Artscape, America’s Largest Free Arts Festival Returns For Three Days

— The 37th annual Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival returns to Charm City from Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22, 2018 at Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street. Artscape opens from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, with Artscape After Hours taking place Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

In recent years, Artscape organizers have applied an overarching theme, relevant to both the arts and Baltimore City into the festival’s creative thinking. In 2018, Artscape is going back to the basics— ART! For “the year of no theme,” Artscape encourages artists and festivalgoers alike, to embrace Artscape for what it is— a fully accessible, free world-class arts festival in the heart of Baltimore City.

The 2018 festival is headlined by legendary girl group TLC on Friday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m.; Reggae group Toots & The Maytals on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. and blues rock sensation ZZ Ward on Sunday, July 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the MICA Main Stage.

Also, Dance returns to the Modell PerformingArts Center at The Lyric with Garth Fagan Dance from Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagen.

New to Artscape this year is Youth Day, taking place on the festival’s opening day, Friday, July 20. On Youth Day, Artscape features a variety of performances and visual art by Baltimore youth artists, makers and performers at indoor and outdoor venues.

A performance by the Cardinal Sheehan Choir takes place for Youth Day on the MICA Main Stage at 4:30 p.m.

Also new this year, festivalgoers can have a dance party via their own set of headphones at Artscape’s new Silent Disco featuring some of Baltimore’s best DJ talent. For the first time ever, Artscape is offering free Pedicab rides to festivalgoers who wish to see the Artscape their missing by bicycle. Artscape welcomes Squonk Opera who brings their show Pneumatica to Artscape for three days of performances. In this show, the “Squonkers” pump up the volume with live original music that permeates the air, while inflatables pump up and immerse the audience. Other new Artscape components include Teenscape, a section dedicated to teen programming presented by BOPA’s Youth Arts Council and a new Kidscape performance space.

Artscape features 11 large-scale artwork projects for festivalgoers to explore, interact with and admire throughout the festival footprint. Among these projects are Trash-scape by the Department of Beauty Maintenance and Thick Air Studios, which is an evolving street performance surrounding a sculpture of recyclable material in the shape of a mandala. Also along Charles Street is Choose Your Own Adventure by Becky Borlan & Graham Coriel Allen, which transforms an intersection of Charles Street into a colorful and safe pedestrian playscape of creative crosswalks and an immersive environment of floating beach balls. Some projects have a very specific tie to Baltimore like Screen Station, where festivalgoers will be able to try their hand at screen-printing and print their own messages related to youth advocacy and justice. Another art installation worth exploring is Headspace by Magdalena Sudnik, which is a giant woodenhead that people can walk through and engage with others from the inside.

A full list and schedule of all events at Artscape 2018, visit: www.artscape.org. Stay connected by following Artscape on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using the hasghtag, #Artscape