Lumina Festival of the Arts teams up with Reggae Redemption Radio

UNCW’s celebration of the arts runs from March 16 - 29
Updated: Mar. 9, 2022 at 3:55 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - UNCW’s Office of the Arts and Reggae Redemption Radio have teamed up to present the 2022 Lumina Festival of the Arts. It runs from March 16 through March 29, with events on the UNCW campus and at other venues in the City of Wilmington.

While many acts involved in this year’s festival perform reggae-infused music, like Steel Pulse, Iya Terra and Ras Lidj, there are several other genres on the schedule as well, including jazz, bluegrass, rock, and a performance by UNCW’s Symphonic Band.

“This has been an incredible collaboration,” said Fidias Reyes, UNCW’s Director of Arts Engagement. “We are so excited to bring this to the community and to our campus. It’s been a perfect opportunity for us to kind of grow the festival and to be a little bit more inclusive, to do something different for the community.”

Along with musical events, there are many other types of art exhibits, theater and dance performances, and film screenings for the community to enjoy. Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith, the founder of Reggae Redemption Radio, has entertained audiences for 29 years as the Night Nurse, and is co-producing the festival in 2022. McLaughlin-Smith is also UNCW’s Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, and she sees this festival as a way to combine the messages of reggae music and diversity.

“The culture of the people who created (reggae music), and the thematic anchor of reggae, which is One Love, One Aim, One Destiny, is just rooted in oneness. It is about what I’m about,” she said.

One exhibit featured in the 2022 Lumina Festival of the Arts will continue past the end date of March 29. Reggae Redemption Rising: We Are One will run from March 26 – April 29 at the Aces Gallery, at 221 North Front Street in Wilmington, showcasing a variety of African, Caribbean, and Jamaican-inspired artwork.

Cammeron Batanides is an artist who so many people in the area, the region, the state, and nationally know,” McLaughlin-Smith said. “She has curated a showing of artists from Africa to America, and it is an incredible menagerie of talent. It spans the globe. It spans gender. We have an artist from Goldsboro, and we have an artist from Africa and everything in between. It’s free and it’s at Aces Gallery, and it’s part of the Fourth Friday piece that our community is so used to.”

UNCW’s Department of the Arts describes the vision of the festival ‘to curate an artistically and culturally diverse series of performances while building upon previous years, showcasing world-renowned and regional artists alike, and creating opportunities for collaboration’.

“It truly is a celebration of all of the arts,” Reyes added. “You know, I think that we wanted to honor all of the support that we’ve had since the beginning of the festival. I think that we also wanted to be able to include as many community members and artists as possible, and be able to celebrate all of the artistic disciplines that they bring to the festival as well.”

Many of the events are free or are offered at low cost for entry. You can click here to see the festival’s full schedule and for ticket information.

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