Es­cape to Artscape

Amer­ica's Largest Free Art Fes­ti­val Re­turns

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE -

From Fri­day, July 20 – Sun­day, July 22, Artscape re­turns to the streets of Bal­ti­more for three days of art, en­ter­tain­ment, lo­cal food and drinks, craft ven­dors and more. Artscape, which started in 1982 and at­tracts more than 350,000 at­ten­dees an­nu­ally, is Amer­ica’s largest free arts fes­ti­val.

In past years, Artscape has had a theme, but this year, or­ga­niz­ers said they are go­ing “back to the ba­sics” and sim­ply celebrating art. Artscape 2018 will fea­ture an Artists’ Mar­ket with 150+ ven­dors and crafts­peo­ple; live con­certs on three out­door stages; out­door sculp­ture and art in­stal­la­tions; vis­ual art ex­hibits; per­form­ing arts in­clud­ing dance, street theater, jazz, opera and clas­si­cal mu­sic; and film, ex­per­i­men­tal mu­sic and a com­edy club.

Art­work, events and ac­tiv­i­ties will be spread out along Mount Royal Avenue & Cathe­dral Street, Charles Street, Bolton Hill, and the Sta­tion North Arts & En­ter­tain­ment District neigh­bor­hoods. Artscape, which is pro­duced by the Bal­ti­more Of­fice of Pro­mo­tion & The Arts, is held out­doors in tents, and inside the neigh­bor­hood’s ex­hi­bi­tion spa­ces and per­form­ing arts venues.

Artscape’s main mu­sic stage, spon­sored by MICA fea­tures international and re­gional singers and mu­si­cians from dif­fer­ent mu­sic gen­res. Nineties R&B group TLC, reg­gae band Toots & the May­tals and blues rocker ZZ Ward are the head­lin­ers. Ad­mis­sion for all parts of Artscape, in­clud­ing the con­certs is free.

There are sev­eral new high­lights for 2018, in­clud­ing more youth-fo­cused pro­gram­ming. Both performance and vis­ual art (in­door and out­door) by Bal­ti­more’s ta­lented youth artists, mak­ers, and per­form­ers will be fea­tured through­out open­ing day. There’s also a new Kid­scape Performance Space in Pearl­stone Park, which is an in­ter­ac­tive plat­form with demon­stra­tions and per­for­mances, fea­tur­ing ed­u­ca­tion and en­ter­tain­ment, with pro­gram­ming from a wide range of or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Teen­scape at Pearl­stone Park will fea­ture teen pro­gram­ming such as a chalk art mu­ral, a spe­cial ef­fects makeup tu­to­rial, a photo booth, and a lounge area for friends and fam­ily to watch the photo ses­sion and learn about the photography process.

Silent Disco dance par­ties are a full sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence, as a crowd of peo­ple are danc­ing wear­ing wire­less head­phones, but no mu­sic can be heard. As guests walk in, they will be handed their own pair of head­phones to en­joy a di­verse sam­pling of dance mu­sic from some of Bal­ti­more’s best DJs.

Squonk Opera’s Pneu­mat­ica is an event about air, made of air and pow­ered by air. The Squonkers pump up the volume with live orig­i­nal mu­sic that per­me­ates the air, while in­flat­a­bles pump up and im­merse the au­di­ence. Fig­ures and ten­ta­cles grow, pow­ered by blow­ers and vor­tex fans, and cul­mi­nate in the 40-foot high Lady Pneu­mat­ica who in­cor­po­rates a wind tur­bine on her head. Mu­sic in­cludes elec­tronic bag­pipes and a ver­ti­cal ac­cor­dion.

New to the com­edy por­tion of Artscape this year is the BIG-Bal­ti­more Im­prov Group. Ex­pe­ri­ence free im­prov workshops all three days of the fes­ti­val, and at­tend free im­prov shows Fri­day and Satur­day night. Th­ese shows all lead up to Artscape’s pop-up com­edy club, LOL@Artscape, which fea­tures ap­prox­i­mately 20 lo­cal and re­gional standup co­me­di­ans.

If all that walk­ing is leav­ing you too tired to ex­plore, you can al­ways grab a free pedi­cab ride dur­ing fes­ti­val hours. Pedi­cab rides take place on Mt. Royal Avenue, be­tween Mary­land Avenue and Lafayette Ave.

Artscape will have lo­cal brews from The Brewer’s Art and Mon­u­ment City Brew­ing Com­pany, plus Natty BOH, in ad­di­tion to wine and orange crushes. Ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers, all pro­ceeds from the fes­ti­val’s bev­er­age stands di­rectly ben­e­fit the fes­ti­val, help­ing to en­sure that Artscape stays free and open to the pub­lic.

More than 30 Mary­land food ven­dors such as Rouge Fine Cater­ing, CREPE, Ek­iben, the Lo­cal Oys­ter, Con­nie’s Chicken & Waf­fles, and Ot­ter­bein Cook­ies will be on hand for the fes­ti­val. Veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan op­tions will also be avail­able, along with desserts, snow balls and ice cream ven­dors to end your day with some­thing sweet. Ar tscape

Fri­day, July 20 — Sun­day, July 22

Fri­day: 11am-9pm, Satur­day: 11am-9pm, Sun­day: 11am-7pm

The Pa­tri­cia and Arthur Modell Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter at The Lyric

140 West Mt. Royal Avenue, 21201 Ad­mis­sion: Free

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to http://www.artscape. org/about.

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