Georgetown GLOW Festival 2018 Seeks Light Artists

Posted by Georgetown Business Improvement District ; Posted on 
Film; Performing; Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  



The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) invites artists to submit proposals for the fifth edition of its Georgetown GLOW Winter Public Art Exhibition, an outdoor display of light-art installations on view in Washington, D.C. from Friday, December 7, 2018 to Sunday, January 6, 2019. Georgetown GLOW is free and open to the general public, with installations lit nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. in the commercial district.


BUDGET:  Up to $15,000 (all-inclusive) for each of the 10 selected artists/artworks

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all artists working in mediums to include performance, video and sculpture

DEADLINE:  March 1, 2018 before 11:59 p.m. EST

About the Event

Georgetown GLOW is Washington, D.C.’s premier Light-Art Festival, and part of the BID’s overall holiday programming. From classic white lights along the rooftops of historic buildings, to wreaths adorning every city lightpole, and GLOW, the holidays in Georgetown are the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary. With its charming buildings, historic preservation, and more than 450+stores, restaurants, galleries, and salons to shop and dine,  the Georgetown neighborhood is internationally renowned, and the D.C. area’s top stop for all things holiday.


The exhibition aims to highlight and juxtapose the historic Georgetown neighborhood through the lens of innovative and contemporary light art. It is essential that each artwork consider and respond appropriately to the surroundings of Georgetown, D.C.’s oldest neighborhood, and designated on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

We would like each artist to consider the notion that there is a light within all of us, and that when sparked it can spread warmth and delight. It is our goal that the selected works, when activated, inspire the viewer to re-imagine the season of light, encourage interactivity, and experience joy. Through this exhibition, we will embrace a diversity of ideas focused on the power of light by looking to local, national and international voices within the setting of historic Georgetown.

Project Locations

Installations will be located in visible and historic sites throughout the Georgetown commercial district. The locations for the 5th edition of GLOW are: Grace Church, the C&O Canal, Georgetown Waterfront Park, Dean & Deluca Plaza, Meigs Park, HOK Courtyard, Book Hill Park, Washington Harbour K Street and boardwalk, Cady’s Alley, and Georgetown Lutheran Church. Multiple projects can be installed at some locations.


The all-inclusive budget for each individual project cannot exceed $15,000 USD. If the artwork requires a budget beyond that provided by the Georgetown BID, the artist is welcome to seek and propose accompanying sponsors. The artist must indicate the contribution of sponsors within thes ubmission. Private sponsors will only be given recognition as a sponsor in our communication if a specific agreement is made and if the sponsor does not conflict with other GLOW sponsors and Georgetown BID businesses.

The budget includes artist fee, all labor costs to build the artwork (from concept to installation on site), all materials, all equipment, all cabling and cable covers, installation,de-installation, engineering services, testing needed for your artwork, shipping costs, permits, all travel, and accommodations. The Georgetown BID will provide a discounted hotel rate at a local hotel, and basic artwork maintenance.


  • Deadline to submit: Thursday, March 1, 2018
  • Artists notified of project selections: Friday, June 8, 2018
  • Installation of selected art works: Monday, November 26 – Tuesday, December 4, 2018 (all artwork must be installed, tested, and have received a walkthrough with a BID team member by 8 p.m. on December 4)
  • Exhibition Private Opening Reception: Thursday, December 6, 2018
  • Exhibition opens to general public: Friday, December 7, 2018
  • De-installation: Monday, January 7 – Friday, January 11, 2019

Opening Reception

All artists must agree to attend the GLOW Opening Reception on Thursday, December 6, 6-8p.m.


Depending on the scale of your piece/installation, you may be required to secure a building permit. The BID can provide suggested expeditors to assist you with securing a permit, but the costs for permits, a structural engineer, an expeditor, and any other permit expenses are the responsibility of the artist.


GLOW light art installations are staged in public spaces within Georgetown’s commercial district for a period of 30+ days. As such, we require durable and rigid constructions. The December weather in D.C. can be unpredictable–from unseasonably warm and dry to below freezing, windy andrainy (and at times, snow!). As a result, your piece must be technically and physically durable to withstand all kinds of elements.


In most cases, the use of sound as part of your artwork is not possible due to proximity to residential areas. But there are a few cases where low/unobtrusive sound may be possible at a decibel level no higher than 30 (the maximum decibel levels regulated by the city is 55).


Please note, as mentioned above, artwork is in public spaces and are not able to be monitored 24-7. The BID will provide daily and nightly check-ins, but will not be providing security at each installation.


Leading up to GLOW, a GLOW tech team will work with each artist to ensure the installation meets all GLOW requirements (e.g. electrically and physically sound). Once the artwork has been installed, all maintenance/troubleshooting fees needed to be completed by the GLOW tech team will be covered by the artist. If an issue arises with an artist’s installation that the BID is not able to fix, artist will agree to come to Georgetown within 24hours, at artist’s expense, to make the necessary fixes.If artist is located out of town and unable to get to Georgetown within 24 hours, they will be required to make arrangements with GLOW’s tech team. These fees will be covered by the artist.

Selection Process

A selection committee including Georgetown BID staff, BID members, community stakeholders, and curator, Deirdre MacWilliams, will select approximately ten (10) artists for the 2018 GLOW exhibition.

The committee will consider the following in selecting the final projects for the 2018 GLOW exhibition:

  • New Artworks: We give priority to light art that has been created for GLOW;
  • Light is the Primary Medium: We are not looking for art that is simply illuminated. Light must be central to the concept of your proposal;
  • Creativity & Innovation: GLOW aims to amaze and delight visitors with the creativity and innovation of light art. We are looking for works that are innovative and evoke a sense of wonder with the viewer.
  • Durability: The piece must be technically and physically durable to withstand all kinds of elements; and
  • Theme: We are looking for concepts that interpret the theme in surprising and thoughtful ways.

How to Apply

To be considered, each applicant must submit:

  • CV (no more than three pages);
  • Contact information for lead artist, to include full name, address, email and cell phone number;
  • Rendering of proposed project(s): applicants are permitted to submit no more than two project proposals for consideration;
  • Description of proposed project(s) with dimensions and weight (no more than one page each);
  • Budget for each submitted proposal to include costs for materials, artist fees, travel, fabrication, installation of the artwork, etc.;
  • Up to10 images of previous artwork accompanied by a short description of each project; and
  • Three References.

All proposals must be submitted to curator, Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, at with the subject line “Georgetown GLOW Exhibition Proposal” by11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 1st, 2018.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams,


Artsopolis Network Members: Akron OH | Albuquerque NM | Austin TX | Birmingham AL | Boston MA | Cape Cod MA | Cincinnati OH | Cleveland OH | Colorado Springs CO | Columbia SC | DuPage County IL | Essex County MA | Flagstaff AZ | Flint MI | Fort Lauderdale FL | Indianapolis IN | Kalamazoo MI | Kansas City MO | Macon GA | Main Line Area PA | Marin County CA | Marquette County MI | Mendocino County CA | Milwaukee WI | Montgomery County MD | Napa Valley CA | Nashville TN | Orange County CA | Orlando FL | Panama City FL | Pittsburgh PA | Providence RI | Quito, Ecuador | Richardson TX | Rock Island IL | Sacramento CA | San Antonio TX | St. Cloud MN | St. Croix Valley MN/WI | St. Johns County FL | Stillwater MN | Tallahassee FL | Tampa Bay FL | Utah | Ventura CA | York County PA