Lyon Light Festival Forum – Speakers

Session 1 – Light Festivals: Humans at the Heart

Donna Drew Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, Light City Festival (Baltimore Maryland, USA)

Donna Drew Sawyer became the CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), the city’s arts council, events producer and film office, in July of 2018. Sawyer previously held senior positions at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the Chrysler Museum of Art and, Sesame Workshop. Sawyer is also the author of the award-winning novel, Provenance. BOPA produces large-scale events, including Light City—a festival of light art, music, and innovation. In 2019m Light City paired with the Baltimore Book Festival under the theme, Brilliant Baltimore, illuminating the City for ten days of literature and light.

Philip Holmes, Creative Lead, Lightpool Festival (Blackpool, UK)

Philip is an award-winning artistic and creative director with over 25 years of entertainment industry experience. As Festival Director for Lightpool Festival, he develops a diverse and innovative programme that catapults Blackpool’s town centre and glittering Golden Mile into 15 nights of pure exhilarating magic. Combining spectacular live performance, tailor-made art pieces and installations by national and international artists, as well as community workshops and interactive public engagement, the Lightpool Festival showcases historic landmarks, iconic attractions and heritage buildings in a stunning and visionary new light; taking the legendary resort of Blackpool into the realms of light fantastic fantasy like never experienced before!

Jean-François Zurawik, Director, Fête des Lumières (Lyon, France)

Jean-François Zurawik studied Communication and Audiovisual Technologies in Strasbourg and Bordeaux. He created his own production and audiovisual events company in Strasbourg. Since 2003, he has been Director of Events in the City of Lyon and ensures the overall coordination of the Fête des Lumières. This festival, which welcomes over 2 million visitors in four nights, is a global reference in public lighting events. The festival has received the award for Best Public Event in 2007 and the award for Exceptional Event in 2010 from the French professionals of the sector. Jean-François was the Artistic Director of the first Dubai Festival of Light in 2014 and he is the artistic advisor for Lumieres Hong Kong. Moreover, he was also the artistic director of the Fiesta de la Luz in Quito of which the third edition took place in August 2018.

Session 2 – Light and Art for Poetic Cities

 Thierry Marsick, Director, Urban Lighting Department, City of Lyon (Lyon, France)

Thierry Marsick is an engineer from the National Institute of Applied Sciences – INSA Lyon. He has worked for the City of Paris, Grenoble and today Lyon. Since 2012, he is responsible for urban lighting department of the City of Lyon, which comprises 74 000 streetlights and more than 350 illuminations. He manages the units in charge of lighting design, maintenance and logistic. This team is also very involved in the Lyon Light Festival and creates every year an art project for this event.

Clarisse Tavin

Clarisse Tavin, Group Manager/Major Programmes and Projects, City Public Realm, Department of the Built Environment, City of London Corporation (London, United Kingdom)

Clarisse Tavin is a Group Manager in the Public Realm Team at the City of London. Trained in France and Italy, she is a chartered Architect with over 10 years’ experience of delivering public realm enhancements in a very dynamic and complex urban environment, with the emphasis of creating the highest possible quality of environment for people. Clarisse manages a team of professional Project Managers, and her expertise is in the realisation and delivery of public realm enhancement, public art and place-making strategies including the recently adopted City Lighting Strategy and the “Look and Feel” Strategy for Culture Mile.

Marjolijn van der Meijden, Project Leader, Art & Public Space, Centre for Visual Art, City of Rotterdam (Rotterdam, Netherlands

After completing her studies at Willem de Kooning Academy and specializing in art and management at Erasmus University, Marjolijn participated in the city’s development over the years through managing and facilitating various art projects in public space. She works for the CBK (Centre for the Arts) in Rotterdam and develops art projects as a partner with the city dealing with public initiatives such as contemporary monuments. The collaboration also includes maintenance and relocation of art. First and foremost, she is a mediator between artists and all other parties involved.