“LUMA Rescue Plan” hopes to raise enough money to put on the festival this year virtually

Regional News

BINGHAMTON, NY – LUMA is seeking financial support from the community as the coronavirus pandemic has not only canceled its in-person event plans for this fall, but threatens the survival of the projection arts festival.

The weekend-long event typically attracts tens of thousands of people to downtown Binghamton to view computer-generated animations shown on the city’s historic buildings through a process called projection mapping.

But the COVID ban on mass gatherings forced organizers to develop a virtual strategy months ago to sustain the festival.

However, in recent weeks, government and non-profit funders have rescinded their support and the organization is on the hook for a number of financial commitments.

It has launched the $100,000 “LUMA Rescue Plan” with a goal of raising $40,000 through individual online donations.

Co-Founder Joshua Bernard says that while previous crowd-funding efforts were as much about demonstrating support as the dollar value, this time the money is extremely important.

“We are breaking crowd-funding records for LUMA. The reality is that the community has really come through in a big way. They understand the dilemma we’re in, and they understand the importance of what LUMA represents to the community. They are again voting with their pocketbooks,” says Bernard.

As of Thursday afternoon a GoFundMe campaign had raised over $13,000 in 2 days.

You can donate here.

Bernard says that if the campaign is successful with the addition of corporate and government support, LUMA plans an immersive real-time virtual reality collaboration with Tri-Cities Opera on a live performance called “Miranda” that utilizes gaming technology.

The organization is also developing a LUMA 365 app that allows users to see recordings of past projections on their smart phones while standing in front of a featured building.

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