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Applications to be the 2017 org we partner with are due Wedneday, Oct 5!

Luminarium's Cultural C.O.P. (Community Outreach Project) uses dance and art to highlight a local cultural or historical landmark.

Each season, Luminarium engages in a Cultural Community Outreach Project dedicated to celebrating an historical community establishment through the integration of dance and the arts.


CALL TO HISTORICAL / CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS: Each season, Luminarium Dance Company of Boston ventures to a new town in Massachusetts to couple with an historical and/or cultural organization for its annual Cultural Community Outreach Project—highlighting the organization through a customized, grant-funded project that integrates dance and the arts with the venue at hand. Past projects took place at key landmarks including: Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House (Concord, 2012); New England Quilt Museum (Lowell, 2013); Arlington Reservoir Water Tower (Arlington, 2014, and Gold Star Award winning event); Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, 2015); Longfellow’s Wayside Inn (Sudbury, 2016). The company has created everything from visual art to choreographic work focused on the organization’s importance as a local landmark within the context of the town, and each project culminates with a live performance held at the institution. Each year, Artistic Director Merli V. Guerra has chosen the venue, but for its 2017 Season, Luminarium is turning to you—Massachusetts' important cultural organizations—to put your name forward as this year’s chosen venue!

Deadline to apply

Wednesday, October 5


What it means to be chosen

Luminarium will announce the selection of its 2017 Cultural C.O.P. destination on Friday, October 7. At this point, the point person at the organization will chat (in person or by phone) with Merli V. Guerra to hear her thoughts on what might be created for this venue and to discuss the project as a whole. The organization will then need to supply a letter of support to Luminarium by Thursday, October 13 so that it can be included in Luminarium's grant application to the organization's local cultural council. (All funding for the project and culminating event comes directly from these LCC grants and Luminarium. The organization pays nothing, but it is understood that they will waive any fees to have Luminarium perform in their space, and that the necessary staff will be available to help as needed on the agreed upon date(s) of the event.)


In January 2017, funding is announced through the LCC. At this point, Guerra will reach out again to the organization to confirm exactly how the project will move forward, given the funding. January also begins Luminarium's 2017 Season, so from that point onward, the organization and the 2017 Cultural C.O.P. will be advertised on Luminarium's website, press, and season collateral.


It is a wonderful opportunity for an organization to be highlighted, at no cost, while offering its patrons a new look at its space through a collaboration with dance and art.

How to apply

Please send the following in an email to to Merli V. Guerra at (subject line: 2017 Cultural C.O.P. Application) by midnight on Wednesday, October 5:

  1. Name of organization and contact person.

  2. Organization website and town.

  3. A brief (100 words or less) mission statement for your organization.

  4. A short statement (250 words or less) on why you would like to have Luminarium Dance Company highlight your organization through dance and art.

  5. Briefly describe the space in which you envision Luminarium performing for the culminating event. IE Is it a stage, classroom, stairwell, barn, outdoor space, etc. The more creative the better! We always welcome an artistic challenge (100 words or less).

  6. What makes your organization a local landmark for your town, culturally and/or historically (250 words or less).

All applicants will be notified of decisions on Friday, October 7 by email.

Thank you for applying for our 2017 project!

Anchor 1

2012: Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House
Concord, MA

Click here for photos and footage

In 2012, the company presented a site-specific piece for the Centennial Celebration at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House in Concord, entitled the Celebration of Preservation Project. Over the course of several months, Luminarium gathered voice recordings from the museum's many tourists (some local, some abroad). These recordings were then turned into a soundscore for an outdoor piece, which was presented three times (once on the hour) outdoors on the lawn.

2013: New England Quilt Museum

Lowell, MA

Click here to watch the promo video

Using images of quilts and video projection, Luminarium created a series of short films combining the art of quilting with dance. The film series was then shown at the gallery during its Silk exhibition, with a live performance during the exhibition's opening. The films were so popular that they were requested by the San Jose Quilt Museum in California to be shown in an exhibition later that same year.

2014: Arlington Reservoir Water Tower

Arlington, MA

Click here for photos, video, and accolades

Luminarium turned Arlington's historic water tower at Park Circle into an enormous 60-foot-tall screen, showcasing art from the community, music, and dance, to highlight this local landmark. The project was very well received, with more than 300 in attendance, and was recently chosen as one of just three (out of 5,000+ candidates throughout the state in 2014) to receive the Massachusetts Cultural Council's prestigious Gold Star Award for its artistic excellence and impact on the community.

2015: Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA

Preview the completed book, and purchase your own copy here
Last year, the company is paid homage to the Amherst region's literary roots through the creation of a new storybook for children that was created through community donated artwork and poetry. The book and corresponding dance performance debuted this past November at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

2016: Longfellow's Wayside Inn
Sudbury, MA

Click here for photos, video, and press
For its 2016 Season, Luminarium celebrated the 300th anniversary of Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury with outdoor performances on the grounds. The company created three new works honoring the inn, its history, and the land, as well as a new experimental film integrating slow motion dance with flour as an homage to the Wayside's grist mill.

"This project is my favorite of the season: It reaches across disciplines to unify residents of all ages and backgrounds while celebrating their town's history—from past to present."


Luminarium Director Merli V. Guerra leads this annual project.

Her interest and expertise in celebrating local historical landmarks stems from her decade of work as an historical interpreter for Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House (Concord MA) and the Paul Revere House (Boston MA), as well as her more recent work in arts advocacy and project funding as Co-Chair of the Arlington Cultural Council.


Interested in being Luminarium's next Cultural C.O.P.?

Contact Merli at

Photo: Ryan Carollo.

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