Bring Your Own Improv Celebrates 10th Anniversary

BYOIBring Your Own Improv (BYOI), an interactive comedy show for all ages, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a special event on Friday, August 3 at the Warwick Center for the Arts. The anniversary festivities will include appearances from previous BYOI cast members, special games, and cake. The night includes a family-friendly show, open to all ages, at 7:00pm and a late night show at 9:00pm.

Bring Your Own Improv first began in August of 2008, at a now-closed venue on Thayer Street in Providence. Improv Jones graciously hosted BYOI at their stage on Empire Street in Providence until the show found their home at the Warwick Center for the Arts in 2011.

“Warwick Center for the Arts has been the home of BYOI for the past 7 years. As an organization, we bring art and culture—in all its facets—to the public; and BYOI is one great way in which we’re able to engage the broader community at the Center,” said Taylor Terreri, Warwick Center for the Arts Director. “Our on-going partnership with BYOI allows us to be part of a much-loved community institution and we’re excited to see what’s next for BYOI.”

While most improv shows encourage audience participation when cast members solicit the crowd for suggestions, BYOI is unique in that audience members are also welcome on stage to play along with each game.

BYOI also runs a Youth Collective—a Friday evening program for teens (ages 13 to 18) that teaches improv comedy as well as self-confidence and social emotional skills. Each Youth Collective session includes one month of lessons and one month of performing on stage. Many youth involved in the Collective have taken multiple sessions because they have developed friendships with their peers and continue to improve their skills.

“I never would have found improv if it weren’t for BYOI, and improv is my passion,” said Youth Collective member Carolyn Morey. “It doesn’t matter how good at improv you are, it’s fun no matter what.”

Finally, BYOI regularly performs in the community for a variety of charities and non-profit organizations. Every month, the cast visits The Izzy Family Room—a family room on the pediatric oncology floor at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“Families, patients and staff look forward to the night when every can laugh, which reduces distressing emotions, helps families recharge and most importantly, draws people together, removing the isolation so many families feel when their children is battling a serious life threatening illness,” said Erin Scott, Executive Director of the Izzy Foundation. “We are so grateful to BYOI for helping The Izzy Foundation provide programs that help families live, love, laugh and play while in the hospital.

Bring Your Own Improv’s shows are held every Friday evening at 7:00pm (family-friendly show) and a late night show at 9:00pm. Tickets to each show are $8 for adults and $5 for Seniors, Students, Military, and Children Under 12. The cast is available for hire for corporate team building, birthday and holiday parties, school events, private events and fundraisers. In addition to the Youth Collective Program, BYOI also offers adult improv workshops throughout the year. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.bringyourownimprov.com 

David Vieira: The experience of community

One of the co-founder of The Arctic Playhouse Theatre in West Warwick, David Vieira wants to share his love of live performance and community.

Art — in particular, theatre and live music — has always played a pivotal role in my life, starting when I was a teen through now in my 60s. I learned about the world through plays and music. Even if I wasn’t always aware of it, I was learning about life and about living with other people as I was being entertained.

Now that I am older, I am trying to pass on the importance of live entertainment and the arts by being part owner of a community theatre. With two partners, I founded a non-profit theatre in West Warwick three years ago. Seeing the responses of the patrons and the dedication of the hard-working actors and performers has convinced me even more about the value of the arts.

More than ever, it is important to get people together to experience live music and theatre. With our cell phones and computers, and video games, we can be very isolated. The theatre does not only entertain, it gives us the shared experience of being together.

DAVID VIEIRA is part owner of the The Arctic Playhouse Theatre, a nonprofit community theatre in West Warwick. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
To read more art stories, visit Rhode Island Art Stories. To contribute your own, email: mka [at] mkimarnold [dot] com.

Congratulations to Karen Barbosa – new Executive Director of Riverzedge Arts

karenCongratulations and best wishes to Karen Barbosa on her appointment as the new Executive Director of Riverzedge Arts in Woonsocket.

Barbosa, who assumed the position on July 10, first joined Riverzedge as director of the expanded learning opportunities program. She most recently held the position of education and youth development director.

According to her bio on the Riverzedge website, “Karen Barbosa is a self-described “teacher-nerd”; she’s been in education for over a decade and can’t get enough. Her learning journey has taken her from Colorado, to Vermont, to Boston, Massachusetts, and now Rhode Island. She is a passionate supporter of experiential education and is excited to see Woonsocket serving as a model for innovative hands-on learning programming in the state and nation.”

Congratulations, Karen. We look forward to continuing our work with you.

RISD Museum Capital Improvements Underway via Cultural Facilities Grant

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RISD Museum Director John Smith in the museum’s beloved Grand Gallery, under renovation thanks to RISCA Cultural Facilities Grant

For the past several months the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design has been going through a major renovation of their fifth-floor European Galleries.  This project has been supported through a $250,000 grant from RISCA’s State Cultural Facilities Grant program.

The project supports an extensive renovation project on the 5th floor of the RISD Museum’s Radeke Building, including the museum’s Grand Gallery and adjacent European art galleries. The work includes the demolition of existing ceilings to install a fire alarm system, sprinkler system, and new emergency and exhibit lighting systems; upgrading sensors and security devices; installing wifi; constructing new ceilings; and painting the gallery walls. This work will bring the 5th floor into compliance with the life safety requirements outlined by the State Board of Review and Appeal ahead of a significant reinterpretation and reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection.

The State Cultural Facilities Grant program has played a significant role in supporting a number of projects in communities throughout Rhode Island. The next deadline for applications is October 1, 2017.

Congratulations to Francisco Noya, new Music Director of the Boston Civic Symphony

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We usually don’t post about the appointment of artists for positions outside of the Ocean State, but had to send our congratulations to Rhode Island artist Francisco Noya on being named Music Director of the Boston Civic Symphony. Francisco is well-known (and beloved) in our state as the Resident Conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.

Congratulations, Francisco!