UMBC shines at Brilliant Baltimore with artwork, talks, performances, a reception, and more

From November 1 through 10, UMBC will again join in two of Baltimore’s signature events — Light City and the Baltimore Book Festival — which will be held together in 2019 under the theme of Brilliant Baltimore.

Organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, Brilliant Baltimore promises to illuminate the city with literature, ideas, world-class light installations, and performances. UMBC’s contributions include a talk by President Freeman Hrabowski, a UMBC-Light Ekphrastic panel discussion, a panel discussion on Baltimore Revisited featuring UMBC faculty, and the SPARK gallery, which will showcase visual artwork and offer performances and presentations.

President Hrabowski: The Empowered University // Sunday, November 3, 2 p.m., Literary Salon, USM Columbus Center

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski will discuss his new book, The Empowered University: Shared Leadership, Culture Change, and Academic Success, written with Philip Rous and Peter Henderson. The Empowered University examines how university communities support academic success by cultivating an empowering institutional culture and broad leadership for innovation. President Hrabowski argues that higher education can play a unique role in addressing the fundamental divisions in our society and economy by supporting people in reaching their full potential.

Pres. Hrabowski and UMBC students on the roof of the Administration Building.

SPARK Gallery // November 1 – 10, 5 – 10 p.m., USM Columbus Center

The SPARK Gallery represents a the third year of collaboration between UMBC, Towson University, PNC Bank, and BOPA. Curated by Catherine Borg, it features light art by UMBC faculty Corrie Francis Parks, Evan Tedlock, Lisa Moren, Lynn Cazabon, Timothy Nohe, Vin Grabill, and Colette Searls, with presentations of animated films by UMBC students.

Performances and events at SPARK will be presented by the UMBC Jazz Ensemble, directed by Matt Belzer; Lisa Cella and Stephen Bradley; and the UMBC New Music Ensemble; the Umbilicus percussion ensemble. They also include a site-specific dance performance by UMBC students choreographed by Ann Sofie Clemmensen and Carol Hess.

The SPARK gallery (shown here in 2018) will showcase art and performances.
The SPARK gallery (shown here in 2018) will showcase art and performances.

UMBC Light City Reception // Saturday, November 9, 4 – 9 p.m., USM Columbus Center

UMBC alumni and the UMBC community are invited to stop by the Columbus Center to enjoy light refreshments and pick up a fun glow in the dark giveaway (for first 300 guests), and enjoy a breathtaking view of the harbor and Light City Baltimore. Attendees are encouraged to bring friends and family, and to register in advance for the reception.

Light City visitors enjoyed the UMBC reception in 2018.

Word & Image // Saturday, November 2, 6 p.m., World Trade Center

In its first decade, The Light Ekphrastic (TLE) has paired more than 450 artists and writers from Baltimore and around the world to create new works of art and writing inspired by that of their partners. In “Word & Image: Creative Collaborations with UMBC and The Light Ekphrastic,” TLE participants share their work and talk about how the experience of collaborating with strangers has broadened the way they create.

The panel will be co-moderated by Jenny O’Grady, editor of UMBC Magazine; and Timothy Nohe, professor of visual arts and director of the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts. Panelists will include Melissa Cormier, M.F.A. ’17, visual arts, and Katie Feild ’05, visual arts.

Baltimore Revisited // Sunday, November 3, 2 p.m., Radical Book Fair Pavilion

Baltimore Revisited is an innovative new edited volume that examines the complex histories of Charm City and efforts underway to address the city’s pervasive inequalities. These issues continue to resonate with Baltimore residents almost five years after the death of Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Uprising that followed.

The book is co-edited by Nicole King, associate professor and chair of American Studies; Kate Drabinski, lecturer, gender, women’s, and sexuality studies; and University of Baltimore historian Joshua Clark Davis. King will moderate a panel that will include Baltimore Revisited contributors Drabinski; Michael Casiano, assistant professor, American studies; and Ashley Minner, professor of the practice, American studies. It will take place in the Radical Book Fair Pavilion at the Baltimore Book Festival.

Drabinski has shared, “We hope the book raises questions about how history can inform the present to understand the roots of the city’s many inequalities. We wish readers to imagine new ways of being in and organizing for Baltimore in the future.”

More information about all events is available at UMBC at Brilliant Baltimore.

Featured image: The roof of the Columbus Center was illuminated in 2016 with artwork by UMBC’s Kelley Bell and Corrie Francis Parks. Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.