We want to hear from you! The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts invites the community to share their experiences with the inaugural Light City, a festival of light, music and innovation which attracted an estimated 400,000 attendees in 2016. The Light City Baltimore Feedback Sessions, taking place on Wednesday, May 4, are open to the public to share successes, challenges and lessons learned to help improve and grow the festival in 2017 and beyond.
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Presented by Kaiser Permanente

Based in Connecticut, Pilobolus is an internationally acclaimed collective known for its diverse collaborations that ignore preconceived barriers between creative disciplines. The company is always creating things and explores ways of using the human body as a graphic and expressive medium.

Volunteers will operate umbrellas with LED lights under the direction of the Pilobolus team. The performance will be filmed and projected on a screen in real time as the participants create patterns and change the colors of their umbrellas.

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Light City Baltimore is now accepting proposals for ideas and experiences for LightCityU, an innovation conference focused on social change that will take place during America’s first international light festival. Premiering March 28-April 32016, the inaugural Light City Baltimore will be the first large-scale international light festival in the United States featuring art, music and innovation programming and will be a platform to shine a light on Baltimore’s innovation and creative communities.

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Light City Baltimore Ideas Session- Art
Location: Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Falvey Hall
Date: April 11, 2015
Organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA)

Presentation and Moderation
Bill Gilmore, Executive Director, BOPA
Randi Vega, Director of Cultural Affairs, BOPA
Kathy Hornig, Festivals Director, BOPA
Brooke Hall, What Weekly Studios
Jamie McDonald, Co-Chair, Light City Baltimore Steering Committee

Jamie McDonald opened the info session with a presentation about Light City Baltimore, its vision, potential areas of impact, and long-term goals. Baltimore has a rich history of innovation tied to light: In 1816, Baltimore was the first American city to illuminate its streets with gas lanterns, thus transforming the city with light and revolutionizing the urban landscape forever. It’s with this spirit of innovation and transformation that 200 years later, Light City will paint Baltimore with light and bring together the brightest thinkers.
Throughout the course of the discussion, several comments were made that are not included as questions below. We received excellent feedback from different members of the community, mostly relating to topics of inclusivity and diversity. History organizations, such as the Peale Museum and the Jewish Museum, expressed a particular interest in including Baltimore’s local history as a key focal point within the festival. Other comments focused around diversity, and expressed concern about the segregation of people of color from participation in the arts. There were excellent points raised about where the physical location of events before and during the festival could occur to be more inclusive of different neighborhoods within the city, as well as different homegrown creative expressions that take shape and are visible in different neighborhoods.

Click through to read full notes from this Light City Baltimore Idea Session.

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Baltimore’s newest festival of art, music and innovation seeks
visual, music and performing artists

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts seeks participants for Light City Baltimore, a festival of light and ideas. Premiering March 28-April 3, 2016, the inaugural Light City Baltimore will be the first large-scale light festival in the United States featuring art, music and innovation programming and will be a platform to shine a light on Baltimore’s innovation and creative communities. Installed in the Inner Harbor area, Light City Baltimore seeks illuminated visual artworks, live performances with a light component, and musical performances and concerts that enhance and complement the light displays and sculptures.

“In some of Baltimore City’s darkest days in recent memory, our spirit was tested. But Baltimore has always been a resilient city. To truly move our city forward, we will need a broad, representative, and inclusive selection of projects, programs and events; and Light City Baltimore offers artists across our city an opportunity to celebrate Baltimore’s rich, diverse heritage, while creating a shared outlet to help us grow, heal, and facilitate social change,”  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Calls for entry are open to artists and artist collaborative groups working in all media and genres of both the visual and performing arts.  Artists are strongly encouraged to consider one or more of the following anchor values of the festival as they conceive their artwork proposal.



Pioneering collaborations between artists working in all types of media and performance as well as collaborations between artists and technological innovators are important.

The art installations will be a part of a larger festival ecosystem of innovation programming featuring local, national and international technological innovators.

Environmental impact is an important consideration and should be thought about when designing artworks. Opportunities to power exhibits with alternative energy sources are encouraged.

Audience Engagement
Proposed projects and performances should actively engage the audience and provide a unique and memorable experience for the festival-goer.

Artworks that cause attendees to see situations in new ways, to rethink their deeply held beliefs and to reflect on key societal issues of justice and equality are encouraged.


Visual Art & Visual Art/Performing Art Hybrid Projects

These projects are primarily visual or a hybrid of visual and performing art based. They will be installed prior to the beginning of the festival and remain onsite until the festival closes.


Music Performances & Concerts

Music is a key element of Light City. Artists are encouraged to consider how light can transform their performance.  Artists should include in their proposal any work intended in collaboration with any visual art components of the festival or performances that include light elements.

Most musical performances will be scheduled during the evening hours of the festival.


Performing Arts

These applications could include, but are not limited to, proposals for dance performances, street theater, stilt walkers, jugglers, magic shows, and other types of artistic performances. These performances should be ephemeral or “pop-up” in nature; Light City will not be able to provide traditional staging. All applicants in this category must factor one or more light elements into their proposal.

Jury panels will be commenced for each of the three application types made up of professionals working in the corresponding field. The deadline for proposals is Monday, August 31, 2015. To apply, participants should follow the directions outlined at

Light City Baltimore is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in partnership with Visit Baltimore and What Works Studio. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as Baltimore’s arts council, event center and film office. For details, visit

For more information on participating in Light City Baltimore, visit or call 410-752-8632 or connect via Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #LightCity.