The What Cheer Art Company is a non-profit corporation organized to produce and promote the works of Rhode Island artists. To that end, we are engaged in a variety of projects involving both the performing and the visual arts. Our goal is both to create exciting and accessible art for as many Rhode Islanders as possible, but also to develop new audiences for the arts, and new ways of reaching them. To that end, we are currently working on the Marketing Project, partially funded by the State Council on the Arts, to develop new marketing strategies and to train people in the basics of publicity management.
Following is a brief summary of the projects currently underway at the What Cheer Art Company:
The Pan-Twilight Circus, the nation's only circus of the arts, is preparing for its fourth edition. Touring Rhode Island and neighboring states in the summer of 1997, this show will be a circus adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. The show is to be directed by Bob Colonna, longtime director of the Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater, and a Trinity Repertory stalwart for many years. The show tours in its own big top, and will appear in half-a-dozen different communities around the state. Performers are coming from as far as France and San Francisco and as close as Warwick and Providence to participate in this show. In each place, the show will appear to the benefit of a local arts or youth organization, and will present the show, as well as children's circus arts workshops. We are also planning a cooperative effort with the Children's Museum of Rhode Island, which may involve a travelling museum sideshow.
The Sally Mayo Dance Company is currently planning their second full-length dance concert this May at the Carriage House theatre off North Main street in Providence. The performance will be dances inspired by the stories of Annie Oakley and Buffalo Billís Wild West Show. Sally Mayo has worked extensively with What Cheer, performingin the last edition of the Pan-Twilight Circus, and participating in the formation of the NETWorks theatrical agency, described below.
April will see a second production of Jeanne D'Arc, a full-length original opera by Steven L. Jobe. This production will appear in conjunction with AS220's annual Fool's Ball week of gala programming. Steve is one of the original organizers of the What Cheer Art Company, and serves as board president.
This video, produced by Charles Grossman and directed by John Meyers, is a look at the arts scene in Providence. The purpose is to promote the arts of Providence to a national audience, with the intention of using the video to attract business to Providence using art and culture as the bait. The video will be used to market the state as a tourism and convention destination, but also as a location for business expansion and establishment. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has expressed interest in the production, and will participate in the distribution of the final piece.