[Local Events/Opinion] Lights Out Light City: Innovative Light Festival Concludes Its Second Year With A Bang [Written By Shae McCoy]

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Last weekend concluded the second year of the first large-scale Light festival in the United States. Light City was launched in 2016 by The Baltimore office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) and it has left its artistic footprint in the city. The festival takes up Baltimore’s  Inner Harbor and parts of Harbor East with over 50 attractions that can only be enjoyed at night. This event also ignited events in surrounding neighborhoods. Light City started on March 31st and ended on April 8th.

Last year when I attended the Light City, I was part of the general public. As well as other Baltimoreans, I was skeptical about this event. I attended only two days of the festival last year because the weather just would not cooperate. I didn’t really have a chance to be as involved with Light City as I was this year.

First, I’d like to thank Corey Lacey for bringing me on board as a social media volunteer, his execution was impeccable. As a volunteer I was able to witness and enjoy Light City as intended on doing. There was rain on the first day, but even with the inclement weather people showed up and had a good time. As the festival progressed the crowd grew and the weather lightened up. 

Light City is divided up in to a few subsections.

“OVO” taken by Shae McCoy of Coy-Op Photos

You have the BGE Light Art Walk, which consists of the light installations along the Inner Harbor. My favorite installation was “OVO,” put together by the OVO Collective. The OVO Collective consists of Belgium artist Koert Vermeulen, Marcos Viñals Bassols, Pol Marchandise and Mostafa Hadi. Not only did this installation illuminate the night skies, but I saw amazing photos of it including my own.

Neighborhood Lights, which was brought to you by T. Rowe Price, granted eight Baltimore neighborhoods 15,000 dollars to create public art projects, opposed to the 5 neighborhoods that participated in 2016.

Mini Light City focused on hands-on crafts activities and included performances from the youth. The Black Cherry Puppet Theater , an art showcase I’ve been familiar with since I was a child, was one of the few puzzle pieces of the Mini Light City festivities.

Biz Markie taken by Shae McCoy of Coy-Op Photos

Light City was sprinkled with a variety of musical and artistic performances. Biz Markie and Jay Claxton were two of the many people who rocked the main stage . I can’t forget about the labs, as I felt they held the most weight of the festival.

Jamie McDonald founder at Generosity Inc.| Light City Innovative Food Lab| Taken by Shae McCoy of Coy-Op Photos

Labs at Light City consisted of six innovative conferences and although the tickets did cost a luminary program made it possible for those who couldn’t afford, to attend. There was a health, education, food, green, social and design lab. Through the luminary program I was able to attend the food lab. Each lab promoted social change in its own unique way. These labs included key note speakers from Baltimore and speakers on a national scale. What was great about these labs is that they all had take aways, whether it was figuring out how we could get healthier food out to the communities or how to just make Baltimore better period.

Still a bit skeptical because you didn’t attend? Don’t worry you will have a chance next year. Want to get involved with Light City for 2018? Click the link below: