ART

In 2002, Paris, France introduced “Nuit Blanche” (or “white night”) as a way to bring art out of the gallery and make it more accessible to the masses. Several years later, then-San Antonio mayor Phil Hardberger brought the idea overseas, and now, in its fifth year, Luminaria brings in an annual attendance of over 21,000 visitors.

Since the birth of this international event, Luminaria has become a local staple in San Antonio.

As the single largest free event in town, Luminaria will showcase over 80 artists and performers this year. The event encourages artists to collaborate, as the HemisFair Park grounds are transformed into an innovative and interactive contemporary art space available to all artistic disciplines. This year, in an attempt to show off the best of the best, Luminaria hired six out-of-town professional curators bringing in such artists as Cathy Cunningham Little, and UTSA alumnae Gissette Padilla and Jennings Shefield.

Expect to be graced by Ballet San Antonio, San Antonio Jazz Ensemble and 12-year old flamenco dancer Mia Angela de Lourdes as well as many others.

Jazz Poets of San Antonio and Gemini Ink will be rocking the microphones with local literature. Theatrical performances from Proxy Theatre Company and Crawling with Monsters will be present along with many others.

Luminaria is an excellent example of the vast amount of community musical talent, stockpiling gifted musicians that are sure to impress.Hip-hop artist Mexican Stepgrandfather, country artist April Hall and her band, jazz rockers Royal Punisher and Dixon’s Violin are just several of the almost three dozen musical groups to perform throughout the night’s festivities.

The duo Blacktop Legends will play at Luminaria for the first time this year. UTSA grad student Christian Umana, the MC and producer of the team, said of the event, “We feel excited and anxious. Performing at an event this large is something that you only dream about as a kid.” Their music is “authentic hip-hop” that hits close to home.

Luminaria is on May 5, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. at HemisFair Park in downtown San Antonio. Food vendors will be present for those with a hankering for good, local eats. Talented artists will be present for those looking to engage in an active, imaginative community of inventors.

In the words of Umana, “We’re hoping everyone comes out and supports… all of the artistic talent that San Antonio has to offer.”

For more information, visit Luminaria’s website at luminariasa.org.

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