Artscape street closures start Monday, and the festival boundaries have changed. Here’s what you need to know to get around.

Artscape 2019 begins Friday, but as preparations begin, some streets will be closed starting Monday. Here’s what you need to know if you want to attend the free annual festival — or just avoid the traffic.

Street closures

Starting at 7 a.m. Monday, the following streets will be closed:

  • Cathedral Street from West Mount Royal Avenue to Preston Street;
  • Mount Royal Avenue from Dolphin Street to St. Paul Street;
  • Oliver Street, with local traffic being allowed only to access the parking garage at the Fitzgerald apartment building;
  • Preston Street between Cathedral and Howard streets.

Starting Wednesday at 6 a.m., closures will extend to include:

  • Charles Street from Preston Street to North Avenue, with Penn Station traffic permitted onto northbound Interstate 83 outside of festival hours;
  • Lafayette Avenue from Maryland Avenue to St. Paul Street;
  • Lanvale Street from Maryland Avenue to Lovegrove Street, with access to the Penn Station parking lot via St. Paul and Lanvale streets.

Those closures will remain in place until Tuesday, July 23, at 4 p.m.


More closures go into effect only while the festival is ongoing. From 9 a.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday, July 22:

  • Maryland Avenue will be closed from Preston Street to North Avenue.
  • Falls Road will be closed from Lafayette Avenue to Maryland Avenue, with the 100 block of Lafayette Ave. serving as temporary two-way traffic for access to a city yard and local businesses.
  • The North Avenue curb lane will be closed from Charles to St. Paul streets.
  • Park Avenue and Biddle Street will be closed behind the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall from Howard Street to Cathedral Street.

Festival boundaries changed

This year, Artscape won’t stretch up Mount Royal Avenue to the Maryland Institute College of Art. Instead, the festival’s boundaries on that street will extend only to the Light Rail tracks at Dolphin Street. Mount Royal will be open to traffic to the north of the tracks.

The festival’s southern boundary will remain Preston Street, stretching from Howard Street to St. Paul Street. And its northern boundary will remain at Charles Street and North Avenue.

New locations

Artscape’s artists’ market, typically lining Mount Royal Avenue, has been shifted to Charles Street, between Mount Royal and Lanvale streets.

Instead of showing at MICA, works by the semifinalists for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize will be displayed downtown at One Charles Center, 100 N. Charles St. near Fayette Street.

Some events have been moved outside the festival’s traditional boundaries. Youth programming Teenscape and the Fred Lazarus IV Artscape Prize exhibition, have been moved to Motor House at 120 W. North Ave, on the north side of the street. Tech arts exhibit Gamescape will be at 1915 Maryland Ave., just north of North Avenue.

Street Theater music, dance and magic performances will be held at Gordon Plaza, at the H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons at 1415 Maryland Ave.

Hours, headliners, theme

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Musical acts performing include ska band The English Beat, R&B trio SWV and The James Brown Dance Party featuring Fred Thomas of James Brown’s Band.

This year’s Artscape theme is inspired by Saturday’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing: “Discover.”

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