Championing Baltimore's Brilliance

Statement from the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts:

The recent New York Times Magazine cover story titled “The Tragedy of Baltimore” presents a narrow, one-sided view of the city and its residents. The article chronicles the tumultuous period the city faced following the 2015 death of Freddie Gray; however, the article fails to report on the brilliant Baltimore that emerged from tragedy and uprising. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in partnership and collaboration with many city leaders and organizations, began Light City to help the community heal through powerful media – art, light and innovation. Since then, Light City and all the events hosted by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts have brought the community together, driven tourism, and generated millions in direct economic impact for local businesses and the more than 600,000 people who call Baltimore home.

Despite the narrative and reporting of The New York Times, Baltimoreans know otherwise – our vibrant and creative city is not just a great place to visit, but a great place to live, work, play and create art. We can’t let this story define Baltimore; it’s incumbent upon our entire community to demonstrate the true heart of Baltimore and showcase all our incredible city has to offer by speaking up, getting involved and showing up to support the city at its events and cultural convenings throughout the year.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is the city's arts council, events center and film office. BOPA's programs and services are made possible thanks to the generous charitable support from a variety of public and private donors.



  • Image Credit: Light City artwork Synesthesia by Surcreative. Photographer: Crystal Whitman