Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, is back for its 32nd year (July 19-21), and it’s looking to take on the world— at least thematically. Celebrating more than 30 countries through both visual and performing arts, Artscape organizers boast that this year’s festival is like being able to travel the world, “no passport required.”
The festival is providing a free mobile app, available for both Apple and Android users, as the perfect up-to-date guide for all of the programming. That being said, here are some features we think deserve special mention.
Artscape provides fun for the whole family with Kidscape, a special area in the Corpus Christi Lot devoted to activities for younger festivalgoers. Keeping with Artscape’s theme of cultural exploration, kids can make crafts based on art from around the world: turning maps into bags, making mini piñatas, and decorating chopsticks.
Though debate continues as to whether or not video games can be considered art, there is no doubting it at Artscape, which is presenting Gamescape for the third year. Hosted at MICA’s Bunting Center, this exhibition demonstrates the creativity involved in video games though panels on game design and development, playable arcade games, and game demonstrations.
As always, Artscape’s musical lineup will appeal to all kinds of tastes. The Wells Fargo Main Stage hosts a variety of national and international artists over the weekend, including R&B singer Kem on Friday, blues rockers North Mississippi Allstars on Saturday, and renowned reggae group The Wailers on Sunday. Also, be on the lookout for The Station North Stage, which features Baltimore artists from all genres, as well as countless other performances throughout the weekend, including two performances by the BSO.
Can’t get enough Artscape? Visitors can enjoy Artscape After Hours from 9-11 p.m. on Saturday night. Revelers can attend an outdoor dance club in the 1700 and 1800 blocks of North Charles Street featuring hot local artists. If dancing’s not your thing, After Hours also offers LOL@Artscape, a comedy show that brings regional comedians such as Jason Weems, Larry Noto, and Sara Armour to the Single Carrot Theatre.