Light City

Light City, a free festival of light, music and innovation, returns to Baltimore for its third year in April 2018. Light City expands to three weekends with Neighborhood Lights, the community artist-in-residence program kicking off April 6-8; Light City featuring the BGE Light Art Walk April 14-21 and Labs@LightCity, the festival’s daytime innovation conferences April 18-21 at the IMET Columbus Center.

Visit for more information. 

View the Light City 2017 Image Gallery here.

Launched by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in 2016, Light City is the largest festival of light, music and innovation in North America. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring attractions including illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area. 

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announces the six jurors that will select the original artwork for the BGE Light Art Walk at Light City 2018. The jurors are Cecilia Alemani, Christopher Bedford, Alessandra Caggiano, Kimberly Drew, Lance Fung and Julia Kaganskiy. More information on the jurors is below. 

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announces the local artists and artist teams selected to participate in Neighborhood Lights, Light City’s immersive community artist-in-residence program. The following artists were selected to receive a $15,000 grant to create an illuminated visual or performance art project within the neighborhood of their residency: Ada Pinkston for Belair-Edison and Hamilton-Lauraville; Sean Michael Kenny for the Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District; Kyle Yearwood for Darley Park; FutureMakers for Federal Hill; Maura Dwyer for Baybrook (Brooklyn and Curtis Bay) and Remington; BE|THE|TO Studio / k.lechleiter ARCHITECT / LED-BETTER Studio for Highlandtown; Malaika Aminata Clements for Hollins Roundhouse/Southwest Baltimore; Laure Drogoul for Little Italy; XXS Group for Locust Point; Pablo Machioli and Owen Silverman Andrews for Patterson Park; MANIFOLD design for Pigtown and The Rise of Charm City for Waverly. More information on the artists is below. 


In 2016, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) joined forces with partners throughout our great city and launched a transformational event for Baltimore. Light City, America’s first large-scale festival of art, music and innovation, is where Baltimore comes together and where the world comes to Baltimore. 

Light City reimagines the waterfront into a premier cultural destination: fully accessible, free and open to all. Located along the Inner Harbor’s brick-lined promenade, the BGE Light Art Walk features awe-inspiring art installations, performances, concerts, a fun-filled family zone and special moments including an Opening Night Parade and a Closing Night fireworks finale. The festival’s food and beverage offerings are proudly 100% local, reflecting Baltimore’s burgeoning cuisine scene.

Additionally, Light City touches dozens of Baltimore neighborhoods through BOPA’s Neighborhood Lights, Brilliant Baltimore and Eye on Charlie initiatives. Labs@LightCity, the festival’s social innovation conference, generates a glowing ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day – before the lights and live entertainment make Baltimore shine at night.  

In just its second year, Light City 2017 attracted more than 470,000 nighttime visitors, generated $44 million in economic impact and created one billion media impressions for Baltimore. And the Light City effect continues to multiply; BOPA has awarded funds back to local Baltimore artists since the festival’s inception.

BOPA thanks the Allens as the founding visionaries of Light City.


Light City 2018 Jurors

Light City 2018 BGE Light Art Walk Jurors:

Cecilia Alemani is the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Chief Curator and Director of High Line Art, the public art program that commissions and produces public art projects on and around New York’s High Line park. Since her appointment to this position in 2011, she has commissioned and curated projects by El Anatsui, Ed Ruscha, Carol Bove, John Baldessari, Louise Lawler, Gilbert & George, Marianne Vitale, Raymond Pettibon, Adrián Villar Rojas, Virginia Overton and Olafur Eliasson, among many others. Alemani also recently curated the Italian Pavilion for the 2017 Venice Biennale. Previously, Alemani has collaborated with many museums, institutions and foundations, while also pursuing more unconventional projects with non-profits and informal organizations. Examples include: in 2011, Alemani worked as guest curator for the performance art biennial Performa 11; in 2010 she co-founded No Soul For Sale, a festival of independent spaces, non-profit organizations and artist collectives which took place at the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern as the main event for the museum’s tenth anniversary; and from January 2009 to February 2010, she served as Curatorial Director of X Initiative, a New York-based year-long experimental non-profit space. At X Initiative she conceived and organized more than 50 events including performances, panel discussions, symposia, lectures, concerts, screenings and exhibitions, including solo shows by Keren Cytter, Luke Fowler, Hans Haacke, Christian Holstad, Derek Jarman, Mika Tajima, Tris Vonna-Michell and Artur Zmijewski.

