Imagine a 1.2-mile stretch of the harbor lined by performance stages and 29 large-scale artworks illuminated by light.
That’s the vision organizers have for Light City Baltimore, a “festival of bright lights and big ideas,” as it is described by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. And at an announcement today, we got a better idea of what Light City, which runs from March 28 through April 3, and its accompanying innovation conference LightCityU, will look like.
The festival will feature 50 concerts and 100 performances—with the likes of Dan Deacon, Fluid Movement, Single Carrot Theatre, and the Baltimore Rock Opera Society—during the seven nights of free entertainment. The acts include light puppetry, interactive dance, and percussion performances, as well as theater and music.
The stages, as well as the 29 works of art that incorporate light, will stretch from Harbor East to Federal Hill, enlivening the harbor and its surrounding areas. The artists chosen to create the featured art were winnowed down from 240 entries from around the world, with about two-thirds of those chosen from Baltimore.
"[The festival aims to] shine a light on the Baltimore people who live,
dream, and create everyday," said Jamie McDonald, chair of the Light
City steering committee, at today's announcement.
As for LightCityU, the daytime, ticketed conference will focus on the theme of powering social change and will feature representatives from industries including education, health, and sustainability.
BOPA officials, as well as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Light City organizers, say the festival will be like nothing else the city has ever seen. Though its focus this year is on the Inner Harbor, artists will collaborate with five neighborhoods—Coldstream Homestead Montebello/Lake Montebello, Hampden, Greater Mondawmin, Little Italy, and Station North—to create public art.
David Fakunle, a doctoral student and performer, spoke about how he had been skeptical about Light City and confronted organizers at a public meeting. But, after they asked him to be part of the steering committee, he began to see how the festival could create missing opportunities for creative minds throughout the city.
"Be a part of this, this is yours," he said. "I've been saying it's a Baltimore's party, but everyone else is invited."
Here’s a list of what you can see and hear at Light City. And check out this video that showcases some of those involved with the festival.
LIGHT CITY MUSIC
- Baltimore Rock Opera Society and Concert Artists of Baltimore, Classical Music & Rock Opera
- Clear For Takeoff, Pop Rock
- Dunson, Hip-Hop
- Makina Project, Electronic
- Red Sammy, Rock
- Symphony Number One, Classical
- Telesma, World
- The Bridge Ensemble, Contemporary Choral Music
- The MC Booze Band, R&B
- The Palovations, Motown/R&B
- To The Moon, Instrumental Rock
- Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, Jazz
- Wordsmith, Hip Hop
LIGHT CITY PERFORMANCES
- Atelier Mateo M - Digital Skin Portraits
- Fluid Movement - HydroPrismEcho
- Jenn Figg, Matthew McCormack and David Fakunle – Making Waves: Kinetic Frenetic – Percussion Project
- Katherine Fahey & Annie Howe – Crankie Box Shadow Puppets
- Lynne Tomlinson and Colette Searls – Kendra’s Bay Digital Images
- Michael Owen – Diorama – Interactive Dance
- Nina Rutledge – City Lights Stilts
- Olu Butterfly and the Dew More Collective – What was in Darkness Must be Revealed in Light – Multi-media Poetry
- Revolutionary Motion, Pyrophilia and Luminescent Street Brigade – Theatre of Fire
- Sarah Tooley – 901 Arts Drumline
- Schroeder Cherry – Baltimore Street Lights Puppet Show
- Single Carrot Theatre – Ballet Ballistique
LIGHT CITY VISUAL ARTISTS
- Radiance, Pixel Promenade
- Kelley Bell & Corrie Parks, Projected Aquaculture
- Baltimore Kawasaki Sister City Committee(Artist: Jessica Searfino), Take To-Ro Ripples
- Ian Brill, Labrynith
- Cheon Kroiz, Artist and Architect Collaborative, Diamonds
- Eric Corriel, Water Will Be Here
- Lisa Dillin, Natural Lighting Emulator V
- Annette Elliot, Constellation
- Symmes Gardner, 1,001 Lux
- Rachel Guardiola, Into the Zone (Anthology of Accounts and Findings)
- Riki Kim, Glacier
- Jen Lewin Studio, The Pool
- Dashboard, Drone Laser Light Party
- Luminous Intervention, TBD
- McWharter Lynam, fluorWall
- Nick Metzler, TBD
- Tim Scofield & Kyle Miller, Peacock
- Quentin Mosley, Gateway Baltimore
- Design Collective, Inc., Lightwave: Baltimore’s Beacon
- Thick Air Studios, Dear Baltimore
- Scott Pennington, Plaza
- Paul Rucker, Walking in the Light of a History
- New American Public Art, Blue Hour
- Robby Rackleff, TBD
- Brian Gonzalez and Nisha Ramnath, Laser Lotus
- Aether & Hemera, Voyage
- Greg St. Pierre, TBD
- Justin Thompson, Dark was the Night
- Yandell Walton, Human Effect