. Get ready to learn some new dance moves and join the fun at BFF’s interactive dance founded by close friends Rupa Datta and Rutja Patil, who both were born and raised in India. BFF’s mission is to create awareness about Indian dance as a cultural artform.

Robertico Y su Alebreke

Robertico, a master percussionist hailing from the Dominican Republic, and his Latin group Albreke, bring an exciting and energetic blend of Lain Jazz and Latin American rythms to the WaterFire stage.  Learn how to salsa and dance the night away to Albreke’s upbeat and engaging sounds.

Sidy Maiga and the The Bridge Where We Meet

A master percussionist, Sidy Maiga and the Bridge Where We Meet will bring West African Fusion to the WaterFire stage that will electrify and bring the audience alive. 

The RI Kung Fu Club 

The RI Kung Fu and Lion Dance Club will share a symbolic part of the traditional Chinese culture with a Lion dance to foster positive energy and bring good luck.


Bring your appetite!

After you work up an appetite from all that dancing, sample a variety of global cuisines from an array of food trucks, all owned and operated by people of color and each guaranteed to make your mouth water! Enjoy fry bread and and other specialties  from Willie’s Place, cupcakes and other goodies from  Sarcastic Sweets, arepas and tacos from Cultro PVD and a variety of delicious bowls from the award-winning Incred-A-Bowl.

Enjoy the beauty of WaterFire as the flags of 193 nations wave in the breeze.  We hope you will enjoy this special night as we come together and appreciate all cultures and communities.

Follow us on our social media (links below) for continuous updates on artists, performances, and community partners. See you there!


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