Dlectricity ready to light up Midtown after a 4-year absence

Amanda Parer's "Man," an illuminated inflatable sculpture of a contemplative figure, came to life outside the Detroit Public Library during a Dlectricity preview Thursday evening.

Nearly four dozen outdoor art and light installations will come alive Friday and Saturday when Dlectricity returns to Midtown Detroit.

Midtown Detroit, Inc. is behind the free event, which is sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation and occupies open spaces throughout the Culture Center District and Beacon Park.

The displays range from large-scale projections to blinking and rotating displays and giant inflatables that are lit from within and glow in the night against the backdrop of beloved Detroit cultural institutions.

Dlectricity’s roots are in the defunct Detroit Festival of the Arts, which was held in Midtown until 2008, when the Great Recession derailed it. 

“We were redeveloping Midtown at the time, attracting businesses and finding ways to make it beautiful, draw residents, build nightlife,” said Midtown Detroit’s Annmarie Borucki. “At the same time, people weren’t necessarily comfortable coming to the Cass Corridor for nightlife because it didn’t seem safe. So we had this idea of creating a nighttime festival.”

The first Dlectricity took place in 2012.

“The first night, it poured rain,” said Borucki, “and people still came out. The next night was absolutely beautiful, and we knew it was a huge hit. We put out a call around the world to attract artists, and we held the second one in 2014.”

Angelia S. Rico

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