Since today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon, here are some photos we took at “The Art of John Lennon” traveling exhibit at Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks, CA, in October 2015. This weekend exhibit was held in observation of Lennon’s 75th birthday. The artwork-on-the-road exhibit began in 1990 and regularly visits up to 15 cities each year.
With the closing of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I., after 42 years, we had planned to write an editorial about it. We have so many memories of going there. In fact, the past couple of years the owners really raised the bar with their programming. We also featured them in Limelight Magazine two years ago when the indie cinema celebrated their 40th anniversary. (Click HERE to read the story). However, we noticed a post on Sara Archambault’s Facebook page that expressed our thoughts exactly. Instead of rewriting essentially what she posted, we asked for her permission to share this on our page with our readers and she graciously accepted. So long, Cable Car Cinema and Cafe. You were a gem in the Providence community and a cultural institution!
To Whom It May Concern:
As a filmmaker, an arts sector worker, and a life-long RI resident (with about 20 years in Providence), I want to add a line to the recent debates about the closing of the Cable Car Cinema.
I am fortunate to work at a regional arts funding organization called the LEF Foundation. LEF supports documentary filmmakers who reside in New England but make films around the world. Each year, we gather a jury of film professionals from all over the country to make the grant decisions and in the last few years, we have moved these deliberations from where the foundation is centered, in Harvard Square, to Providence.
I helped to orchestrate this move. I have what is possibly an absurd amount of Providence Pride. I revel in showing off this city’s historic and crafty features. I love the people here; our DIY spirit; the fierce call to create and forge our own paths with nothing but some good ideas and a little sweat. You can see this manifested all over the city in myriad ways.
In the mornings, I walk the jury from where they stay at the Dean Hotel over to Small Point Café for breakfast. At the end of the day, I bring them out to see art or shop some craft stores after a hard day’s work.
Significantly, I always send this jury to the Cable Car, one of this city’s most important cultural institutions. This is a place dedicated to showing the best of independent film, and intentionally building community around cinema. After a day of watching emerging films in progress, it’s satisfying to send the jury to the “cinema with couches” to see what one of these films might look like when it reaches the big screen.
But this year was different.
I knew I was sending this group of film industry leaders to the Cable Car for the last time, and I was heartbroken.
But it’s not only the Cable Car closing that pains my heart. Walking down Westminster, the jury encountered closed storefronts on each block. Every new construction boasted signs for hotels or luxury apartments. But what is it that will draw people to our city? Or make them stay? I’m heartened by the cool little shops and restaurants I see sprouting up downtown, but I worry the new construction signals a stripping away of this city’s beating heart.
Why am I so worried? Until recently, the LEF Foundation was located in Harvard Square, where it had been since 1992. I witnessed the Square morph from a funky, eclectic space to a corporate white wash of familiar franchises. The building LEF was in for more than 25 years was sold and the rent doubled. Down the block the Brattle Theatre, an independent cinema, is a remnant of what the Square once was. It’s all the more treasured for this reason but it too has a wealthy landlord–Harvard University–and ongoing challenges remain.
What I saw happen in Harvard Square, I see happening here.
And so I ask: What do we value, Providence? What do we want this place to be?
Providence is well known around the world for its arts scene. The culture of this place is directly tied to its creative character. Anchors like AS220, Trinity Rep, and PPAC, helped spur this growth we see. Places like the Cable Car, Craftland, Thee Red Fez, the Columbus Theater, Haven Brothers, Armageddon Shop, the Dirt Palace, and Frog N Toad, to just mention a handful, are what give Providence its flavor. Our success as a place is, was and will always be tied to the fates of the determined artists, storytellers, and entrepreneurs who bring our city its cultural life.
RI artist Hilary Treadwell (now famous for her “Don’t Mess with RI Either” t-shirts) was quoted in local media when there was speculation that the Crook Point Bascule Bridge was to be taken down. She said, “The soul of a place is diminished when we dismantle its strange things.”
In our city’s pursuit of growth, I fear we may be dismantling our strange things. And it is, indeed, these same strange things that provide the bedrock to why people want to come here in the first place. What is the vision for nurturing and protecting the local while planning for this growth?
