Courtesy Light City/Facebook
Courtesy Light City/Facebook

Despite the intensifying testy legal battle between Light City Baltimore’s founders and the city, the show must go on. Last Friday, Baltimore’s arts promotion office announced it had opened registration for the nine-day festival’s innovation conferences (now called “labs”), along with some of the speakers and a couple new focuses.

The biggest change for “Labs@LightCity” is the addition of two daylong series on food and education. Health, design/creativity, sustainability and social issues will also return from last year’s conferences. Attendees can register for a first lab for $150 and pay $99 for each additional lab.

The food lab will feature culinary experts with forward-thinking mindsets toward food who are “reshaping our attitudes towards what we eat,” per a press release. The lab aims to tie in shifts in culinary culture to social change. James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde and JJ Reidy, founder of the Broadway East -based urban agriculture firm Urban Pastoral, will be among the speakers.

The education lab, meanwhile, will have talks from local and national educational leaders. They will speak about how schooling is changing around the country. Speakers include innovation expert Alec Ross, who wrote New York Times bestselling “Industries of the Future,” and Harvard-educated spoken word poet and teacher Donovan Livingston.

In addition to the speakers, Light City’s organizers are also bringing in “leadership curators” to lead each lab with talks and interactive discussions and activities that include the audience.

Registration for the labs is now open. Here’s the full schedule:

  • Monday, April 3 – HealthLab
  • Tuesday, April 4 – GreenLab
  • Wednesday, April 5 – EduLab
  • Thursday, April 6 – SocialLab
  • Friday, April 7 – DesignLab
  • Saturday, April 8 – FoodLab

Light City will,of course will be centered on the vibrant light shows around the harbor and other neighborhoods, and will also include musical performances downtown. The festival is set to run from March 30-April 8, 2017. BOPA said it will announce the full lineup of all events in January.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...