2023 Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival

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Activated: 03/06/2023
Deadline: 03/26/2023
Call Summary
The Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival is a nighttime outdoor celebration of the arts in San Antonio, Texas. It is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 2023, from 6:00pm to midnight in downtown’s Hemisfair footprint including the new Civic Park grounds, and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Regional, national, and international artists are invited to submit a proposal to be part of this iconic festival which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Emerging and established artists in film, music, theatre, spoken word, dance, fine art, sculpture, large structural installations, in-gallery installations, digital art, performance art, and multi-media are encouraged to apply.

Luminaria follows government protocols for the Covid-19 pandemic. All featured artists and their support teams must comply with any and all requirements.
Budget Description
Luminaria is committed to paying featured artists fair and equitable compensation for presentation of their new or existing work. New work to be premiered at the festival is most desirable.

Luminaria provides exposure to an audience of tens of thousands; publicity of your work; media interviews; in-house produced videos; social media shares; and professional production support to include staging, electrical, lighting, projectors, and security. An estimated 28,250 people attended the 2021 festival and closer to 7,000 in 2022 due to the cold front experienced that November weekend. Therefore, we decided to move the festival date to October.

International and out of town applicants must provide their own travel documents, transportation, and accommodations.

Honorariums for individual artists are $750 and go up to $1500 on average for groups large and small. No more than $2,000 is awarded to a single applicant. One contact is to be listed on the application to represent the group. Checks will be made to that contact only. No disbursements will be issued to multiple group parties. Payment will be remitted at the festival or mailed after the event.
Project Description
2021 Festival Statistics
• Attendance: 28,250
• 67% Latinx attendees
• $50,000 in artist honorariums
• 16 individual woman artists
• 3 artist collectives led by women
• 26 individual BIPOC featured artists
• 9 collectives of BIPOC artists
• 44 Featured Artists/Groups
• 206 total individual artists

2022 Festival Stats
• 7,000 Attendees
• 30-40 degree temps
• 13 Women-led Featured Artists/Groups
• 24 BIPOC Featured Artists/Groups (Black and Indigenous People of Color)
• 33 Featured Artists/Groups
• Over 250 individual artists
• Artists from the Greater San Antonio area comprised the majority of Featured Artists and were accompanied by artists from Houston, Pennsylvania, New York, Chicago, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Germany, Mexico City, Monterrey, Madrid, Spain, Ecuador, S Korea, Canada, and England.
• Artist age range was 16-72.

Earned Media and Publicity Value
• More than 100 media hits
• Unique visitors per month: 13.54 million
• Nielsen audience: 1.17 million
Grand total (audience): 14.71 million

Top News Articles
• San Antonio Express-News: “Thousands Turn Out to Mark Return of San Antonio’s Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival”
• San Antonio Report: “Luminaria Returns, ‘Feeds the Soul’”
• San Antonio Current: “Breathtaking Moments You Missed at Luminaria 2021”

Project Description
Luminaria produces a contemporary festival of international stature, supports downtown & the urban core, and brings attention to San Antonio's deeply rooted arts and culture.

Artwork Location:
Anchored in Hemisfair and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival establishes this downtown district as a cultural and entertainment destination. Luminaria will work with each artist to make placement decisions within the festival footprint. There is no first come, first served. Final placement decisions will be made by Luminaria in order to produce a cohesive showcase of all the arts and top talent.

Application Donation: Luminaria does not charge artists to submit an application, however, donations to cover the cost of the application portal are appreciated. Recommended donation of $10 can be sent via PayPal at or CashApp at$LuminariaSAarts

Thank you and Good Luck!
This call is open to all emerging and established working artists. Applicants may apply as an individual or as a group with one lead contact person. All proposals must be submitted via this online application process on Artwork sales are prohibited at the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival as it is a showcase event. Selected Featured Artists are required to be present at the festival (Saturday, October 21, 2023). All artists must be available and open to interacting with the public and the media to promote the festival and their art. In addition, artist networking opportunities will be made available, and participation is highly recommended.
Application Requirements
Resume: 1 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 1 - 10
Artist Statement: 1500 word maximum
Letter of Interest: 2000 word maximum
Tell us in detail about your project proposal. What is the concept? Are you presenting as an individual or in a group? Does this project work well in a nighttime setting? What are the artwork dimensions or space requirements? Explain the materials and equipment involved to produce this work successfully. How does your work connect and inspire a general audience? Can your work be installed the day of the event and be ready by start time? (5am-5pm set-up) Can your work be deinstalled and removed by 2am? Why do you feel you should be a Featured Artist?
References: 1
Artists are allowed to apply in teams.
Each artist is to submit the full allotment of work examples.
Additional Requirements
Age Range 2
Artist Statement Text
Artistic Genre
City Council District
Contact Information Text
Headshot Image/Video Upload
Self Certification Agreement/Certification
Social Media & Website Text
Selection Information
Selection Process
The applications are reviewed by the Curatorial Committee in both quantitative and qualitative methods to ensure a diverse selection of artistic disciplines, gender, ethnicities, and representative voices are presented. Through an open call for proposals and direct invitations, Luminaria’s curatorial committee ensures the festival's dedication to artistic excellence. Members of the curatorial committee are vetted by Luminaria’s Executive Director and represent a diverse group of local arts professionals.
Upon closure of the open call, curators will review and submit scores for each applicant. The curatorial committee will meet to discuss and review the top numeric scores. The top candidates will be contacted to discuss their proposal and any suggestions or comments by the curators. Direct invitations to underrepresented artists may also be extended. Private or personal communication with Luminaria staff, Festival Team members, Board members, or 2023 Festival Curators is highly discouraged during the judging process to prevent any unfair advantage or influence.
Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated on their overall professionalism, creativity, originality, and innovation. Space activation needs as well as a diverse representation of artistic talents will be considered. Cross-disciplinary works and site-specific works are encouraged. All works must be new or created within the last three years, and all artwork / performance must be entirely your own creation.
Upon successful completion of the application process, you will receive a confirmation email. Luminaria will contact applicants with the results of this year’s open call for proposals – applications will be declined, accepted or waitlisted. Final programming and featured artists for Luminaria 2023 will be announced publicly in the fall. No emails, phone calls, or social media messages about the status of your application will be accepted.
Additional Resources
Unnamed Resource (PDF)
Contact Information
Submission Instructions


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