In the case of the Cable Car, it is important to note that one of the largest arts institutions in our city took a primary role in the elimination of one of the smallest. RISD receives tax benefits from our city. What is their commitment to being a community partner?
On the state level, instead of giant tax breaks for one or two large corporations, what about incentives for 40 small businesses? What can we do to help grow the Cable Cars – people committed to this city, with roots here – into mid-size or large businesses with more jobs? Where is that vision for advancement? Finally, how can the giant behemoths of the universities create meaningful partnerships with the business and cultural sector that service a more useful set of values than an asset on a spreadsheet?
What do we want to be, Providence?
I am inviting those of us who are so lucky to live in this wonderful little city to think creatively and challenge our leaders to think with us. Think of sitting on those comfy couches discovering a new movie or maybe going on a first date. What does Providence become without the Cable Cars?
I will mourn the loss of this theater for a long time. I wish the owners (my friends – full transparency) well and I hope they find it within them to recreate somewhere else in town.
Finally, I implore our city, state and institutional leaders, please don’t dismantle our strange things in the pursuit of profit and growth. They are the very pillars that hold us up. Including you.
Julia Cirignano has released her first self-published book titled White Wine & Medical Marijuana: A Compilation of Poems. Cirignano recently graduated from Endicott College where she received a BA in English with a music minor. She has several articles published by Limelight Magazine and That Music Mag, and has poetry published in The Endicott Review, The Endicott Observer, Mad Swirl, The New York Literary Magazine, Red Wolf Journal, and The Somerville Times.
White Wine & Medical Marijuana is a book of poetry that explores themes such femininity, sexuality, weakness, strength, power, addiction, and profanity. It analyzes these themes, while keeping the language casual, simple, and accessible to all readers. Enjoy the power struggle between self criticism and self love, the raw life observations, and the relentless scrutinization of everyday life.
Cirignano released White Wine & Medical Marijuana on August 8th, and has already received rave reviews from NY Literary Magazine, Doug Holder of Ibbetson Street Press, and Ziggy Merrit of That Music Mag.
Check out Cirignano’s writing on her website http://www.juliacirignano.com, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Also, feel free to contact Cirignano with any inquiries or review possibilities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick up your copy of White Wine & Medical Marijuana on Amazon by clicking HERE.
BY JULIA CIRIGNANO WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM J. KENNEY
From 2007 to 2013, Limelight Magazine released 13 print issues. In 2009, Limelight decided to focus their attention more on their website and decrease the number of print issues. They allegedly made this switch due to the growing popularity of online magazines, but there was an entirely different reason why the shift was made – the covers of the magazine were cursed!
For almost every act that appeared on the cover of Limelight Magazine, the band either suffered a line up change or broke up after the issue came out. Stranger things have also happened to some of the bands as well. This article is to expose the true story of why being on the cover of Limelight Magazine may not be such a great idea!
On October 13, 2006 (ironically a Friday the 13th), one of the founders of Limelight Magazine went to see The Flower Kings at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass. The opening act was a band from Allston, Mass., called Fluttr Effect. After seeing them perform live, it was decided they would be the cover story of the very first issue that was supposed to go to print in late December for a winter release.
Fluttr Effect was a progressive rock band full of potential that consisted of Troy Kidwell, Vessela Stoyanova, Valerie Thompson, J. Marchionna and Kara Trott. They had just released their second studio album Marking Time and were aggressively promoting it.
Soon after conducting an interview with the band, Limelight Magazine’s graphic design team were busy laying out the issue. A tentative cover was created on December 27th which featured Fluttr Effect. Two days later, the underground performance space where Fluttr Effect rehearsed, called Pan9, caught on fire and the building was evacuated (see Boston.com news story HERE). Due to the fire, the first issue of Limelight Magazine was delayed.
Around this time, Limelight landed an interview with Brad Delp, lead vocalist of BOSTON and the Beatles tribute band Beetlejuice. He was interviewed by Limelight over the phone at 2 p.m. on February 22, 2007. At the conclusion of the interview, he invited the Limelight staff to his Beatlejuice show in Salem, N.H., the following night. At the end of the show, Limelight talked to Delp. They mentioned that they were looking forward to seeing him perform with BOSTON over the summer. He surprised them by replying with, “Maybe. We’ll see.”
