I know it’s just slightly late for a Luminaria blog. Or it’s way too early. I haven’t quite figured out which it is yet.
But having written about it for two years running (year 1, year 2), it was always my plan to share my perspective on this year’s incarnation – or regeneration, as it were. That’s one thing about Luminaria – you can throw in a gratuitous Doctor Who reference like that and it actually fits. Because each year brings with it its own personality, its own energy, its own life… and that’s about as far as I got with the analogy. So I’ll leave it to you to decipher where, on a scale of Hartnell to Smith, the 2010[th] Luminaria would fall. Meanwhile, I’ll approach the point…
As part of the PrimaDonna team, I’ve been honored to be a participant in Luminaria from the beginning – indirectly through Crush (which was filmed just before I signed on for Dating Danielle) in 2008, and directly through The Art of Disaster last year. And it was just as great an honor when we received word that Fantasy, Inc., our 48 Hour collaboration with Film Classics Productions, had been selected to screen this year. At the same time, we found out that the film (alongside Crush and several other S.A.-produced films) would also screen in Austin that same weekend as part of Film Classics’ Short Lived showcase. Near-simultaneous screenings in two separate cities … that’s pretty cool.
So, while Bryan represented the film in Austin, Nikki and I would speak for it here in San Antonio. Actually, Nikki had quite a bit of speaking to do, as she was also invited to MC on Stage 1 for the first half of the night. Not a bad gig, that. So, with a stack of Liptonian notecards in hand, we made our way to Hemisfair Park for this year’s festivities.
Now, when you consider that nearly 200,000 people attended Luminaria last year, that’s quite a stage for anyone. But I’ve known and worked with Nikki long enough to know she was up to the task. And she did a great job, engaging with the crowd, promoting the artists, and sounding the call to action. It was Nikki at her most energetic, her most enthusiastic – a terrific performance.
Meanwhile, I made my way through the crowds. With reports of over 200,000 attending this year, you can imagine that was quite an adventure, but we did get to experience a good part of the festivities, from the film screenings to some of the stage performances (including two one-act plays from The Renaissance Guild, and beautiful turns by the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet and members of the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas) to some rather stunning artwork in the Convention Center gallery to the random appearances of Oscar Alvarado’s and Jacinto Guevara’s Art Cart. (I can’t forget to mention Mitch Webb and the Swindles, who put on a rocking set near the end of the night.)
The night was great fun, and I felt like I caught even more of its spirit than I had in previous years, more of its eclecticism. Still, I wish I could have seen more of it. So in that spirit, my apologies to all the artists I missed, or at least didn’t name, along the way. And my thanks to all the artists who participated this year, to all the MCs (including the ever-reliable Roman Garcia and Texas Public Radio’s Nathan Cone), and most of all, to all the organizers and volunteers who work so hard to make Luminaria happen every year. It’s a long list, I know, but if you’re reading this (and even if you’re not – as a writer, though, I’m hoping you are), know that what you do is truly appreciated.
And so concludes this year’s Luminarian musings. Whether you experienced it directly or vicariously, thanks for sitting in on the ride. I hope you’ll join us again next year.
Take care, and “be seeing you”…
(Note/Plug: For another perspective on the events, I strongly recommend Erik Bosse’s blog – Erik is a local filmmaker, co-producer of Luminaria’s film screenings, and one of the city’s leading bloggers. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you should.)