Published: October 16, 2019

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contact: Tracy Baskerville
Julie Walsh

November 1-10 festival will bring more than 200 authors and luminaries to Baltimore, including internationally-known chefs, transformational activists and dynamic children’s storytellers

BALTIMORE – Today, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announced the literary stages and exhibitions to be featured in the city’s inaugural combined Baltimore Book Festival and Light City celebration, united under the theme of Brilliant Baltimore. More than 200 visionaries and luminaries will join the festivities, taking their talents and bold ideas to the Inner Harbor and across 19 additional Baltimore neighborhoods in a smorgasbord of literary excellence.

Stages and exhibits include:

  • An engaging Literary Salon at the Inner Harbor featuring nationally recognized authors from across the publishing spectrum, including a ‘Food for Thought’ feature where cookbook authors and chefs will offer festival-goers a chance to sample delicious recipes;
  • A dynamic Children’s Stage in collaboration with the Enoch Pratt Free Library, which will have interactive programs for the whole family;
  • The Ivy Bookshop Stage will celebrate the vibrant book culture in Baltimore;
  • Superhero-enthusiasts can visit the Charm City Comic Pavilion presented by Artway Alliance, where students of all ages and artistic backgrounds will learn how to create characters and stories with the help of artists and writers in the comic industry;
  • The CityLit Stage, curated by the CityLit Project, will offer a wide range of programs and platforms for both emerging and established writers;
  • The Inspire Stage, will host award-winning authors in panel discussions with voices from regional literary publications;
  • The Maryland Romance Writers Stage will host three days of craft discussions and hands-on how-to advice from some of the top authors in romantic and best-selling commercial fiction;
  • The Invisible Majority Stage, presented by Baltimore-based creative community incubator, the Invisible Majority, which provides space, services, and support to Baltimore’s independent creative business community;
  • The unique Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Stage, which will host a full weekend of genre-related panels and signings from your favorite writers; and
  • The cutting-edge Radical Bookfair Pavilion, presented by Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, will bring together the ‘best of the left’ in an uncompromising discussion of contemporary politics and social theory.

“The talented authors and exhibitors joining the Brilliant Baltimore celebration this November will elevate the strong literary talent present in our city,” said Kathy Hornig, Chief Operating Officer and Festivals Director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. “Baltimore is overflowing with artistic expression, and these literary stages and exhibits will illuminate the brilliance of Baltimore through the power of the spoken word.”

All author appearances are free and open to the public, expanding access to achieve cultural equity for all Baltimore residents. According to Americans for the Arts, the arts are frequently perceived to be an unaffordable luxury, even in a strong economy. Regardless of income or personal interests, residents can experience world-class literary events on their doorstep throughout this year’s festival.

Festival-goers who would like to enhance their experience can purchase VIP passes to select ticketed meet-and-greets that feature celebrities, chefs and acclaimed authors appearing at the festival such as Carla Hall, Hill Harper, Sam Talbot, Barbara Bourland, Nnedi Okorafor and Marita Golden.

Produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Brilliant Baltimore is made possible by Presenting Sponsor: Whiting-Turner Contracting Company; Founding and Sustaining Sponsors: BGE, T. Rowe Price, WJZ-TV, What Works Studio, City of Baltimore, and Visit Maryland; Leadership Sponsors: HASA, France-Merrick Foundation, Brown Advisory, Maryland State Arts Council, Pier 5 Hotel – Curio a collection by Hilton, McGuireWoods LLP, and Visit Baltimore; Major Sponsors: Constellation, Green Mountain Energy, M&T Bank, PNC, TooFar Media, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Johns Hopkins, and UMBC; Contributing Sponsors: Atapco and Transamerica; and Community Sponsors: AARP, Bowie State University, Cruise Maryland, The Herbert Bearman Foundation, Metro By T-Mobile, Nora Roberts Foundation, Towson University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Venable.

Visit the Brilliant Baltimore website and follow us Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up on all the events, VIP happenings and awe-inspiring performances taking place this fall.


About Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, events center and film office. By providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, and by producing large-scale events such as Artscape, Baltimore Book Festival and Light City, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.