The interview with Limelight ended up being the last print interview Delp did before he died on March 9th, 2007 (see Delp’s obituary in The Boston Globe HERE). Due to his death, an editorial decision was made to dedicate the first issue to him. The cover showed Delp cross legged in casual clothing with his head resting on his intertwined fingers. Fluttr Effect became the centerfold story and was not featured on the cover with the exception of small teaser photo.
The other images featured on that cover had a series of unfortunate events. Luke’s Record Exchange in Pawtucket, R.I., went out of business (see story about its closure in The Valley Breeze HERE), Toolfist: A Tribute to Tool saw the departure of their lead vocalist and passing of their extraordinary guitarist William F. Meehan on September 16, 2012 (see Meehan’s obituary from The Boston Globe HERE), and Charlie Domenici, the former lead vocalist of Dream Theater, had plans for a tour following the release of his studio album trilogy, but that never materialized.
Limelight released their second edition in the fall of 2007. A hard rocking band called MASS from Revere, Mass., was featured on the cover. Although the curse affected them less than the previous issue, their bassist Lou Spagnola left the band soon after the magazine came out and was replaced by former bassist Michael Palumbo.
In the winter for 2007, Limelight released their third issue which featured the alternative rock group Hello Mahalo. The cover featured the four members of Hello Mahalo casually posing by a tree. This band had great potential, support from their label, a manager with a lot of connections, and lots of airplay on local radio stations. The band consisted of Justin Joyce, Jared Pizarro, Justin Hardy and Tom Stanwood. They had just released their debut full length album Dawning Days in November 2007. Yet, soon after the release of the magazine, the band broke up due to personal and private matters. Joyce and Pizarro went on to start their own band called JaJu but never reached the success that Hello Mahalo once had.
In the spring of 2008, Beetlejuice was featured on the cover of Limelight. This Beatles tribute band now consisted of four core members John “Muzz” Muzzy (drums), Steve Baker (keyboard, guitar), Joe Holaday (bass) and Dave Mitchell (guitar). They were featured on the cover with big smiles. They band surprisingly was not impacted by the curse and we’d like to think that Brad Delp’s generous and kind spirit is watching over them. However, the other tribute bands pictured on the cover saw limited activity after the issue came out.
The progressive metal band Dream Theater was featured on the cover of Limelight’s summer issue in 2008. Since this band was such a big and successful act at the time, there was a lot of excitement about this cover. The band agreed to do a cover shoot at the Orpheum Theater in Boston, Mass., on May 20, 2008, fifteen minutes before they went on stage. The band members were all very close and were excited to be going on the road for their “Progressive Nation” tour.
While seemingly nothing happened right away, two years after the issue was released Mike Portnoy, the drummer and one of their founding members, announced he was leaving on Sept. 8, 2010 (see Portnoy’s Facebook statement HERE). Due to his prevalence within the band, this was a major heartbreak to their fans. The band now consists of John Myung, John Petrucci, James LaBrie, Jordan Rudess, and Mike Mangini.
Zox was the cover story of the fall 2008 issue. Although this local band had seemingly great potential (they were touring all over Europe and America) they slowly faded out of the public eye after the issue was released. They released an album titled Line in the Sand in 2008 and haven’t released anything since. Since 2008, they haven’t played only sporadic shows.
At this point, Limelight took a step back and began to see the trail of wreckage this curse was leaving behind. Because of this realization, they came up with a theme for the next issue which combined music and tattoo art. Limelight released this issue in the fall of 2008 titled “When Two Worlds Collide” referencing the combination of music and tattoos.
A musician was featured on the cover along with someone’s back with tattoos on it. What is interesting about this cover is that the musician who was featured was from a local band called Killswitch Engage. Although the entire band wasn’t on the cover, the curse eventually got to them. In early 2012, the band announced that Howard Jones was leaving the band after nine years with them (see Killswitch Engage’s Facebook statement HERE). He was later replaced by Jesse Leach, the band’s original vocalist. The band now consists of Leach, Joel Stroetzel, Mike D’Antonio, Adam Dutkiewicz, and Justin Foley.
