When Roslyn Zinner was 15 years old, she remembers her father taking her to an arts festival in Druid Hill Park. “It was like going to a candy shop for me,” says the Columbia artist, now 61. “I can still picture the artists around the lake. You could talk to them about their work. I was entranced.” Those arts festivals lasted in the park from 1953 to 1968 and were a part of the fabric of many Baltimoreans’ childhood memories. That’s why, on May 19, as the Druid Hill Park Reservoir celebrates 150 years, local art collector Barbara Shapiro is bringing the festival back. “We have this burgeoning arts community here now,” she says. “I want to bring people back into the park for a lovely day.” Shapiro took an old-school approach to fundraising, writing countless letters to individuals and private foundations to make the festival happen. All told, she received $65,000 in donations. The festival, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will showcase about 50 local artists and their work, include a section on “Baltimore Art Stars” (like Betty Cooke and Reuben Kramer), and feature entertainment by the BSO’s OrchKids. “This should be a great way to introduce artists’ work to the public,” Shapiro says. “And for people to show their children what they saw.”
An arts festival in Druid Hill Park harkens to days gone by.
Issue date: May, 2013