The Morningside Lights procession (photo by Karli Cadel)

Every fall, since 2012, a sea of glowing lanterns traverses Manhattan’s Morningside Park. The event, known as Morningside Lights, is led by artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles of the Processional Arts Workshop, a group dedicated to mounting immersive theater, processions, and parades. But Kahn and Michahelles do not put on these events alone; rather, they see them as opportunities for community building, and for Morningside Lights anyone is invited to make a lantern to brighten the parade’s path.

In the week leading up to the procession on the evening of Saturday, September 23, Kahn and Michahelles will host free lantern-making workshops at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, which produces the yearly event.

Last year, participants were invited to make lanterns adorned with poems to commemorate the Pulitzer Prize’s centennial. This year, the theme is Harlem’s “secret gardens” — the various community green spaces that have long been carefully cultivated by local residents. So if you’re unable to craft your own paper plant, it will nonetheless be a sight to behold an illuminated collection of more than 100 flowers and trees floating in the park.

When: Workshop, Saturday, September 16–Friday, September 22 (check schedule for daily hours); Procession, Saturday, September 23, 8pm

Where: Workshops are held at Miller Theatre at Columbia University (2960 Broadway, Morningside Heights, Manhattan); the procession begins in Morningside Park (116 Street & Morningside Avenue)

More info here

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Elisa Wouk Almino

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.