This year’s Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival is moving north this year, leaving Hemisfair for a new downtown location.

The festival will take place Saturday, Nov. 19 in the area from the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to Travis Park. The festival’s footprint includes the Tobin Center’s Will Naylor Smith River Walk Plaza, the Radius Center, Veterans Memorial Park and Jefferson Street from Auditorium Circle to Pecan Street.

Luminaria Executive Director Yadhira Lozano said the organization has a history of exploring different areas of downtown San Antonio and cited construction as its reason for relocating. 

“With the exciting developments and construction happening at Hemisfair this year, we found it a good time to return to the Tobin/Travis footprint and activate the area that is surrounded by new arts destinations,” said Lozano. 

Known as the largest, free nighttime outdoor arts festival in South Texas, Luminaria celebrates and promotes the arts through multimedia displays including film, music, dance, and art installations

Launched in 2008 when former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger created the light-themed festival based on night festivals in other cities, Luminaria has annually drawn thousands of spectators to its various locations across the downtown area. 

The last time Luminaria took place at the Tobin Center was in 2014. 

Tobin Center officials in a press release welcomed Luminaria and said they were proud to join the festival in celebrating local artists in a city with rich history, culture and vibrant art scene.

When the event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Luminaria instead hosted an art exhibition at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, along Houston Street downtown, in public libraries throughout the city, at the San Pedro Creek Culture Park and on VIA buses. 

Last year’s festival featured more than 200 artists and art groups, including work from Kaldric Dow, Guillermina Zabala, Patricia Vonne, Pop Pistol, Urban-15, Of the Serpent, Los Texmaniacs featuring Flaco Jimenez, and a tribute to late Chicano artist Adán Hernandez.

This year’s artists are expected to be announced in late September. 

Raquel Torres is the San Antonio Report's breaking news reporter. A 2020 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, her work has been recognized by the Texas Managing Editors. She previously worked...