In the spring of 2009, a local band called Psycle was on the cover of the magazine. Yet, once again, despite their obvious potential, the band broke up not long after the issue hit the newsstands with each member pursuing their own thing.
At this point, Limelight launched its website while continuing to print their quarterly issues. Interestingly, the artists who were featured on the website were luckily untouched by the curse but those on the cover were still affected.
In the summer of 2009, Heather Rose and The Drama covered Limelight Magazine with a mystery novel type of photo. Ironically, Limelight titled the article “Moving Beyond the Drama” because there was nothing but drama in Rose’s music career. Once again, the band broke up soon after appearing on the cover. Rose chose to pursue a solo career to avoid any further headaches in her life.
Around this time, the editorial staff of Limelight began to loathe the curse and the havoc it had caused on so many artists. Consequently, they decided to remove their name from the next issue and call it Picks. They kept the Limelight Magazine name for their website but retired it for their next print issue. Their online publication was thriving and, with high hopes, they chose to feature The Candace Brooks Band of Providence, R.I., on the cover of their fall 2009 issue. Limelight had a great relationship with the indie rock band but their plans to avoid the curse didn’t work. After the issue came out, the band slowed down their activity and their gigs were far and few in between. Although they are still friends, they rarely play music together anymore.
In the late 2000s, there was a shift in people’s tastes due to advances in technology and the internet. Many of music’s bigger print publications were shutting down including Circus (1969-2006), Hit Parader (1942-2008), Metal Edge (1985-2009) and Metal Maniacs (1989-2009). Because of this shift, Limelight decided to focus more of their efforts on booking national touring acts and posting only online articles to adapt to the times. They didn’t release a print issue for the fall 2009 or spring 2010.
After skipping two seasons, the publishers of Limelight decided to release a summer issue in 2010. Since Picks didn’t help to prevent the curse, they switched back to their original name Limelight Magazine. After nearly six months away from print, they figured the curse might be gone once and for all.
Unlike prior issues, the summer 2010 issue expanded the geographical region which the publishers usually picked local artists to feature. However, the cover story still went to a local artist; this time Grand Evolution from Worcester, Mass. The issue mainly focused on this one band’s story. Four out of five band members were featured on the cover in a beach themed layout, highlighting a serious Sarah Kenyon in a pink dress and the rest of the band playing in the sand.
When the band met for the cover shoot, one of the band members was unable to show up – a worrisome sign that the curse was back and rearing its ugly head a little earlier than normal.
Within the time of the magazine’s release and soon after, the band began to internally combust. On the eve of their first major tour of the United States, their keyboard player departed, leaving the band to go out on the road as a four piece. Upon their return, they lost two more members – their bassist and longstanding guitarist. This left the band with only two of its members that were featured on the cover and inside the issue. Since then, the band has soldiered on, albeit with various lineup changes over the years.
Rather than take on the curse with another issue, the publishers of Limelight decided to wait an entire year before their next issue. Released in the summer of 2012, the publishers of Limelight decided to risk one of their own. This issue featured a band that they also managed called York. On the cover, the band was seen holding picture frames in a humorous fashion. The band were gradually making a name for themselves throughout New England. They headlined the Hard Rock Café in Boston, opened for Gary Cherone’s Hurtsmile at Showcase Live in Foxboro, Mass., had airplay on a number of radio stations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and were semi-finalists in the annual WBRU Rock Hunt. However, like almost every band that was featured on the cover, the band lost its drummer and guitarist shortly after the issue came out and eventually broke up. All of the members currently have happy lives outside of local music scene.
With the splitting up of another band, the publishers of Limelight seriously questioned releasing any more print issues. In fact, they took a break for two years while creating a vibrant online presence free from the curse. But, after a change in Limelight’s management team, the co-owners decided to release another issue in the summer of 2013, which was their final issue to date.
Being extra cautious this time, the co-owners of Limelight decided to change printing plants and the overall layout of the magazine. They also went with a new logo to break away from the past and held a contest called “We’ve Got You Covered” on June 8th where three judges would decide who would be featured on the cover. Grace Morrison and the RSO (Really Small Orchestra) won and were featured on the cover holding their instruments with bright smiles.