Christopher Bedford was appointed as the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2016. Formerly the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Bedford recently served as the Commissioner for the U.S. Pavilion for the 2017 Venice Biennale, for which he co-curated with Katy Siegel, curator at-large for the Rose. Prior to joining the Rose Art Museum, Bedford held the positions of chief curator and curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University (2008-2012), where he organized shows featuring Nathalie Djurberg, Omer Fast, Paul Sietsema and David Smith, as well as a major exhibition of Mark Bradford’s work that toured to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He also served as assistant curator and curatorial assistant in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006-2008) and consulting curator in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts for the J. Paul Getty Museum (2006-2008). Bedford is also a noted author and contributor to publications including Art in America, ArtForum and Frieze, among others. 

Alessandra Caggiano is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival in the United Kingdom.  Launched in 2012 with the first festival premiering in 2013, e-Luminate Cambridge seeks to celebrate the intersection of art and science through light.  Caggiano’s studies in Art and Cultural Resource Management have set the foundation for her career in the cultural sector; her current focus being research and curation of Light Art experiences for wider audiences at both e-Luminate Cambridge and at other venues through her company e-Luminate Studio.  She regularly writes for industry magazines and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Cambridge, University of Roehampton and Anglia Ruskin University. Caggiano believes in inclusivity in the arts and she has developed and implemented several outreach arts initiatives throughout her community.

Kimberly Drew (also known by the internationally recognized handle @museummammy) is a writer with a passion for innovation in art, fashion, and cultural studies. She received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies, with a concentration in Museum Studies. Her Tumblr blog, Black Contemporary Art, is one of the most popular blogs focused on Black artists in the world. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, W, Teen Vogue, and Lenny Letter. She also serves as a board member for Recess Activities, Inc.; a New York-based organization that creates opportunities for artists to work in public situations. She is currently the Social Media Manager at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her personal social media handle is @museummammy on Instagram and Twitter.

Lance Fung is the curator for Fung Collaboratives, an organization that conceives and realizes art exhibitions around the world. Fung has been primarily curating large-scale public art exhibitions for decades after closing his successful NYC gallery. Fung transformed vacant lots in both Washington D.C. and Atlantic City into much-needed park systems through his art exhibition Nonuments and Artlantic. With his unique curatorial eye, Fung has curated internationally recognized exhibitions such as The Snow Show in 2003, 2004, and 2006, Lucky Number Seven (2008) for the seventh SITE Santa Fe International Biennial, Wonderland (2009-2010). Fung has also created other important exhibitions for the Venice Biennale and the Venice Architectural Biennale. He is currently working on a solo project with Cai Guo-Qiang in Philadelphia (2017) and the first permanent public artwork and park design by Ilya & Emilia Kabakov in Redwood City (2018). Fung also is consulting on two long-term projects such as a cultural village in Bali and a public art exhibition on the San Francisco Bay Trails that encircles the entire bay.

Julia Kaganskiy is the director of NEW INC, an incubator space located at the New Museum in New York that is designed to support and encourage collaboration between creative practitioners working in the areas of art, design and technology. She previously served as Global Editor of The Creators Project, a partnership between VICE Media Group and Intel. In 2008 she founded #Arts Tech Meetup, a New York-based group that brings together professionals from museums, galleries and art-related start-ups with digital artists. She has also been recognized by Fast Company (2011) and Business Insider (2013) as one of the most influential women in technology; and was profiled in the 2012 series MAKERS, documentaries produced by PBS that honor women leaders.

Neighborhood Lights 2018 Profiles

Baybrook (Brooklyn and Curtis Bay)
The area we know now as Baltimore’s southern peninsula, Baybrook, was comprised of areas of Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, and was active in farming and shipping from the 1660s onward. The area was settled largely by European immigrants and included Freetown, an early settlement of free blacks. Modern military land use and shipping picked up around 1850, when communities became more formalized. Brooklyn and Curtis Bay were annexed to the City of Baltimore in 1918. Manufacturing and industry took root, and the area’s shipyards built Liberty Ships that helped win World War II. Our growth is one that has seen living communities disappear like Fairfield, Wagner’s Point, and Mason’s Cove. We still connect America to the world through global trade, but are reconsidering future growth through a contemporary environmental consciousness. We’re exploring a community land trust, a solar power farm, and innovative recycling and composting initiatives. 

Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. (BENI) is a community-based nonprofit providing marketing and outreach, community organizing, homeownership counseling, and small business development services to support neighborhood revitalization. For 25 years, BENI's mission is to foster an environment where residents and business owners feel confident investing their time, energy, and money. Our vision is for a strong Belair-Edison with healthy residential and commercial real estate markets, a positive internal and external image, exemplary physical conditions, strong social fabric, and residents and business owners with the capacity to self-manage day-to-day concerns.

Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District
Located in Downtown Baltimore, the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District was established in 2012 to realize the area’s potential as a thriving downtown arts neighborhood. The Bromo Tower A&E District, anchored to the south by the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, stretches north to include the historic Lexington Market and up to Antique Row, just blocks away from Mount Vernon.  The District is really three individual zones. The Lower Bromo is our Theater District, home to The Hippodrome, The Everyman and The Annex Theaters. The Middle Bromo is full of DYI spaces like Le Mondo and Current Space. The Upper Bromo is home to Arena Players, Eubie Blake Jazz Center, Muse 360 as well Antique Row and other craft arts.

Darley Park
Darley Park was founded around 1874. It is said that the name was the name of a parish priest that used to work in the area. It hosted a beer garden and amusement park. The park closed in 1906 and the last property was sold in 1914 to extend Broadway to Harford Road. Currently, Darley Park is a neighborhood primarily consisting of four streets running two blocks each. They are as follows; the 1600 & 1700 blocks of Darley Ave., Cliftvew Ave., Normal Ave. & East 25th St. Darley Park is a close knit neighborhood that has many challenges but it maintains a small town feel. The longtime residents know each other and support each other unlike many neighborhoods in Baltimore. Additionally, many residents who no longer live there continue to come back and support the neighborhood. There are also various organizations in place to support the neighborhood. 

Federal Hill 
Federal Hill is one of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods, with a long history as a center of the city’s bustling maritime port, a hub of industrial growth, and a destination to hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Residents are attracted to the neighborhood’s historic homes, great public parks, and walkable business district with many bars, restaurants and shops. Federal Hill's more than 220 businesses, anchored by Cross Street Market, are close to some of Baltimore's greatest attractions including Federal Hill Park, Camden Yards, M & T Bank Stadium, the Inner Harbor, and the American Visionary Art Museum. The anticipated completion of the first phases of construction at Cross Street Market in spring 2018 provides a unique opportunity to leverage this site for Light City programming in 2018 in a way that celebrates its history and points towards its future.

Hamilton-Lauraville is a diverse community of nine neighborhoods in northeast Baltimore that are joined by Harford Road. A “Five Star Family Neighborhood” of Live Baltimore, it’s known for a family-friendly culture that attracts first-time homebuyers, families, artists, and small business owners. A vibrant business district provides ample shopping, dining, galleries, and performance spaces. Historically farmland, today that past is reflected in community values of sustainability, a green infrastructure, and many residents engaged in urban agriculture. With its open parkland, tree-lined streets, historic homes, friendly neighbors, and a walkable main street, it’s no wonder Baltimore Magazine named it a “hidden gem”!

