Devised by former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger in the multidisciplinary vein of illuminated nighttime arts festivals like Paris, France’s citywide Nuit Blanche, Luminaria
has evolved, morphed and bounced around downtown since its inception in 2008. Under the direction of former Southwest School of Art exhibitions director Kathy Armstrong for the last two years, the perennially roving festival weathered a wet, windy yet ultimately fascinating 2015 in a footprint anchored by the San Antonio Museum of Art and moved east in 2016 with a three-day, community-focused program that connected landmarks and organizations including the Hays Street Bridge, the Carver Community Cultural Center, Dignowity Park, Lockwood Park and the Ella Austin Community Center.
In a move that will inevitably remind longtime followers of a period not all that long ago (2011-2013), Luminaria has announced plans to return to a quickly evolving Hemisfair
for a 10th anniversary event to be held November 9-11. Beyond a free, multimedia celebration in a footprint that encompasses Yanaguana Garden, the Magik Theatre, the Mexican Cultural Institute, UNAM – San Antonio and the historic structures that dot the park (7pm-midnight Fri, Nov. 10), Luminaria 2017 includes a series of ticketed events.
Having proven a significant impact on Luminaria programming over the last two years, the annually changing Artistic Advisory Committee (which Armstrong implemented upon her arrival in 2015) this year comprises San Antonio Poet Laureate Jenny Browne; “space country” musician Garrett T. Capps; artist/curator/gallerist Joe De La Cruz; Carver Community Cultural Center programming supervisor Cassandra Parker-Nowicki; Youth Orchestras of San Antonio music director Troy Peters; performing artist/educator/cultural arts administrator Joel Celestino Settles; and avid diver/visual artist Maritza “Blu” Vazquez.
Reinstated in 2015, Luminaria’s open-call format remains in place and is open to multiple disciplines (including music, performance, visual, literary, dance, film, and mixed-media), with proposals being accepted through May 10 (specific requirements can be found here
). Stay tuned to luminariasa.org
for dates and details about three upcoming application Q&A sessions.