Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Baltimore's Art Extravaganza

Every summer the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts pulls together painters, photographers, crafts people, dancers, singers, sculptors, and artists of every kind for a weekend of total art immersion. And this is the weekend – Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23. Artscape is mostly outdoors, and all the events are free!

There will be theater performances from puppets and improve comedy to Shakespeare. Music runs the gamut from blues and jazz to zydeco and classical; with three stages, you’ll find something to like whether you prefer hip-hop or Latin rock.

Visual arts are everywhere from sidewalks and medians to indoor galleries. Fine crafts makers come from all over the country to participate in the Artists Market, while film, opera, dance, and fashion events offer something for everyone. This year, one talented young singer will win the Baltimore’s Billie Holiday Vocal Competition – the finals are on Sunday as part of the Artscape celebration.

There’s plenty for kids to do, too, from the family art park to street performances and a Family Performance Stage for singing, dancing, drumming, and story telling. You can’t have a festival without lots of choices for food and drink, of course, so bring your appetite.

The one thing you probably shouldn’t bring is your car – there are pay-to-park garages in the area but some streets will be closed off, and driving in the area could be tricky. A better bet is to drive to one of the Light Rail or Metro stations and ride from there. Artscape is right on the Light Rail line at the University of Baltimore/Mt. Royal stop, and the State Center Metro station is very close as well.

No matter how you get there, you’ll be amazed and delighted at the Artscape experience.

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