ArtYard’s Aqualumina Festival is a riverside lantern festival involving music, performance, and inspiring lighting at the river’s edge.

The Aqualumina Festival returns on May 18, 2024 with a celebration of water itself — as a vulnerable resource, necessity, bellwether, and mirror of the sky. It features a site-specific dance performance by Brian Sanders’ JUNK. Parasol jellyfish lanterns, glow-in-the-dark fish, colorful coral hats, and illuminated cardboard boat creations guided and created by community members and artists Em Rae, Nicole Strafaci, and Laura Bernstein.

This biennial event launched in 2021 with a performance of Brian Sanders’ JUNK in Ancestral Lights, a site-specific outdoor dance performance illuminating refugee narratives and kindling light in a time of darkness and displacement. Ancestral Lights grew from JUNK’s residency and hugely popular open rehearsal at ArtYard in June and employs community-constructed lanterns made in the ArtYard workshop by members of our community. The music was a three-way collaboration between Brian Sandrer’s JUNK, Oran Etkin, and Mad Beatz Philly during a residency at ArtYard.

You can view more pictures of the inaugural event on this Flickr album.