Published: November 1, 2019

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Laura Shuey-Kostelac

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts hosts a stellar lineup of visual, literary, performing and culinary arts luminaries in 10-day festival of art, literature, music, ideas and innovation.

BALTIMORE – Today through November 10th, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) presents a combined Baltimore Book Festival and Light City celebration under the theme of Brilliant Baltimore. This 10-day extravaganza, which extends across Baltimore City, is the nation’s first and only combined festival of art, literature, music, ideas & innovation.

“The combined Baltimore Book Festival and Light City celebration showcases Baltimore’s fierce spirit of innovation and creativity that makes the city a place people are proud to live, work and play,” said Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “Few cities can boast the diverse cultural pedigree of Charm City, and this November’s one-of-a-kind celebration is a unique opportunity to share our great city with the nation and the world.”

“The sheer scope and diversity of this year’s combined Baltimore Book Festival and Light City celebration shines a light on the soul of our community, illuminating Baltimore as an unwavering hub of arts and innovation,” said Donna Drew Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. “The cutting-edge artwork and ideas presented this year by innovators from Baltimore and around the world will honor the city’s history and illuminate our bright future.”

The united Baltimore Book Festival and Light City provides residents and visitors alike with 10 days of ideas and innovation. Highlights include:

  • 19 world-class public light art installations and galleries, many of which address timely themes and boldly merge traditional art forms with new technology, created by visionary artists from across the globe
  • Thought-provoking literature and a roster of more than 200 authors and luminaries, including Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director of the African-American Museum of History and Culture; Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who spearheaded efforts to reveal the Flint water crisis; activist and actor Hill Harper; New York Times-bestselling Baltimore author Kevin Cowherd; and Nnedi Okorafor, the award-winning science-fiction novelist who wrote Wakanda Forever
  • Culinary creators, authors and innovators including celebrity chef Carla Hall; restaurateur and Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot; and chef and activist Nichole Mooney
  • More than 45 dynamic live concerts and performances including world-renowned jazz musician Sean Jones; former contestant on NBC’s The Voice Funsho; reggae artist Jah Works; and Baltimore-based band Super City
  • 10 engaging Literary Stages in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where attendees can engage in dialogue with both local and nationally recognized authors and innovators
  • Reinvented Neighborhood Lights Program, which will bring immersive arts experiences to 19 Baltimore neighborhoods
  • Drone Light Shows by Global Air Media that will illuminate Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with a synchronized array of drones on November 1st and 2nd
  • Dramatic Fireworks Finale that will serve as the dazzling conclusion to 10 days of innovation and celebration

With nearly all events free and accessible to the public, the festival breaks down barriers and brings together diverse audiences to interact with and discuss world-class art, literature and ideas.

The festival also serves as an economic and creative catalyst for the city of Baltimore, elevating visionaries across creative pillars both locally and globally. Baltimore’s creative workforce is an integral part of the city’s economy. According to a report from Americans for the Arts, more than 15,000 people are employed by nonprofits arts and cultural organizations in Baltimore, and their creative output generated more than $606 million in economic activity in 2017.

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, City of Baltimore, T. Rowe Price, Visit Maryland, What Works Studio, and WJZ-TV ; Leadership Sponsors: Brown Advisory, France-Merrick Foundation, HASA,  Maryland State Arts Council, McGuireWoods LLP and Pier 5 Hotel – Curio a collection by Hilton; Major Sponsors: Constellation, Green Mountain Energy, Downtown Partnership, M&T Bank, PNC, TooFar Media, Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Johns Hopkins, UMBC and Waterfront Partnership; Contributing Sponsors: Atapco, Transamerica and Visit Baltimore; and Community Sponsors: AARP, Bowie State University, Cruise Maryland, The Herbert Bearman Foundation, Metro By T-Mobile, Nora Roberts Foundation, Spirit Cruises, Towson University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Venable.

Visit the Brilliant Baltimore website and follow us FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay abreast of all of the events, VIP happenings and awe-inspiring performances taking place this fall. If you’d like to share this news on social media, please tag @LightCityBmore @BmoreBookFest and hashtag #BrilliantBaltimore.

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.