Visual artists, dancers and musicians are gearing up to showcase their talents at Artscape, Baltimore's annual public arts festival. Though the hallmark event has been in existence for well over three decades, officials believe it continues to get better with time.
"Artscape has remained popular because it constantly changes and evolves each year," Tracy Baskerville, communications director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts told the AFRO in a recent interview. "Whether it is through the exhibitions, participating artists, performances, films and venues...the festival is always a little different from the previous year.”
Billed as "the nation's largest free arts festival," Artscape, presented by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, boasts an impressive mash-up of various visual art exhibits, family activities, fashion displays, musical performances and more.
Kicking off on July 20, the three-day event will feature the work of hundreds of artists including craftspeople, painters and fashion designers throughout the weekend until the festival's conclusion on July 22.
According to Baskerville, officials will debut several new visual arts exhibitions this year and will expand the festival's breadth to North Avenue, to draw the Station North community.
The festival will also feature three outdoor stages with a full schedule of performers throughout the weekend. This year's event will include performances by neo-soul singer Navasha Davis, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and R&B singer Brian McKnight. Additionally, a bevy of funk, jazz, opera and classical musicians are also slated to perform.
Now in its 31st year, Artscape continues to be a unique event that often draws attendees from across the region. Officials cite the festival as having a tremendous economic impact on the city, often drawing over 350,000 attendees.
"We hope festival-goers leave Artscape with a feeling of fun, a spark of creativity and a sense of pride in Baltimore City," Baskerville said. "The arts are extremely important to the Baltimore community and help enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors."