The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announces that Light City, the nation’s first large-scale festival of light, music and innovation, is opening registration for the 2017 conferences. Labs@LightCity which brings together innovators, thought leaders and engaged, inspired citizens from diverse backgrounds to explore cutting edge concepts for sparking social change in six industries: Health, Design, Social, Green, Education and Food.  Conference speakers include New York Times best-selling author and blogger Luvvie Ajayi, Founder of Food Tank Danielle Neirenberg, Pulitzer Prize winning scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee, author and columnist D. Watkins, International Chef, Author and Restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, Co-founder of O’Reilly Media & CEO of Maker Media Dale Dougherty, CEO and Strategist Nilofer Merchant, Award-winning Educator and spoken word poet Donovan Livingston and New York Times best-selling author Alec Ross.

Light City, attracting more than 400,000 to Baltimore during its inaugural year, returns even bigger and bolder in 2017 and takes place Friday, March 31 through Saturday, April 8, 2017.  The festival is open from 7-11pm on weeknights and until midnight on the weekends at the Inner Harbor. The festival’s daytime innovation conferences Labs@LightCity take place over six days Monday, April 3 through Saturday, April 8 at the IMET Columbus Center at 701 E. Pratt Street.

What’s New

Light City – The festival of light, music and innovation welcomes 24 light art installations along the BGE Light Art Walk at the Inner Harbor as well as a new line-up of performances and concerts. The immersive community art program Neighborhood Lights expands to include Sandtown-Winchester, Hamilton-Lauraville and Waverly as well as Coldstream Homestead Montebello, Hampden, Greater Mondawmin, Little Italy and Station North Arts & Entertainment District for 2016. The festival remains free and open to the public. The complete schedule will be announced in January 2017.

Labs@LightCity – A singular event that speaks to the critical social issues of our time, in a city that offers an ideal learning lab for our future: Baltimore. The Light City conferences debut the new name Labs@LightCity to better reflect the new format in which sessions will be more interactive, hands-on and include more participatory two-way interactive dialogue.

New Labs – Labs@LightCity has added education and food as two new conferences. Attendees can register for one, multiple or all six labs:

April 3 –
 HealthLab@LightCity presented by Kaiser Permanente discusses emerging technologies and innovative practices that have the potential to affect the quality of life and health outcomes for people around the globe.

April 4 – GreenLab@LightCity presented by BGE changes the conversation on how we think about energy, ecology and economics while providing a glimpse into innovations that provide a more sustainable path to the future.

April 5 – EduLab@LightCity brings together some of the most significant voices from local and national educational institutions to discuss the transformation of education.

April 6 – SocialLab@LightCity is a hub for honest discussions about how, together, we can build a more equitable and responsible society.

April 7 – DesignLab@LightCity features some of the most inventive designers, makers, artists, entrepreneurs, futurists, storytellers and thinkers convening to explore how emerging creative practices shape our world and create change.

April 8 – FoodLab@LightCity, led by acclaimed culinary experts whose work is transforming the current and future landscape in the world of food, and reshaping our attitudes towards what we eat, illuminates the importance of continuing culinary innovation to spur social change.

Labs@LightCity Luminary Program – The Labs@LightCity are a convening for everyone. Community members who wish to attend but cannot afford the price of a ticket can register to join us as a Light City Luminary. Luminaries participate fully in all aspects of their selected Lab. The deadline to apply is Monday, February 6, 2017. Contributions to the new Light City Luminary Fund are welcome to help to maximize the number of recipients Labs@LightCity can accept.

Lab@LightCity  Speakers – Featured speakers for HealthLab@LightCity include Pulitzer Prize winning scientist Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee and 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner Destiny WatfordGreenLab@LightCity include Vice President of the Abell Foundation Lynn HellerEduLab includes New York Times best-selling author Alec Ross, Award-winning educator and spoken word poet Donovan Livingston, Co-founder of Curators of Hip Hop Jimmie Thomasand Executive Director, CEO and Founder of I Am O’Kah, Inc. Aisha Dacosta;  SocialLab@LightCity include Social Innovator Carlmichael “Stokey” Cannady, CEO and strategist Nilofer MerchantNew York Times best-selling author and blogger Luvvie Ajayi and author and columnist D. WatkinsDesignLab@LightCity include Artistic Director of Center StageKwame Kwei-Armah and Co-founder of O’Reilly Media & CEO of Maker Media Dale Doughertyand FoodLab@LightCity include Founder of Food Tank Danielle Neirenberg, James Beard Award Winning Chef Spike Gjerde, International Chef, Author and Restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson,Founder of Urban Pastoral JJ Reidy and Founder of the Black Church Food Security Network Rev. Heber Brown III.  The complete conference schedule offering for more than 100 sessions will be announced in January 2017.

Leadership Curators – For each Lab, leadership curators will help bring inspiring talks, unique discussions and interactive experiences from local and national presenters, panelists and thinkers to the audience. Curators include Owner of the Ivy Bookshop Eduard Berlin; President & CEO of Living Classrooms James Piper Bond ; Research Associate Professor at UMBC Lee Boot; President of T. Rowe Price Foundation Dr. John Brothers; Board of Trustees Chair of T. Rowe Price Meredith Callanan; Managing Partner of Cammack Associates, LLC John Cammack; Co-Founder of Reclaim Childhood Anouk Dey; PhD Student and Musician David Fakunle; Founder & CEO of Invested Impact Rodney Foxworth; CEO Baltimore Corps Fagan Harris; Co-founder & CEO of Incentive Mentoring Program Sarah Hemminger; Senior Policy Advisor of National Economic Council Nate Lowenthiel; Senior VP Early Learning of Hougton Mifflin Harcourt Susan Magsamen; Visionary Chairman of Innovation Village Baltimore Richard May;  Co-owner of Dovecote Café Aisha Pew; Executive Director of Mount Royal Community Development Corporation Andre Robinson; Associate Director of Criminal Justice of Behavioral Health System Baltimore Tyrone Roper; Vice President of Content Design of Council on Foundations Jesse Salazar; Associate Dean for Public Health Practice & Training at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Josh Sharfstein; Founder & CEO of BithGroup Technologies Robert Wallace; and CEO & Owner of Barclay Chris Wilson.

Light City Insiders Program – Anyone interested in Light City can sign up on to become a part of the Insiders Program in which members receive advanced announcements and special incentives.

Conference Registration – Labs@LightCity attendees can purchase tickets for $149 for one lab and $99 for each additional lab. There is an option to donate during the registration purchase process to help contribute to the Light City Luminary Program which provides assistance to others to attend the conferences. To purchase tickets or apply for the Light City Luminary program beginning Friday November 11, visit

Light City Baltimore is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and made possible by Lead Founding Partner: BGE; Lead Partners: Brown Advisory, France-Merrick Foundation, Generosity, Kaiser Permanente, and Whiting-Turner; and Government Partners: City of Baltimore and Maryland Department of Commerce.

For more information, visit or Stay connected with Labs@LightCity via , Twitter: @LabsAtLightCity and Instagram: @LabsAtLightCity.

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