Devised by former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger as a localized take on notable nighttime arts festivals in Europe, the nonprofit Luminaria has evolved considerably since its inaugural outing in 2008 — hopping venues and weathering storms while showcasing artistic expression of nearly every imaginable persuasion.
The illuminated extravaganza, helmed by curator Kathy Armstrong, sources its multimedia talent (muralists, performance artists, filmmakers, musicians, you name it) through an open-call format with guidance from a Curatorial Committee that this year comprises dancer and choreographer Amber Ortega Perez, arts advocate and film enthusiast Katherine Sotelo, humor-driven artist Gary Sweeney and music lover, booker and promoter Libby Day.
Instated for its Tricentennial edition in 2018, a second committee focuses solely on the festival’s new closing event, the Mission San José Interpretive Arts Program. Following a theme of “Queen of the Missions,” the program’s second chapter will come together with input from Yadhira Lozano (Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center), Chris Sauter (Southwest School of Art), Brook Rosser (San Antonio College) and Lindsay Compton (San Antonio Missions National Historical Park).
Currently two years deep into a five-year commitment with host venue Hemisfair (also the festival’s home from 2011 to 2013), Luminaria is accepting artist proposals for its 12th annual affair, set for November 9 and 10. Open to local, regional, national and even international artists, the main event will divide $100,000 between 50 artists, with individual awards ranging from $500 to $2,500, based on the scale of the project or performance. Even more competitive and open exclusively to Bexar County residents, the Mission San José Interpretive Arts Program will divide $5,000 evenly between two artists. , Both open calls have a deadline of March 15 and are handled by the locally based but nationally inclusive website PublicArtist.org
Save the dates:
Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival
Free, 7pm-midnight Sat, Nov.9, Hemisfair, 434 S. Alamo St., luminariasa.org.
Community Arts Day
Prices for brunches and workshops to be announced, 11am-3pm Sun, Nov. 10, Hemisfair, 434 S. Alamo St., luminariasa.org.
Mission San José Interpretive Arts Program
Price and time to be announced, Sun, Nov. 10, Mission San José, 701 E. Pyron Ave., luminariasa.org.
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