Communication and Media

IDS Practicum Class and Hi-Lo Arts Lab Plan Illuminate Art & Light Festival

Posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2021
On May 14-15, 2021, 8:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. the very first Illuminate Art & Light Festival will take place in the Cedar Valley. This year's theme is light and our locations center around College Hill. We are currently accepting additional projects through an Open Call. We are calling for proposals for light installations, video projections, or similar luminous works. This call is for all media of creative works. Music, art, poetry, etc. Our website will include an Online Gallery & Publication for any works which are not suitable for the live event including 2nd artworks, poetry, etc.
The public is invited to come in person to explore larger-than-life projections and view in temporary installations or stay home to engage with online performances and play with mobile applications. The Cedar Valley will be lit-up with inspiring, challenging, and thought-provoking creative projects. This festival is organized as a collaboration between the Interactive Digital Studies Practicum at the University of Northern Iowa and Hi-Lo Arts Lab and is sponsored by the College Hill Partnership.
Theme: Light
As in a Light: In 1643 Lyon, France was struck by the plague. The town promised that if they were spared, they would pay tribute, and ever since, every year on December 8th, a procession makes its way to the Basilica of Fouriére to light candles and give offerings. The ritual of this event, which, in an uplifting of spirits, led the town out of a pandemic, has evolved into a major media arts festival. As we ourselves are in the midst of a deadly pandemic, we are in need of a guiding light out, something to look forward to, and to be reminded of the beauty and magic that make life so wonderful.

As in to Light: In 2020, the Covid pandemic held a mirror up to our society. We are called to face the issues of inequity and inequality which have plagued this country since its beginning. We must fight the diseases that we ourselves created: racial inequity, a raging housing crisis, climate change, fake news, and surveillance capitalism to name a few. For this festival we invite creative projects which aim to light a fire of revolution for social justice and societal change.

Call for Entries & Proposals link:
What we offer
Projectors and other equipment
We can provide the technology you need to display your work. We have a wide selection of projectors, spotlights, screens, and other lighting equipment to use for this festival thanks to the generosity of several departments within the University of Northern Iowa. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to include as many works as possible, so if you do have a projector or can borrow from elsewhere, please consider using it. We will give you the opportunity to test those tools at the location you request ahead of the event.

Online Gallery Content
Our website will display digital image galleries, video performances, and written poems or stories for work that are well suited for online viewing.

Technical Assistance
If you have creative work which suits the theme, time, and location, you may enter with a request for a collaborator. We can partner you with someone to help translate your work into a video projection or other media. For example, a poet may want to collaborate with someone to help make their work a video piece rather than perform on location. Collaboration is not guaranteed and not required.
contact: Prof. Dana Potter, Interactive Digital Studies ( or Grace McGovern (