America’s largest free arts festival, rocking the cultural heart of Baltimore since 1982, attracts aficionados and free spirits alike.
If art of any kind stirs your passion, Artscape is just the ticket for you. Best of all, this cultural immersion lets you keep your wallet in your pocket.
When and Where
Go to Baltimore in mid-July for Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country. Spanning 14 square blocks around the Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA), the three-day event welcomes more than 350,000 people of all ages to celebrate the arts.
What to Expect
Explore an exciting array of delightfully unexpected experiences. Be on the lookout for artists decked out in impeccable costumes and locals letting their freak flag fly. Join a makeshift marching band for an impromptu parade or revel amongst the street-corner dance troupes, sidewalk puppeteers and park-bench performers vying for onlookers’ cheers. From cars covered in bottle caps and pennies to sculptures made of shopping bags, the unusual, eye-catching creations are sure to amaze you.
Admire the creativity of more than 150 fine artists and fashion designers who show and sell their work. Get lost in larger-than-life exhibits produced by local artisans and enjoy a packed schedule of dance, opera, theater and film in neighboring venues. You’ll hear—and feel—an eclectic mix of music from all over the world. From pop, punk and funk to reggae, rap, rock and more, past Artscape performers have included Wyclef Jean, TLC, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, ZZ Ward, Trombone Shorty and dozens upon dozens of regional favorites.
Activities for All Ages
Budding artists can enjoy Kidscape and Teenscape, where hands-on activities and inventive games encourage friendly competition for all. Adults looking to continue the fun after dusk can attend Artscape After Hours to dance under the streetlights and the stars.