Highlandtown is home to the city's largest Arts and Entertainment District as well as international markets, incredible ethnic restaurants, and one amazing park. In 1866 the area known as "Snake Hill" was established as a village outside of the Baltimore city limits. The first settlers of the community were primarily German Americans. In 1870 residents renamed the neighborhood "Highland Town" because of the views it offered over the city. The neighborhood was made part of Baltimore City in 1919. Today, Highlandtown is a thriving and diverse community in Southeast Baltimore. It is the home to restaurants, bars, shops, churches, schools, non-profit organizations, and art galleries. It's diversity in businesses and residents make Highlandtown the unique treasure that its residents love.

Hollins Roundhouse/Southwest Baltimore
Our neighborhoods are some of the most historic in the city. Built to serve workers and supervisors in the B&O Mount Clare Shops, the area's architecture reflects the ethnic and economic diversity of its residents. Some of Baltimore’s most iconic history is based in the area including the B&O Railroad, the Edgar Allen Poe and HL Mencken Houses, the Carroll Mansion, the Carlton St Arabber Stables, and Hollins Market. The neighborhoods have undergone a number of demographic changes during the past forty years, and have suffered from disinvestment, population loss, and harmful urban planning decisions such as the Highway to Nowhere (Route 40) which separates the area from Harlem and neighborhoods to the north. Despite these challenges, the neighborhoods have a long a vibrant artistic tradition, a close-knit community, and strong and active leadership working to strengthen their communities.

Little Italy
Little Italy is a charming, cozy neighborhood located just blocks from the Inner Harbor. Little Italy is home to many Italian immigrants who migrated here for a better life and is important culturally for the city of Baltimore. Little Italy boasts many attractions including fine restaurants, exciting bocce ball tournaments, outdoor movies and the longest running ethnic festivals that honor both St Anthony and St Gabriel. Many Italian immigrants still call Little Italy home. 

Locust Point
Locust Point is located at the tip of the South Baltimore peninsula. The neighborhood was established in 1706 as a port of entry at the mouth of the Inner Harbor. The first residences were built in the 1840 to accommodate workers at the local rail yards, shipping interests, the guano industry and copper smelter. In the later part of the 1800s an immigration station was established on the neighborhood's east end and over 100,000 European immigrants were processed. Many travelers chose to remain. Since then, this small enclave of rowhomes has transformed into a closed-knit urban community that is also embracing the residents of newly built apartments and condominiums.

Patterson Park
Patterson Park is a historic southeast Baltimore neighborhood nestled between Canton, Butchers Hill, Highlandtown and McElderry Park. In the 19th century, streets and homes were laid out surrounding our 155-acre park, and soon attracted a melting pot of residents. The community continued to thrive until the late 20th century when many of Baltimore's neighborhoods struggled with disinvestment and population decline. Today, the neighborhood itself is an eclectic mix of people of all ages and backgrounds who share a belief in contributing to the overall betterment of the place we call home. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of residents who saw the potential in Patterson Park as a thriving and diverse neighborhood, as well as a connective community between East and Southeast Baltimore.

Pigtown is a historic neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our neighborhood was settled in the early 1840s by railroad workers (primarily German) who built the B&O railroad. We owe our history and our unique name to the pigs that were herded off the railroad cars at the B&O through the streets of our neighborhood in the 19th century.  Our neighborhood continues to grow. Last year, we opened five new businesses, including Culinary Architecture Market + Kitchen, a gourmet market and caterer. In addition, six other businesses have opened or signed leases to open in 2017, including Pigtown’s first microbrewery, Suspended Brewing Co. 

Remington was originally built as a mixed-use community oriented around manufacturing businesses active along the Jones Falls Valley, where workers lived in modest homes built around the turn of the century within walking distance to their employment. Remington’s identity lies within its social character. Families have lived in the community for generations. Many neighbors, new and old, have a strong sense of attachment to the neighborhood. The neighborhood’s identity has evolved into an economically and ethnically diverse community, yet the tradition of friendliness and mutual concern among residents remains strong. Today, Remington is seeing a rise in reinvestment and is now considered an “up and coming” neighborhood in the city. A new generation of citizens has taken interest in living in and improving the neighborhood. Remington has experienced significant growth in population and is now on the verge of regaining the vitality it once had.

Waverly Main Street is the historic commercial corridor on Greenmount Avenue from East 29th Street to East 35th Street. It is surrounded by four diverse and engaged neighborhoods – Abell, Better Waverly, Oakenshawe and Waverly. These communities have active associations that regularly partner with Waverly Main Street. When Memorial Stadium closed in the late 1990s, the area experienced major disinvestment and the business district suffered. Through dedicated residents, business owners, neighboring institutions and local nonprofits, like Waverly Main Street, the area is beginning to be revitalized. In 2013, Waverly Main Street was designated on the National Register of Historic Places and has over 100 businesses within its boundaries, including the newly renovated Waverly Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Within the upcoming year, Waverly Main Street will be working on extensive landscaping and beautification efforts as well as major façade improvements and development projects. 

Neighborhood Lights 2018 Artists

Ada Pinkston (Resident Artist: Belair-Edison and Hamilton-Lauraville)
Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and organizer living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. Born in New York, her art explores the intersection of imagined histories and sociopolitical realities on our bodies using monoprint, performance, experimental video, and collage techniques. Inter-subjective exchange is also the primary substrate of her work. Her work has been featured in the Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City and the streets of Berlin. A recipient of a Mississippi State Arts Council Grant, Blaunstein Scholarship, and Michael Mazur Printmaking Scholarship, her most recent collaborative project includes founding the LabBodies Performance Art Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sean Michael Kenny (Resident Artist: Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District)
Sean Michael Kenny's light art installations address his interests through an intriguing and compelling approach that appeals to individuals seeking a connection with intellectually stimulating and spiritually soothing art. Strongly influenced by quantum physics, mechanics, topography, psychology and Christianity, Kenny strives to create accessible experiences that captivate audiences as much as they inspire viewers to examine their relationship with light.

FutureMakers (Resident Artists: Federal Hill)
FutureMakers is a team of maker education coaches - artists, engineers, and educators that bring maker education workshops, experiences with creative technologies, and intensive explorations of tools and materials to communities that are curious about innovation. Since 2012, they have been creating events and experiences that engage participants in design thinking, community building and maker skills coaching, using a rich array of traditional materials, real tools and cutting-edge creative technologies.

Maura Dwyer of Spectrum Studio (Resident Artist: Baybrook (Brooklyn and Curtis Bay) and Remington)
Maura Dwyer is an interdisciplinary artist from Baltimore currently working on ways to contribute to community and awareness-driven art practices. In her professional work, she partners with artists, schools, non-profits and small businesses to create murals and teach workshops. She finds the most joy in working on original content that speaks to a collective experience that may be under-told, whether a live performance, a short film, mural or illustration.

RE/PUBLIC (Resident Artists: Highlandtown)
RE/PUBLIC is a collaborative agency in Baltimore, Maryland formed by individuals dedicated to implementing a cohesive and thoughtful process of development, design & building. Comprised of architects, designers, artists, builders, and developers, all of the members have individual practices while several of the members are faculty at Morgan State University's School of Architecture and Planning. RE/PUBLIC is made up of the following agencies: BETHETO, PI.KL Studio, LED BETTER Studio, and k.lechleiter ARCHITECT.

