Hip-hop veteran Wyclef Jean will headline the musical lineup at this year's Artscape, the annual free arts festival set for July 15-17, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday.
"From rap to reggae to ska punk, there is something in just about every music genre on the concert stages," Rawlings-Blake said.
Jean's performance is set for 7:30 p.m. July 15 on the BGE Main Stage, at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Other scheduled Main Stage performers include the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (7:30 p.m. July 16) and Burning Spear (6:30 p.m. July 17).
In addition, Baltimore's annual free festival dedicated to the performing and visual arts will feature tributes to two music giants who died this year. DJs will host a "Prince Dance Party" from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 15, while the "Bmore Does Bowie" will feature live bands paying tribute to the late David Bowie the following evening.
The festival will also present free shows at the newly christened artist incubator space Motor House, at 120 W. North Ave., including a presentation of the musical "Dreamgirls," performed by ArtsCentric. That show is set for 7:30 p.m. July 15.
For its 35th year, Artscape, billed as the nation's largest free arts festival, will revolve around the theme "Space: Explore What's Out There." Included among the festival's exhibits will be six large-scale space-related art installations: "ART/HAB," described as "a space-age habitat housed in three geodesic domes"; "Celestial Light," two 20-foot-tall sculptures featuring performance art; "Moloch's Institute for Extranormal Research," exploring "the truth about alien visitors to planet Earth"; "Space Place," showcasing an inflatable sun and planets; "The Mother Ship Connection," a model mother ship serving as a base for performance art; and "Crater," designed as a crash site-turned-art space.
Every year, Artscape attracts roughly 350,000 people and has an economic impact of almost $26 million, according to figures from a 2012 study provided by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, which produces the festival. Activities and exhibits take place in and around the intersection of Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street.