The Inner Harbor isn’t the only place in Baltimore that will be all lit up for Light City, the annual free lights festival returning this month. In fact, it’s only one of at least 26.
Neighborhood Lights, a series of illuminated visual or performance art projects installed in 14 city neighborhoods, is set to open this weekend. The projects are all the work of local artists, each financed through a $15,000 grant from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.
New this year, an additional 12 organizations are participating in the Brilliant Baltimore Community Showcase, competing for a $2,018 grand prize and nine $1,000 honorable mentions.
The 14 Neighborhood Lights installations can be visited for free Friday-Sunday:
Baybrook (Brooklyn/Curtis Bay): Shadow puppets and an animated film are featured in Maura Dwyer's “Illuminating a Century in the City," through which neighborhood residents share their thoughts on the past 100 years. A kick-off party is set for 6 p.m. Friday at Garrett Park, 3560 Third St., with music, lantern-making stations and a talent showcase.
Belair-Edison and Hamilton-Lauraville: Artist Ada Pinkston is hoping to bring a little Zymurgy — the study of fermentation, when organisms come together and transform into something else — to these two northeast Baltimore communities. Hamilton-Lauraville’s “Zymurgy: Light Bridge...Connecting Barriers Through Storytelling,” set up in a parking lot at Harford and Echodale roads, features seven illuminated portraits of community members etched onto Plexiglas. An opening-night party is set for 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday. Belair-Edison’s “Zymurgy: Light History,” in Herring Run Park, 3800 Belair Road, includes seven greenhouses serving as stages for stories collected from members of the community. A parade in Belair-Edision is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, from Belair Road to Oliver Brewing Co., 4216 Shannon Drive, with a party beginning at 10 p.m,
Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District: From 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday (also April 13, 14, 20 and 21), “Bromo City Lights Feel,” a light installation from Sean Michael Kenny made of LED strips, bicycle rims, optical lenses and crystals, will be on display inside four studios at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, 21 S. Eutaw St.*
Darley Park: Kyle Yearwood’s “Futuristic Vision,” featuring photos from his “Baltimore Galaxy Project” (capturing the city's essence, but with a "galactic dimension") and “Supernatural Series” (of area youths with “supernatural” abilities), will be displayed via projectors and a visual DJ. The event, including a performance from TT The Artist, is set for 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday at Harford Road and Normal Avenue.
Federal Hill: The celebration kicks off with a parade beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Federal Hill Park, 300 Warren Ave. And the night’s festivities will conclude with a party from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. at 42 E. Cross St. Throughout the weekend, a display of long-exposure photographs, made by community residents creating patterns with LED lights, will be on display at businesses along Light Street. Photos and videos from people in the neighborhood, taken in the weeks leading up to Neighborhood Lights under the supervision of FutureMakers, can be found at lightstreetlights.com.
Highlandtown: “Breaking Bread,” installed at 25 S. Conkling St., includes three components: a sequence of steel ribs that form a canopy of light; an oversized, illuminated steel and acrylic dinner table; and lighted panels mounted onto shipping containers, projecting light out over the table. A community dinner is set for Friday night.
Hollins Roundhouse/Southwest Baltimore: A street festival surrounding Hollins Market, 1100 Hollins St., will highlight “Stories of SeWeBo,” told through media both analog (newsprint) and digital (virtual reality). Plus music, food trucks, workshops and more. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday.
Little Italy: Laure Drogoul’s “Grotto of the never, never, neverending Neverland" will turn the bocce courts at 902 Stiles St. into an illuminated cave with a canopy of re-purposed materials, projected video and light. Enjoy an evening of pageantry, performance, dance and music from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Locust Point: “Harbor Memory,” located at Under Armour headquarters, 1020 Hull St., uses 100 fiber-optic "plants" to create lighted wetlands reminiscent of what the Inner Harbor may have looked like before its development. Visitors can register to take one of the “plants” home later.
Patterson Park: Pablo Machioli and Owen Silverman Andrews’ “Luz” (Spanish for “light”) will use recycled materials to spell out the word in giant letters. On display at Library Square, 158 N. Linwood Ave.
Pigtown/Washington Village: “Scope: Terra, Peri, Kaleido” consists of mobile illuminated units, or “scopes,” that can act together or individually. The installation will be visiting the 700 block of Washington Boulevard on Friday, the 800 block on Saturday and the 900 block on Sunday.
Remington: Another installation from Maura Dwyer, “Projecting the Past, Illuminating the Future" presents a projected shadow puppet play at the Sisson Street Community Park, 2017 Sisson St. — part of a celebration of the neighborhood's past and future beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Waverly: “Rise & Shine Waverly” offers three 10-minute podcasts on the community’s history, available to be heard from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday at the Waverly Main Street offices, in the old Boulevard Theatre at 3302 Greenmount Ave. The outside of the offices will be adorned with an illuminated sign and historical images.
Brilliant Baltimore communities
The 12 groups competing in the inaugural Brilliant Baltimore Community Showcase and their planned displays:
Concerned Citizens for a Better Brooklyn will light up the intersection of Hanover and Potee streets.
Roland Park’s Gilman School, 5407 Roland Ave., will light the campus in blue.
Govan’s Gateway, a partnership between the York Road Partnership, Govanstowne Business Association and Loyola University's York Road Initiative, will light up the corner of York Road and Belvedere Avenue.
The Hampden Community Council is hosting a neighborhood lighted shrine competition, offering a block party as the first place prize.
The Fell’s Point Light Festival, set for April 14-15, will feature interactive light installations on Broadway Square, along with music and children’s activities.
On April 14, the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association will honor Martin Luther King Jr. and black history with a marching band, cheerleaders, refreshments, games, speakers, a children’s book giveaway and more. Residents should bring flashlights and wear blue and white to the event on McKean Avenue, between Baker and Presstman avenues.
Passion City Inc. will light up the Park Heights community with glow stick-inspired creations — including accessories, apparel and poster projects — along with dancing and marching.
The Pratt Library’s 16th annual Fairy Tale Extravaganza, at the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St. in Mount Vernon, will allow visitors from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday to wander through an “enchanted forest lit with atmospheric uplighting to find the light-covered royal throne and fairy light curtain.”
The Shekhinah in Carrollton Ridge is planning to install solar-powered maps atop posts to illuminate lots at 410-422 S. Pulaski St. and 413-425 S. Pulaski St., and to illuminate the Samuel F. B. Morse School building at 424 S. Pulaski St.
In Oliver, Zion Baptist Church, at 1700 N. Caroline St., and the Oliver Community Association, 1400 E. Federal St., are planning color light displays. Washington Hill’s The Mix Church, 1725 E. Baltimore St., will feature a color light display as well.
More information on Light City, Neighborhood Lights and the Brilliant Baltimore Community Showcase can be found at lightcity.org.