Free Fall Baltimore is back. Here are 10 events not to miss

Festival goers cheer for their favorite pig during the pig race the Pigtown Festival, one of many free events taking place in October as part of Free Fall Baltimore.
Festival goers cheer for their favorite pig during the pig race the Pigtown Festival, one of many free events taking place in October as part of Free Fall Baltimore. (Colby Ware / For The Baltimore Sun)

Sunday marks the beginning of Free Fall Baltimore, an annual month-long promotion offering free events throughout the city.

The campaign, sponsored by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, runs through October each year. And there are plenty of options — more than 300, to be exact. To help narrow that down, we've combed through the offerings to provide a number highlights.



Guitar master classes


Are you a guitar enthusiast? The Baltimore Classical Guitar Society is hosting a series of classes with masters of the craft.

First, Franco Platino, a graduate from the Artist Diploma program at Peabody, will teach how to practice blazing scales, best practice strategies and warm-up routines during a three-hour class Oct. 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Meng Su, artist-in-residence for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, hosts a session from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15. And finally, Manuel Barrueco shares his expertise from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 29. All classes are held at the Cohen-Davison Family Theatre at the Peabody Conservatory, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place.

Dance master class series hosted by The Collective

The series of master classes will be held at The Bryn Mawr School, 109 W. Melrose Ave., starting Oct. 1 with contemporary jazz with Jess Beach. Other classes include: contemporary African with Darby Pack (Oct. 8); hip-hop with Chris Law (Oct. 15) and modern with Sarah Beth Oppenheim (Oct. 22). Take a single master class or sign up for the entire series. Although classes are geared toward pre-professional students and adult movers who have some previous dance experience, less-experienced participants are encouraged to take the class at their own pace.

Maryland Zoo Free Fall Baltimore Day

The Maryland Zoo, 1 Safari Place, Baltimore, will offer free entry for all guests on Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is typically $15-$19, so this is a pretty good deal.

"The Movement" featuring Baltimore Improv Group and The Collective

The Collective and the Baltimore Improv Group come together for a performance of improv comedy and dance on Oct. 7 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Baltimore Improv Group Theater, 1727 N. Charles St. "The Movement" has been performed by the two groups for the past 10 years in Baltimore, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. This production will be co-directed by Michael Harris, artistic director of the Baltimore Improv Group, and Alyson Jacques, co-director of The Collective. Register for free tickets here.

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African Mask Making Parent/ Child Workshop

Parents and children will learn to make African masks Oct. 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Arundel Elementary Middle School, 2400 Round Road. Materials for the class include paper, fabric, beads, raffia and more. The workshop is led by artist-teachers Sallah Jenkins, who has taught for Young Audiences, Baltimore Clayworks, the James E Lewis Museum, and Morgan State University, and Nicole Fall, who has taught at Arundel Elementary School, MICA, and Baltimore City Community College.

Circus Farm Classes

Learn the ins and outs of circus activities and the plant world at Heckel Farm, 4214 Heckel Ave. during a series of 90-minute classes throughout October. Each class will start with a half hour of circus warmups including hula-hoop and juggling lessons. The rest of the class will focus on various topics including: Medicine Plant Walk (Oct. 3); Seed Saving (Oct 10); Composting & Working Your Soil (Oct 17) and Permaculture Food Forest (Oct 24). Classes run 3:30 p.m.-5: p.m.


"Tribute to Thelonious Monk" at 100

Jazz pianist legend Thelonious Monk, who would've been 100 this year, will be celebrated through videos of his performances and a live show from the Carl Grubbs Ensemble of pieces by Monk and other jazz legends. The musicians — Carl Grubbs, saxophone; Mike Noonan, piano; Blake Meister, bass; and Byung Kang, drums — will also discuss the history of Monk and jazz as a whole.

"Tribute to Thelonious Monk" at 100 (1917 - 2017) will take place 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 12 at Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, 847 N. Howard St.

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16th Annual Pigtown Festival

Pigtown Main Street brings the annual festival, which includes live music, food trucks, art and crafts, and various vendors. And, since this is Pigtown, the event will feature Squeakness, a live pig race. Runs noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Scott Street. Find more info here.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents: "Julius Caesar"

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company brings Baltimore a contemporary look at Shakespeare's most recognizable work 8 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 20 at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 S. Calvert St. Advance registration required. This is your chance to see a show that typically costs $19-$50 for free.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Symphonic Stories

Enjoy various pieces from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, including Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 and Strauss' "Don Quixote" on Oct. 20 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. The evening will feature: Jun Märkl, conductor; Jonathan Biss, piano; Dariusz Skoraczewski, cello; and Lisa Steltenpohl, viola. There are a limited number of free tickets available, so advance registration is required.

For more information and the full slate of offerings, go to freefallbaltimore.org.


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