The Great Artscape

The biggest free arts festival in America returns for its 33rd year.

By Dorie Chevlen -

2014 Artscape Guide

The biggest free arts festival in America returns for its 33rd year.

By Dorie Chevlen -


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With a special focus on dance, this year's Artscape—July 18-20—is encouraging festival-goers to “Join the Movement” through a series of interactive events, exhibits, and performances. 

Video Games
Back for its fourth year, Gamescape will set out to prove yet again that video games can, in fact, be art. In its new and expanded space at the old Single Carrot Theatre (1727 North Charles Street), the showcase will highlight the imagination and ingenuity inherent to video game production through panels on game development and design, playable arcade machines, and demonstrations from both local and international creators.

Visual Arts
Artscape’s visual arts exhibits and events include everything from short film screenings followed by a Q&A with a filmmaker at The Charles Theater, to elaborately decorated cars on parade. Works by semi-finalists in the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize will be featured in MICA galleries, with the winner of the $25,000 fellowship announced at The Walters Art Museum on Sunday. Also, make time to see Mobiles, Whirligigs, Automata, Rube-Goldbergs and other Kinetic Contraptions, an outdoor exhibit of animated pieces by local artists on the Mount Royal Median, between Dolphin and Lanvale streets.

This year’s musical lineup has something for everyone. The MEA Energy Stage will feature funk and soul artist Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings on Friday. The funk and jazz group Galactic and the Latin hip-hop group Ozomatli perform on Saturday, followed by R&B talent Anthony Hamilton on Sunday. The Station North and Festival Stages also offer performances by talented local, regional, and national musicians, including the winners of this year’s Sound Off Live! music competition.

In line with its “Join the Movement” theme, Artscape will be offering a variety of kinetic programs to participate in and watch. At Field Day (Charles Street from Preston Street to North Avenue all weekend), attendees can compete in a series of creative games, among them the 50-foot HopsXotch Rivalry race and Pizza Party Twister, which plays like Twister but on a pizza. Adventurous Baltimoreans can also learn ballroom dancing at several classes taught on Charles Street, or enjoy performances by Ballet Memphis and Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater at The Lyric. The new Aerial Arts Arena venue, curated by Daydreams + Nightmares Aerial Theatre, will feature aerial artists, dancers, and circus acts performing high above the city. Finally, everyone should be on the lookout for Dance Baltimore, which will perform a series of flash mob dances throughout the weekend.

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