MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee is set to have its first-ever, outdoor immersive arts and lights festival next month.

Public art nonprofit Joy Engine will present “Nitelight” Sept. 8-9 in the city’s Historic Mitchell Neighborhood. Joy Engine described the experience as a “dazzling live spectacle,” using 4D projection mapping technology. A multi-story building at 710 W. Historic Mitchell Street — home to Mitchell Street Arts — will serve as the backdrop for the show.

The motion graphics show will be shown three times both nights. The family-friendly event is free to the public.

Nitelight will also feature a variety of local vendors, a full music lineup, a fashion show and dance performances. There will also be a life-size Lite Brite wall and a hands-on multilingual exhibit.

“As the summer festival season winds down, Nitelight invites Milwaukeeans out for one more remarkable celebration to enjoy together,” Joy Engine Executive Director Steph Salvia said. “We’re thrilled to be hosting the city’s first, large-scale outdoor arts and lights festival to put our local artists in the limelight. This event embodies Milwaukee’s diverse, collaborative spirit and demonstrates our city’s capacity to bring world-class arts and culture to the Midwest, giving attendees a multi-sensory experience they won’t forget.”

Five Milwaukee-area artists will help Joy Engine bring the light show to life.

The organization also collaborated with students from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Lubar Innovation Center to develop motion graphics programming. The technique uses laser technology to “scan” a building’s façade and create a blank canvas for spectacular, creative design. Joy Engine said the art is then projected back onto the building for a one-of-a-kind sensory experience.

Joy Engine is known for other installations such as “Under One Moon” in Catalano Square, and “Cracking Art,” which brought a flock of bird sculptures to the Milwaukee shoreline.

To view the full program lineup and additional event details, visit


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