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Luminaria to light up San Antonio for a fifth time

By Dennis M. Ayotte, Jr.
La Prensa

San Antonio.- Richard Rosen has quite the résumé— his film credits include writing and co-producing the documentary “The Heart of the City,” he’s created and produced artistic profiles of Degas for the McNay Art Institute and over 30 of his original plays have been produced nationwide.

This year he will add artistic director of the Alamo City’s Luminaria to his already decorated body of work.

“It’s kind of a double-edge sword,” Rosen said with a chuckle. “I’m excited to do it because this is what I love to do and I get a chance to produce something on a much grander, larger scale, but there is also a lot of work to be done.”

“Can I top last year?” he pondered. “What can I do to make it better?”

To say that Rosen has his work cut out for him is an understatement as last year’s Luminaria played host to over 150 artists from poets to theatre artists.

“All in all what we are working toward was an event that was adjudicated and was also curated,” he stated.

This year the event will focus on quality rather than quantity explained Rosen. Last year was no doubt a success but this year the steering committee looked to take Luminaria to the next level.

“We wanted to focus on quality. What we found last year was that we had a lot of incredible art and people were doing exactly what we wanted, but we wanted to restore the wow factor,” Rosen said. “One of the steps we took was adding adjudicators.”

“When you apply to be in Luminaria as a visual artist or as a theatre artist the adjudicators are from outside of San Antonio so they have no connection at all to our city except through us. They chose what they felt were the best of the best. Instead of 150 pieces of art, there are probably 100 that are focused so it changes the nature of choosing so that nobody can think they didn’t get chosen because so-and-so didn’t like them,” Rosen mentioned.

“We wanted to professionalize the event a lot more than that and make much better and we got really lucky—we got adjudicators from Houston, Dallas, El Paso, one from Miami for theatre, some really incredible people who chose some really neat art,” Rosen explained. “It’s one thing to have an adjudicator who’s from San Antonio choose you but it’s not the same thing as having and internationally recognized person select you and add to your resume.”

To date, Luminaria has over 80 artists from all forms of art slated to take over HemisFair Park on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

In addition, Rosen and his team focused more on what artists had to say about the event. Luminaria’s steering committee held meetings with artists to find out their views about the event and what they envisioned was the best formula to give locals the best experience possible.

In that, Rosen stated they found…

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