Lighting the way: BGE’s Calvin Butler talks about Light City Baltimore

It is a natural fit for Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, the nation’s oldest utility provider which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, to be the lead founding partner of an innovative and new light festival coming to Charm City this month.

BGE is the lead founding partner of Light City Baltimore, the first large-scale international light festival in the country. The festival is billing itself as “a celebration of ideas, ingenuity and creativity through art, music and innovation.”

“It was a perfect time for BGE to be a partner,” said Calvin Butler, BGE’s top executive, chair of Light City Baltimore and a member of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Board of Directors. “This is a big event we all should be proud of.”

Butler talked to the GBC one month before the week-long Light City Baltimore kicks off on March 28.

GBC: Why does BGE support Light City Baltimore?

Butler: After what happened in the city in April, what a great opportunity to help shine a light on our city. We get a chance to rebrand and recast to the world.

We didn’t want Light City to just be an Inner Harbor event. It’s a city event – we’re all in this together.

In addition, Light City Teen Scholars is offering scholarships for Baltimore City high school students who are interested in art. This isn’t a one-week conversation – it’s a year-long conversation.

GBC: You are one of the speakers at Light City U’s Sustainability Innovation Conference. Tell us about it.

Butler is speaking at Light City U’s Sustainability Innovation Conference, which will focus on moving smart energy forward. Light City U will feature four innovation conferences which are working to power social change.

When you look at all of the conversations facing our country today, sustainability is at the forefront of those conversations. As a utility company we are working to conserve and save energy.

When I talk about sustainability, I will share what we are doing in partnership with other organizations to empower our customers to be better consumers of energy. The more we educate you and provide you with the tools to manage your consumption, the better partnership you will have. BGE is your energy adviser.

Light City U features innovative people coming to speak about solutions to move us forward. When you know the problems exist, why not be a part of the solution and use Light City U as the platform?

GBC: Why should Baltimore-area residents check out all Light City Baltimore has to offer?

A lot of people put on art shows, light shows. This is the first time that we’ve been able to determine, in the U.S., that we’re focused on creating solutions and shining a light on the social injustices that occur.

In less than one year $3.5 million has been raised on an idea –  Light City. That’s coming from the community – foundations, educational institutions, businesses in the city – to say that we’re all invested in making this a great event for everyone.

We have an opportunity to showcase ourselves in way that others don’t view us.

We’re already planning for year 10 and have started fundraising for next year. It will continue to grow.

Light City logo

Did you know?

Light City Baltimore is featured in the March issue of Southwest Airlines’ magazine. Read the article here.

CNN named Light City Baltimore one of the “16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016.”

The New York Times featured Light City Baltimore in a January 29, 2016 festival and hotel news article.

If you go:

Light City Baltimore, March 28-April 3, 2016

Learn more here:

Light City U, March 28-April 2, 2016

Learn more here: