Category Media  |  June 25, 2019

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) press release: 

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announces the highlights of the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City 2019 under the theme Brilliant Baltimore. The celebration of art, light, literature, music and innovation takes place November 1–10, 2019 at Baltimore’s waterfront. The hours are Friday, November 1 to Sunday, November 3 from 12pm to 10pm and Monday, November 4 to Sunday, November 10 from 5pm to 10pm. In addition, the festival’s program Neighborhood Lights, partners with the Enoch Pratt Free Library to present activities nightly from 5pm to 8pm at eight library branches located in communities throughout Baltimore City.

“The mission of Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is to use the arts to make Baltimore a more vibrant city,” said Chief Executive Officer Donna Drew Sawyer of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. “Our team of professionals works to fulfill that mission every day through visual, literary, culinary and performing arts. The BOPA team and our programming partners are creating one-of-a-kind experiences—making magic with imagination and turning what if into wow!”

For more than two decades, the Baltimore Book Festival has showcased hundreds of cutting-edge authors on multiple stages, sparking dynamic conversations, and the tradition continues in 2019. The headline authors include chef and television host Carla HallCarla’s Soul Food; activist and actor on the hit series “The Good Doctor” Hill HarperNew 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 BourlandFake Like Me, presented by BmoreArt Magazine. The presentations take place in the Literary Salon’s new location the IMET Columbus Center on Pratt Street.

BOPA is working with program partners to bring more exciting authors to the festival. New partner the Invisible Majority presents social justice advocate and author Chris Wilson and Ibrim Kendi, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Longtime partner CityLit Project presents poet and activist Sonia Sanchez. Program partners include Art Way Alliance, CityLit Project, Enoch Pratt Free Library, The Ivy Bookshop, Maryland Romance Writers, Red Emma’s Cooperative and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Light City shines at night with 20 light art installations by artists from around the world including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Oregon, France, Canada, Portugal, The Netherlands and New Zealand. 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. The artists were chosen by jury from more than 125 applications.

Entertainment abounds throughout the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City with performances by a variety of groups including Funsho (Top 40), Eman the Heartbreak (hip-hop), Jah Works (reggae), Outcalls (pop), Survival Society(alternative rock) and Suga Grits (funk/jam). Plus, festival goers can help discover new talent at Sound Off Live!, Baltimore’s premier “Battle of the Bands” event for emerging Maryland-based and regional artists on Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7 at the Hard Rock Cafe.

With the Neighborhood Lights program, the fun of Light City extends beyond the waterfront area with light art, literature, music, STEAM activities and delicious food in the communities. Partnering with the Enoch Pratt Free Library, highlights at the eight library branches include HASA’s Silent Disco in The Stacks, drone workshops with Global Air Media, and the light art installation Words That Light by artist Peter Quinn, which transforms the classic solar-powered road work message boards into short-burst poems that will surprise, delight and inspire people. In 2019, Neighborhood Lights is supported by T. Rowe Price and The Herbert Berman Foundation.

New for this year, BOPA announces the Neighborhood Lights Community Grants. Nonprofit organizations can submit proposals for Neighborhood Lights illuminated events, projects, art installations, performances and/or activations. Ten groups are awarded $5,000 each to make Baltimore shine during Brilliant Baltimore. The possibilities for Neighborhood Lights projects are as unlimited as a community’s collective imagination and creative ideas! Start brainstorming; applications open on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 and close on Monday, July 29, 2019.

The 10-day celebration concludes with a Fireworks Finale on Sunday, November 10 at 9:45pm. Designed and choreographed to music by Fireworks by Grucci, the Inner Harbor basin lights up with a colorful and dynamic show.

The Baltimore Book Festival and Light City is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and made possible by Presenting Sponsor: Whiting-Turner Contracting Company; Founding and Sustaining Sponsors: City of Baltimore, BGE, T. Rowe Price, What Works Studio and WJZ-TV; Leadership Sponsors: France-Merrick Foundation, HASA, Maryland State Arts Council, Maryland Department of Commerce, McGuireWoods LLP and Pier 5 Hotel – Curio a collection by Hilton; Major Sponsors: Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, M&T Bank and Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore; Contributing Sponsors: Atapco Properties, Constellation, Cruise Maryland, PNC Bank and Transamerica; and Community Sponsors: Ellin & Tucker, Green Mountain Energy, The Herbert Bearman Foundation, Horseshoe Casino, Morgan State University, Nora Roberts Foundation, Too Far Media and Towson University.

More details will be announced throughout the summer and fall.  Stay connected online at as well as and or by following on Brilliant Baltimore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Courtesy of Light City Baltimore 

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