Stephen Mease/Burlington City Arts
Highlight publicity image
Maybe it's much too early, but, to quote an old song, "What are you doing New Year's Eve?"
In Burlington, at least, that's a question many have pondered since the news broke in April
that First Night Burlington was ending after 35 years of producing its citywide NYE celebration. Would-be revelers might find some, ahem, resolution in the form of a new partnership between two local organizations that hope to rekindle end-of-year magic in the Queen City.
Last week, Burlington City Arts
and local creative agency/production company Signal Kitchen
announced plans for a new event they're calling Highlight
. Much like First Night, the new shindig will present artsy events throughout the city. Unlike
First Night, which was largely a curated production, Highlight will crowdsource programming via the Bright Idea Project. That's the brainchild of Signal Kitchen cofounder Alex Lalli.
"The notion came from artist-curated festivals," he says of Bright Idea. "My idea was to reverse the style of programming, [to] put it in the hands of the community and support them in all the ways that we can."
To that end, BCA has launched a statewide request for event proposals
. According to a press release, proposals will be welcomed from "artists to community organizers, business leaders, professional event planners and everyone in between." The proposal period is open until October 14.
Lalli says the BCA-Signal Kitchen collaboration grew out of the organizations' partnership in another citywide community event, the annual street-performance extravaganza, Festival of Fools
Highlight also will feature events Lalli refers to as "socials" — established parties that will fall under the larger Highlight umbrella. Thus, these events also will benefit from the promotional and production help offered by BCA and Signal Kitchen.
A third category of happenings will be events produced by the two organizations, including a parade. And then there's "a handful of others that we'll talk about soon," says Lalli.
"Fundamentally, the idea is to highlight as many of the awesome, creative things that happen in Vermont in general, not just on New Year's Eve," he continues. "So, a lot of the things that will happen are with folks who do awesome things that I'm encouraging to do some awesome, creative thing on New Year's Eve."
Lalli adds, "We want people to know that New Year's Eve in Burlington is alive and well."