Thousands 'Embrace Their Love of Light' on BPC's Belvedere Plaza

A woman dances beneath Sabrina Barrios's "HoloDeity," one of seven light art installatons that were part of  Illumination NYC's Spring Showcase in Belvedere Plaza. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

May. 12, 2023

For five nights this month, Battery Park City’s Belvedere Plaza was a free glow-in-the-dark playground, brought vibrantly to life by the works of seven light artists, stilt walkers, jugglers, acrobats, DJ-spun music, and splashes of LED color everywhere. The May 6 final event, (featured in photos here), drew an estimated 2,000 participants who interacted with the light art installations and danced to music from Quiet Events DJs, their bobbing, glowing headphones adding to the luminescence of the evening. 

Photos by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Other nights included, on May 4, a “May the Fourth Be With You” Star Wars-themed event and on May 5—Cinco de Mayo—DJs played Mexican pop music hits.

This “Spring Showcase,” as it was called, was the second production of Illumination NYC, the first launched in 2021 beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge in Brooklyn. Maril Ortiz, the Battery Park City Authority’s director of parks programming, was impressed. “I just felt like this collection of artists had a little something for everybody,” she said, to inspire them and spark wonder and engage with the Belvedere Plaza space in a way that had never been done before.”

The result, she added, was better than she’d imagined. “People came from all over. It definitely looked like New York City and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever gotten to do.”

Ron Fisher, Illumination NYC founder and executive director, said that by the final evening, people were bringing light-up wings and toys and hand-made creations from home, and “tapping into their creativity and adding to the event with their own participation.”

“Everyone was just having a good time,” he said, and embracing their love of light.