The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on November 24, 2015 · T5
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · T5

Baltimore, Maryland
Issue Date:
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
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BARBARA HADDOCK TAYLOR BALTIMORE SUN Nina Rutledge, left, and Jeff Fahringer, walk around on stilts at the Nov. 10 announcement by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the office of promotion and the arts of "Light City Baltimore," the first large-scale international light festival in the United States. It will be held downtown from March 28-April 3. Rutledge and Fahringer will perform during the upcoming festival. Baltimore light festival to feature animatronic peacock, free concert By Mary Carole McCauley The Baltimore Sun The Light City Baltimore festival early next year will feature an animatronic peacock, hundreds of illuminated sculptures resembling a flotilla of paper boats, "lighted" cotton candy and a free concert by Baltimore musician Dan Deacon. Early details of the festival organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts billed as the first large-scale, international light festival in the U.S. were announced Nov. 10. "Light City will be nothing that Baltimore has ever seen before," Kathy Hornig, BOPA's festivals director, said in a phone interview. "People's imaginations will be sparked, and kids and families will make memories together that will last forever." The weeklong event is modeled after Australia's 18-day "Vivid Sydney" festival, which drew roughly L4 million visitors in 2014. Local tourism officials estimate that the inaugural Baltimore event could attract about 350,000 visitors, and hope to raise about $4 million through private donations. The city's tourism arm, Visit Baltimore, will contribute about $250,000 annually. Light City Baltimore will run after dark from March 28 through April 3 along a L2-mile art walk in the Inner Harbor. The lineup will include 29 original works of light art, more than 50 concerts and 100 performances of dance, theater and puppetry. A ticketed event known as LightCityU will bring together thinkers from education, public health and other fields to brainstorm ideas for social change at the UMBC Columbus Center at the Inner Harbor. "Baltimore is a diverse city," Mayor Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the office of promotion and the arts announce "Light City Baltimore," the first large-scale international light festival in the United States. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a news release. "Although we have challenges, our city is filled with talented people living and working here every day. Light City Baltimore will showcase the reach and depth of Baltimore's creative communities." The festival will include Neighborhood Lights, a program awarding $10,000 to five communities to create public art projects in collaboration with artists-in-residence. The neighborhoods participating are Coldstream Homestead Montebello, Hampden, Greater Mondawmin, Litde Italy and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District. The participants announced Tuesday come from the U.S., England and Australia and were selected by a panel of jurors from more than 200 entries. Deacon, who founded the Wham City artist collective and who is known nationally for his innovative performances, will put on a free concert April 2. Among the light installations is "Voyage," the flotilla of paper-like boats attached to underwater LED lights by the British artistic collective known as Aether & Hemera. 'Testival-goers can manipulate the colors and patterns of the rainbow lights with their cellphones," Hornig said. As for the lighted cotton candy? "It's completely safe to eat," Hornig said. "I think the LED light is in the cone."

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