BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It will be a celebration of art, light, literature, music and innovation this November when Light City and the Baltimore Book Festival join forces downtown — turning two popular events into one big festival.
Under the theme of Brilliant Baltimore, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announced Tuesday gave a sneak peek into this year’s event — highlighting headliners and some of the light display themes.
While the Baltimore Book Festival has been a city staple for more than two decades, it’s the fourth year for Light City.
“We have combined the cerebral interest of the book festival with the cultural and artistic wonder of light city,” said BOPA CEO Donna Drew Sawyer.
BOPA said the two efforts will merge for more impact, energy and entertainment.
“We are often portrayed as a city that is down in the doldrums. What this shows is that no, we are so vibrant alive with art and energy,” Sawyer added.
This year’s Baltimore Book Festival will feature headliners like chef and television host Carla Hall, Carla’s Soul Food; activist and actor on the hit series “The Good Doctor” Hill Harper; New York Times bestselling author Dave Cullen, known for the book Columbine and the new release Parkland; international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction including Wakanda Forever Nnedi Okorafor; chef, philanthropist and advocate for the Type 1 diabetic community Sam Talbot; and bestselling Baltimore author Barbara Bourland, Fake Like Me, presented by BmoreArt Magazine.
Light City 2019 will feature 20 light art installations by artists from around the world; nine of the artists are from right here in Baltimore. The artists were chosen among 125 applicants.
The artworks include Masters of the Edifice by Ellis Marsalis III, a photographic project that displays in light and sound the city of Baltimore through large photographic reproductions in lightboxes of some of the many painted murals around the city; Loop by Ekumen, designed by Olivier Girouard, Jonathan Villeneuve, and Ottoblix in collaboration with Generique Design, Jérôme Roy and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks and produced by Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, a retro-futuristic machine that is a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar, that creates animated fairy-tales; Radiant Flux by Kevin Blackistone, an interactive piece that explores the many facets of light through an exploration of solar reflection on its faceted mirrored surface during the day and lunar moonbeams at night; and Waterlight Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau an interactive artwork in the form of a wall of thousands of LEDs that are illuminated when they come in contact with water
Artists like Funsho (Top 40), Eman the Heartbreak (hip-hop), Jah Works (reggae), Outcalls (pop), Survival Society (alternative rock) and Suga Grits (funk/jam) will be featured throughout the week.
In addition to the regularly scheduled activities, the Enoch Pratt Free Library will host Neighborhood Lights activities from 5 to 8 p.m. at its eight branches throughout the city.
New this year are the Neighborhood Lights Community Grants.
“Ten Baltimore city neighborhoods will be awards a 5,000 grant to shine a positive light in their community with programming during the festival,” Mayor Jack Young announced Tuesday.
Applications are open and you’re encouraged to start brainstorming.
“We’re showing the rest of the world what Baltimore is made of,” Sawyer said.
The event will run from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 from noon from 10 p.m. Then from Nov. 4 to Nov. 10 from 5 to 10 p.m. The fireworks finale will be at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10.
WJZ is a proud media sponsor of the event.