Providence Chapter Brings Cash (and Chutzpah) to Downtown Drive

February 11, 2010

The Providence Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for Arts and Sciences has selected Steph Burbridge to receive its January award. Burbridge will use the Awesome Foundation Grant to create a mobile “trivia for cash” game in downtown Providence, an idea that borrows inspiration from a popular television show airing on the Discovery channel.

Burbridge’s plan is a playful marriage of daft fun and viral marketing aimed at showcasing Providence’s curious past, present and future through a rapid-fire trivia game that contestants will play while being driven around the city. Contestants, who accept a ride in Burbrigde’s “cash cart,” will be subjected to a barrage of Providence-based trivia. Players will win cash for each question they answer correctly. Miss three questions, and contestants get kicked to the curb.

Segments, expected to be filmed over a three-day period later this spring, will be taped, edited and turned into a short production that celebrates city resident’s knowledge about their kooky capital city. Burbridge—and funders at the Awesome Foundation—believe that game and the creation and broad release of the web video will be a great way to bring visibility to parts of the Providence experience not regularly featured in traditional tourism campaigns.

“I’ve always wanted to be a game show host. And I love my city. With this idea, I get to combine both into one super fun project,” says Burbridge, who works as a hair stylist at Seiren Salon on Wickenden Street. “One of the best things about the Awesome Foundation is that they fund really unique ideas that traditional programs would never consider. I think this project will be an easy and hilarious way to remind people about all the things that make our city awesome.”

“Steph’s idea is a great continuation of what we started when we launched the Providence Chapter of the Awesome Foundation a few months ago. Steph’s project will bring some much needed levity to the downtown scene and I am sure she’ll give all of us a lot to talk about,” says Melissa Withers, a trustee of the Foundation. “More importantly, if you look at the two projects we have now funded, you can get a good sense of the scope and diversity of ideas we hope to encourage. I hope this will inspire everyone to get off their asses and apply.”