XXS Group (Resident Artists: Locust Point)
XXS is a small up-and-coming group with a focus on global issues including bonding people together and giving proposals on public education through place making, public engagement and media promotion. Team members are from diverse disciplines varying from each project with the same core artist Moya Sun as the creative director to meet the challenge of different visions.

Pablo Machioli and Owen Silverman Andrews (Resident Artists: Patterson Park)
Pablo Machioli and Owen Silverman Andrews have collaborated on several public art projects, most notably the Madre Luz (2015) statue installation in Wyman Park Dell in protest of the Confederate Lee-Jackson monument. Pablo's murals appear across Baltimore City, particularly in East Baltimore, from the Middle East to Patterson Park to Highlandtown, which focus on the sustainment and celebration of the cultured of marginalized communities. Owen Silverman Andrews, an adult educator, specializes in facilitating cross-linguistic and inter-cultural communication.

MANIFOLD design (Resident Artists: Pigtown)
Karen Lemmert and David Naill are co-founders of the art/architecture studio, MANIFOLD design. Lemmert received her Masters of Architecture from Cranbrook Art Academy and participated in Sao Paulo’s Architectural Biennial.  David Naill earned a Master’s degree (AAD) from Columbia University and received the Lowenfish Prize.  Lemmert & Naill's prior architectural projects include the Visionary Art Museum Think Tank, the MTV Detroit Offices, and MICA's Brown Center. As MANIFOLD design, projects include the Greenwood Reforestation project, Narduli's FSK Bridge Artwork project, the MANalive Urban Orchard, West Baltimore's Positive Youth Center, BDC's 40 facade project, Artist Valerie Maynard's Studio & EHDC Small Business Incubator.  

The Rise of Charm City (Resident Artists: Waverly)
The Rise of Charm City is a multimedia storytelling collaborative, led by Stacia Brown and Ali Post. Founded in 2016, The Rise of Charm City launched its podcast in January 2016, with 30-minute episodes about Baltimore neighborhoods, businesses, and landmarks. With educational backgrounds in creative writing, history and audio production, Stacia and Ali collect oral histories from Baltimore residents of all ages to weave together narratives about the city's past, present and future. 

Malaika Aminata Clements (Resident Artist: Hollins Roundhouse/Southwest Baltimore)
Malaika Aminata Clements is a freelance life experiencer whose ultimate purpose is to promote self-acceptance and understanding through creative expression. In 2013 she graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in print journalism, and has since worked on a number of different projects that use the mediums of writing, videography, photography, music, dance and theatre to share stories that are often ignored. Through OurNature, a creative catalyst co-founded by Malaika in 2010, Malaika aims to build community by creating spaces where genuine human interaction can take place.

Laure Drogoul (Resident Artist: Little Italy)
Laure Drogoul is an interdisciplinary artist, olfactory spelunker and cobbler of situations who lives in Baltimore, MD. Laure works with a wide range of media including projects in which she creates sculpture, performances and events that invite the viewer to be an active participant. She has exhibited and performed internationally and nationally, including at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington Project for the Arts, Baltimore Museum of Art, PS122 and the Center for Architecture in New York as well as many street corners, vacant lots, alleys and underutilized urban spaces. She has received Maryland State Artist awards and a Franklin Furnace Award for Performance Art and has been a recipient of a US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship. In 2006, Drogoul was honored with the Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. 

Kyle Yearwood (Resident Artist: Darley Park)
Kyle Yearwood is a visual artist from Baltimore, MD who utilizes a combination of photography, videography, and animation to promote new ways of seeing and understanding reality. In 2014, he graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in Screenwriting and Animation, and has since used his artwork to help people, especially people of color, see the true beauty of the world as well as himself. His deepest message to his audience is to strive for creation a better reality rather than waiting for one.

Economic Impact Report

View the Light City 2017 impact report here.

View the Light City 2016 impact report here.

Light City 2017 Map

Download the BGE Light Art Walk 2017 Map here.

Download the BGE Light Art Walk 2017 stop descriptions here.

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