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A World-Class Arts Festival in San Antonio: Luminaria

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By Spring Sault

Luminaria, an annual free contemporary arts festival produced in San Antonio, has become a premier event spotlighting some of the largest names in the city’s modern artisanship each year. Founded in 2008 by then-mayor Phil Hardberger, the festival has become a world-class venue with showings in both the visual as well as performing arts, merging creative expression with experience. Its mandate: to highlight the historic downtown as a creative backdrop, while showcasing the arts as an integral component of San Antonio.

A World-Class Arts Festival in San Antonio: Luminaria

Photo: www.luminariasa.org

The 2015 festival locations feature over 2,100 scheduled offerings on 2 stages as well as the San Antonio Museum of Art Auditorium, the museum grounds, East Jones Avenue and Maverick Park. Exhibitions and performances, the breathtaking art of light projection, and a multitude of modern-day art presentations and pieces will fill the grounds. Its provocative agenda also features special ticketed events incorporating gourmet luncheon opportunities with participating performing, visual and recording artists, workshops on modern dance as well as marimbas (wooden xylophones from Zimbabwe), in addition to a coordinated panel discussion exploring the influence of Latino culture and the role of identity in the contemporary arts. This segment, entitled Art & Identity: How San Antonio Shaped its Artists will be featured at the Friends of the American Latino Museum at the Saint Anthony Hotel.

A World-Class Arts Festival in San Antonio: Luminaria

Photo: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLatinoMuseum

In its seven-year history, Luminaria has been hosted at various venues throughout the city of San Antonio, including the historic Alamo Plaza, enveloping Peacock Alley and Navarro St. In following years it grew to include exhibitions at the city’s convention center, Magik Theatre and the La Villita Historic Arts Village. From there the festival moved to accommodate the ever-growing numbers of connoisseurs that marveled at its compositions and installations, and found a home at Hemisfair Park from 2011-2013. 2 years later, still growing in size and nature, the festival has, for the first time ever, retained a full-time executive director (Kathy Armstrong) and managing staff to coordinate and disseminate all that is Luminaria, coming full-circle to be hosted on the streets of San Antonio in the River North District.

A World-Class Arts Festival in San Antonio: Luminaria

Photo Credit: www.arigoldfilms.com

Mayor Ivy Taylor is anticipated to open the 2015 event which is scheduled from 7 p.m. to midnight, Fri., Oct. 23 and Sat., Oct. 24. The fresh and free alternative to conventional art exhibitions and galleries now attracts over 1 million visitors to witness 9 hundred-plus performances and more than twelve hundred contemporary art displays. A broad range of musical styling to attract all walks, film and dance performances, dazzling light projection displays shining into the night, and pure delights of the imagination produced into a tangible, physical sensory experience welcomes the art enthusiast with open arms.

A World-Class Arts Festival in San Antonio: Luminaria

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/LuminariaSA

The Festival is known for introducing new and hidden gems in San Antonio and offers art ingénues the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with established talents in an exhibition that’s been making lasting connections with the public for 7 years. Collaborations and innovations have developed between local and international artisans, producing leading works of art in light, sound and contemporary performing and visual mediums, making Luminaria an innovator in artist-to-audience connection.

For more information regarding Luminaria dates, exhibitions, artists and venues, please visit http://luminariasa.org or email [email protected]. Telephone inquiries can also be made at (210) 721-1670.

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