The band was incredible yet the curse still struck them just as hard as the others. Their future seemed bright as a band since they were playing shows all over New England but within months of the release inner turmoil within the band led to their dissolution. Morrison went out on her own to pursue a solo career and continues to tour the area with a lot of success.
There has never been another print issue of Limelight Magazine since. However, feature stories continue to appear on this website free of the curse!
BY JULIA CIRIGNANO
You know Katie Botelho-Bielatowicz as the co-owner of JKB Entertainment Group and Limelight Magazine, but you may not know that she also does amazing nail art.
Botelho-Bielatowicz went to UMass Dartmouth to pursue a degree in marketing and recently went back to school at the Kay Harvey LaBaron Hairdressing Academy to get her nail technician license. She now has her license and has even pursued some possible careers within the field.
Botelho-Bielatowicz spoke with me about what first sparked her passion for nail art.
“I remember seeing a design that looked nearly impossible, so I decided to try it,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised at how good it came out and from there on out I’ve been intrigued by trying different things!”
Botelho-Bielatowicz has been painting nails for eight years now but she wasn’t always interested in this art form.
“I used to get acrylics done and decided that I had enough with artificial nails,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said. “I started a job at a beauty supply store and bought my first salon brand polish. I was hooked from there. I now have my own little room that’s dedicated to my nail polish, so you can only imagine how many I own!”
Botelho-Bielatowicz talked about what has inspired her as an artist and what nail art means to her. Although Botelho-Bielatowicz has worked at a nail spa, she now enjoys nail art for recreational use only.
“My love for nail art simply stemmed from other people’s nail art,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said. “I wanted my nails to look like that so I decided to try it for myself. It’s my hobby and my way from stepping aside from reality for a while.”
Although Botelho-Bielatowicz has been painting nails for a while, just over the past few years she began to challenge herself and work on more integrated designs.
“I started faithfully painting my nails about eight years ago and probably a few years after that is when I added nail art to the mix,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said.
“Because of my love for nails, I decided to get my nail technician license,” Botelho-Bielatowicz said. “There I was taught to do acrylics, although I never do them at home. Every so often I’ll do a gel manicure on myself, but I like to switch my colors so frequently that it’s not worth it for me.”
Botelho-Bielatowicz decided to get her nail technician license just for fun, yet she has also learned a lot from practice and research.
“I’m just a self-taught enthusiast, with the help of YouTube and Pinterest,” she said.
Botelho-Bielatowicz combined her self-taught skills with a variety of techniques she learned at the academy to practice this fine art. Check out her nail art Facebook page HERE which is appropriately called “Confessions of a Nailaholic.”
Seen within the pictures on her page, Botelho-Bielatowicz explores many themes and techniques within her artwork. She talked about the tools she typically uses.
“I mainly use a nail cleaning brush, dotting tools and a small paint brush from the craft store to draw intricate designs,” she said.
Botelho-Bielatowicz enjoys exploring many themes of nail art. She does some simple nail styles but her nail art is also inspired by Tim Burton, moon phases, pineapples, popcorn, nature, The Cookie Monster, The Corpse Bride, Star Wars, cats, flowers, ice cream, sports, The Little Mermaid — you name it, she’ll paint it.
It’s obvious that Botelho-Bielatowicz enjoys exploring many different nail art themes but she definitely has her favorite.
“My favorite time to do nail art is from October to December,” she said. “There are so many different designs with the holidays that there’s always something to do. I love festive nails!”
Botelho-Bielatowicz especially likes Halloween themed nails.
“Halloween is my favorite time of the year so naturally I love everything about it,” she said. “There are just so many great designs you can do for Halloween and I love the reaction I get when people see my nails and they’re all horror themed. For the most part, most of my artwork is related to Halloween/Tim Burton films. It just makes me happy.”
To coincide with Limelight Magazine‘s 10th anniversary, here are 10 nail art designs done by Botelho-Bielatowicz that are perfect for the Halloween season.
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
DAYS OF THE DEAD
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET