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For a good time, here's what to know before you go

THE BALTIMORE SUN

There are two rules that will ensure a wonderful weekend at event-packed Artscape, this Friday through Sunday.

Rule No. 1: Eat funnel cake.

Rule No. 2: Admit that it's impossible to do it all.

There are more than 60 music, theater and literary events and more than a dozen art shows scheduled for the popular annual festival, not to mention the many market stalls competing for your cash and attention.

There will be performances by Smokey Robinson and Etta James, Hugh Masekela and Koko Taylor. Ray Charles, who sang at the original Artscape two decades ago, is back this year to celebrate Artscape's 20th birthday. And Latino music legends Arturo Sandoval and Ruben Blades are in the festival lineup as part of Artscape's Los Hispanos initiative, added this year to highlight Latino contributions to the arts.

That's a heavy load for a three-day festival. Now, we know you'll find the funnel cake, but here are some other quick picks to help you find the other standouts in the Artscape landscape.

FRIDAY:

While the crowd warms up for Motown legend Smokey Robinson, who performs on the Decker Stage at 8 p.m., use the opening hours of Artscape to see some visual creations, all of which are on display throughout the weekend. Some of the exhibitions, like those at the City Hall Courtyard Galleries, Maryland Art Place, Rosenberg Gallery, School 33 Art Center and the Villa Julie College Gallery, are off the Mount Royal festival site.

The "floor exhibition" at the Maryland Institute, College of Art's Decker Gallery is sure to be interesting: All of the art is part of the floor. Local artist David Page, whose mask and straitjacket-themed art appeared in the film Hannibal, will make appearances at the exhibit from time to time; he plans to use his own body in his display.

In the "box exhibit" at the Villa Julie College Gallery, each of the works used the box form as a starting point. For example, local artist Michael Krumenacker covered his 2-foot box in asphalt shingles cut into patterns, a result that is minimal yet striking.

The "wildflower exhibit" at the School 33 Art Center is home to floral-themed pieces, like Leslie Hirst's collection of more than 1,000 four-leaf clovers.

And the "speak show" at the MICA Fox Building focuses on written and oral text. For that exhibit Lisa Lewenz, director of the acclaimed 1998 documentary A Letter Without Words, collected a series of April Fools' Day joke postcards that she sent to her friends over the past 20 years and assembled them into a work of art.

SATURDAY:

If there's only one square on your calendar slotted for Artscape, be sure it's Saturday, when the music lineup is prime. Before the tunes start, though, be sure to catch the Art CARavan Parade at 1 p.m., which features mobile vehicular artwork. Look for the Aerocar, an old BMW turned into a mini-airplane. (No, it doesn't really fly.) The parade will roll through Gordon Plaza.

Now, back to the music. South African jazz horn man Hugh Masekela will take the Decker Stage at 3:15 p.m. Thirty minutes later, the Grammy-winning "queen of the blues," Koko Taylor, will perform on the Sun Stage. Acclaimed jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson will sing at 5 p.m. on the Decker Stage. If you've missed Mayor Martin O'Malley and his Irish boogie band thus far, O'Malley's March will perform at 5:30 p.m. on the Sun Stage.

The headliners will come out at night, starting with R&B; star Etta James. It would be worth braving the crowds just to hear her croon "At Last." James performs at 8:15 p.m. on the Decker Stage. If you're in a Cuban kind of mood, Arturo Sandoval's award-winning Latin trumpet grooves will heat up the Sun Stage at 8:30 p.m.

SUNDAY:

Sunday has always been a good day for reading, and Sunday at Artscape is a big day for literature.

This being Baltimore, there will, of course, be an homage to Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. This time it's a marathon reading of the poem. Everyone who shows up gets a free paperback copy of The Raven and Other Favorite Poems. The reading is at noon on the Gordon Stage.

Manil Suri, the UMBC math professor whose first novel was adored by all those big New York book reviewers, will read from his book, The Death of Vishnu, at 1:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, University of Baltimore. Stick around for the 3 p.m. reading by poet Jane Hirshfield, author of Given Sugar, Given Salt.

For some original art by local and national talent, venture over to the Artists' Market, which is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Preston Street, Cathedral Street and through Pearlstone Park.

The festival wraps up with headliners Ray Charles at 5:40 p.m. and salsa artist Ruben Blades at 8:30 p.m. Both are performing on the Decker Stage.

JUST THE MUSIC

FRIDAY

6:30 p.m. Decker Stage, Sunny Sumter, soulful jazz vocals

6:45 p.m. Sun Stage, Carl Filipiak, jazz guitar

8 p.m. Decker, Smokey Robinson, R&B;

8:15 p.m. Sun, Shemekia Copeland, soul and deep blues

SATURDAY

NOON

12:15 p.m. Sun, Pearlie Homicile, winner of 12th annual Mayor's Billie Holiday Vocal Competition

12:45 p.m. Decker, Nuance, R&B; vocal harmonies

1 p.m. Gordon Stage, Jay Kishor, Indian sitar

1 p.m. Sun, The William Goffigan Trio, traditional swing

1:45 p.m. Sun, Lea Gilmore and Eric Byrd, gospel and R&B;

2 p.m. Decker, Fertile Ground, urban world soul

2:15 p.m. Gordon, Sahffi, folk rock

3:15 p.m. Decker, Hugh Masekela, flugelhorn

3:15 p.m. Gordon, Soul Creation, rock reggae

3:45 p.m. Sun, Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine, blues

4:15 p.m. Gordon, Companion Trio, jazz improv

5 p.m. Decker, Cassandra Wilson, jazz vocals

5:15 p.m. Gordon, Amirah, neo soul

5:30 p.m. Sun, O'Malley's March, Irish boogie

6:15 p.m. Gordon, The Greg Phillips Trio, mixed popular

6:45 p.m. Decker, Gary Bartz Quintet, jazz alto and soprano sax

7 p.m. Sun, Great Big Sea, Celtic pop and folk

7:15 p.m. Gordon, Christopher James, roots rock

8:15 p.m. Decker, Etta James and the Roots Band, R&B;

8:30 p.m. Gordon, Daniel Alexander and Orquesta Peligro, salsa and merengue

8:30 p.m. Sun, Arturo Sandoval, jazz and traditional Cuban trumpet

SUNDAY

Sun, Mary Byrd Brown, folk

12:30 p.m. Decker, Mohori Ensemble, Cambodian singers and instrumentalists

12:45 p.m. Sun, Aloha Boys, rhythms of Hawaii

1 p.m. Gordon, Jay Kishor, Indian sitar

1:20 p.m. Decker, The Bowie State Band, symphony of soul

1:30 p.m. Sun, Railroad Earth, progressive jammin' bluegrass

2:15 p.m. Decker, Junior Brown, "guit steel" country

2:15 p.m. Gordon, Ida Selenkow, yodeling

2:35 p.m. Sun, Julie Dexter, cool urban soul

2:45 p.m. Gordon, Jah Works, reggae

3:35 p.m. Sun, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, old-world / New Orleans fusion

3:55 p.m. Decker, Joe Sample and Lalah Hathaway, smooth jazz

4 p.m. Gordon, Anointed Voices, youth gospel

5 p.m. Gordon, Junkyard Saints,

roots party music

5:05 p.m. Sun, North Mississippi Allstars, country blues

5:40 p.m. Decker, Ray Charles, R&B;

6 p.m. Gordon, K'Alyn, neo-classical folk

6:30 p.m. Sun, Cherish the Ladies, traditional Irish with vocals and stepdance

7 p.m. Gordon, Mariachi Las Estrellas, Mexican country

7:20 p.m. Decker, Marshell Jones, swing jazz

7:45 p.m. Sun, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, super-charged funk

8:30 p.m. Gordon, Cathy Ponton King, down-home blues,,,,,,,,

8:30 p.m. Decker, Ruben Blades and Editus, salsa

For the family

If the kids don't appreciate Ray Charles just yet, there's plenty of other Artscape attractions for them to enjoy.

Be sure to watch veteran favorite John Taylor, best known as Kinderman, do his song-and-dance routine as part of the Target Street Theater. He performs at 1:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Saturday and at 1:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.

While you're in the Street Theater, open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, look for Wacky Wendy's Hat Factory, where wild hats fashioned from paper plates are available for free.

Kids can watch other kids on stage during the Growing Shakespeare & Kids' interpretive production of "Julius Caesar" in the Decker Auditorium of MICA. Performances are from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There's a learning experience for all ages in the Cultural Compass International Dance performances. Dancers from Japan, India, Africa, Spain and elsewhere will use art to teach cultural traditions. The performances are at the University of Baltimore's Langsdale Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday. The programs start at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

There's even visual art just for kids; the Child arts exhibition, made for the younger viewer, is on display during festival hours at Maryland Art Place.

Note: Schedule is subject to change.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS - ARTSCAPE 2001

FRIDAY

6:30 p.m.

Sunny Sumter, soulful jazz vocals, Decker Stage

6:45 p.m.

Carl Filipiak, jazz guitar, Sun Stage

8 p.m.

Smokey Robinson, R&B;, Decker

8:15 p.m.

Shemekia Copeland, soul and deep blues, Sun

SATURDAY

Noon

Marian Licha, Latin American storytelling,

Gordon Stage

12:15 p.m.

Pearlie Homicile, winner of 12th annual Mayor's Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, Sun

12:30 p.m.

Growing Shakespeare & Kids, Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, MICA

12:45 p.m.

Nuance, R&B; vocal harmonies, Decker

1 p.m.

Diva Squad Poetry Collective, Chezia Thompson-Cager, Lenett Nefertiti Allen, Linda Joy Burke and jaki-terry, spoken- word performance with four voices in concert. Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, University of Baltimore

Jay Kishor, Indian sitar, Gordon

Bright StARTS, young storytellers, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

The William Goffigan Trio, traditional swing, Sun

Japanese Kotobuki Kai dance, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

1:30 p.m.

John Taylor, the Kinderman, song and dance man, MICA Main Building Steps

1:45 p.m.

Lea Gilmore and Eric Byrd, gospel and R&B;, Sun

2 p.m.

Susan McNelis' "Oh Susannah!" dance-along songs for families, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

Poetry Slam! Derrick Chase, host (register at 1 p.m.) Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

Fertile Ground, urban world soul, Decker

Nritya Rangam, sub-continent Indian dance, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

2:15 p.m.

Cybelle Churches-Pomeroy as Mimi, silent goofing off / on stilts, MICA Main Building Steps

Sahffi, folk rock, Gordon

2:35 p.m.

Niki Lee, poetry of Dorothy Parker, Sun

3 p.m.

Mystic Warriors, contemporary Andean music, MICA Main Building Steps

Mark Jaster's Piccolo's Trunk, wordless clown, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

Maple School of Irish Dancing, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

3:15 p.m.

Hugh Masekela, flugelhorn, Decker

Soul Creation, rock reggae, Gordon

3:30 p.m.

Diane P. Chambers, author of Communi- cating in Sign: A Flying Hands Book, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

3:45 p.m.

Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine, blues, Sun

4 p.m.

Cantare's "Musical Journey to Latin America," Nesquik Family Performance Tent

4:15 p.m.

Companion Trio, jazz improv, Gordon

4:30 p.m.

Capital Trio, bassoon, clarinet and flute, Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, MICA

"The Lies of Brian," amazing trickery and honest deceit, MICA Main Building Steps

Julia Slavin, author of The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club and Other Stories, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

5 p.m.

Cassandra Wilson, jazz vocals, Decker Awards recognitions and readings by finalists in this year's Artscape Literary Arts Short Short Story competition. Also, readings by four winners of the Maryland State Arts Council poetry competition, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

Slow Dusk, one-act opera, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

Expressions Dance Company, youth dance ensemble, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

5:15 p.m.

Amirah, neo soul, Gordon

5:30 p.m.

O'Malley's March, Irish boogie, Sun

Berta Rojas, guitar, Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, MICA

5:45 p.m.

John Taylor, the Kinderman, song and dance man, MICA Main Building Steps

6 p.m.

Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, The Three

(Not So Little) Pigs, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

6:15

The Greg Phillips Trio, mixed popular, Gordon

6:45 p.m.

Gary Bartz Quintet, jazz alto and soprano sax, Decker

7 p.m.

Great Big Sea, Celtic pop and folk, Sun

Los Quetzales, Mexican dance ensemble, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

7:15 p.m.

Christopher James, roots rock, Gordon

8:15 p.m.

Etta James and the Roots Band, R&B;, Decker

8:30 p.m.

Daniel Alexander and Orquesta Peligro, salsa and merengue, Gordon

Arturo Sandoval, jazz and traditional Cuban trumpet, Sun

SUNDAY

Noon

Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, marathon reading, Gordon

Mary Byrd Brown, folk, Sun

12:30 p.m.

Kwame Alexander, author of Kupenda: Love Poems and Do the Write Thing: 7 Steps to Publishing Success, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

Mohori Ensemble, Cambodian singers and instrumentalists, Decker

Growing Shakespeare and Kids, Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, MICA

12:45 p.m.

Aloha Boys, rhythms of Hawaii, Sun

1 p.m.

Jay Kishor, Indian sitar, Gordon

Javanese Music and Dance Group, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

Bright StARTS, young storytellers, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

1:15 p.m.

John Taylor, the Kinderman, song and dance man, MICA Main Building Steps

1:20 p.m.

The Bowie State Band, symphony of soul, Decker

1:30 p.m.

Manil Suri, author of The Death of Vishnu, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

Railroad Earth, progressive jammin'

bluegrass, Sun

2 p.m.

Baltimore International Rhythm and Drumming Society, Pearlstone Park

Susan McNelis' "Oh Susannah!" dance- along songs for families, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

Ziva's Spanish Dance Ensemble, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

2:15 p.m.

Kangaroo Kids, precision jump-rope teams, MICA Main Building Steps

Junior Brown, "guit steel" country, Decker

Ida Selenkow, yodeling, Gordon

2:35 p.m.

Julie Dexter, cool urban soul, Sun

2:45 p.m.

Jah Works, reggae, Gordon

3 p.m.

Mark Jaster's Piccolo's Trunk, wordless master clown, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

Jane Hirshfield, award-winning poet, essayist and translator. Author of Given Sugar, Given Salt and The Lives of the Heart, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

African Coyaba Dance Theater, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

3:30 p.m.

Mystic Warriors, contemporary Andean music, MICA Main Building Steps

3:35 p.m.

New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, old-world / New Orleans fusion, Sun

3:55 p.m.

Joe Sample and Lalah Hathaway, smooth jazz, Decker

4 p.m.

Anointed Voices, youth gospel, Gordon

Cantare's "Musical Journey to Latin America," Nesquik Family Performance Tent

4:30 p.m.

Duo Virago, flute and guitar, Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, MICA

"Writing That Heals," panel discussion on the virtues of and growing recognition for therapeutic writing, Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

5 p.m.

Slow Dusk, one-act opera, Langsdale Auditorium, UB

Expressions Dance Company, youth dance ensemble Nesquik Family Performance Tent

"The Lies of Brian," amazing trickery and honest deceit, MICA Main Building Steps

Junkyard Saints, roots party music, Gordon

5:05 p.m.

North Mississippi Allstars, country blues, Sun

5:30 p.m.

Lyric Brass Quintet, horn, trombone, trumpets and tuba, Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, MICA

5:40 p.m.

Ray Charles, R&B;, Decker

6 p.m.

Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, The Barker of Seville, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

John Taylor, the Kinderman, song and dance man, MICA Main Building Steps

K'Alyn, neo-classical folk, Gordon

6:30 p.m.

Cherish the Ladies, traditional Irish with vocals and stepdance, Sun

Poetry Slam! with host Kwame Alexander (register at 5:30 p.m.), Moot Court Room, Angelos Law Center, UB

7 p.m.

Los Quetzales, Mexican dance ensemble, Nesquik Family Performance Tent

Mariachi Las Estrellas, Mexican country, Gordon

7:20 p.m.

Marshell Jones, swing jazz, Decker

7:45 p.m.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, supercharged funk, Sun

8:30 p.m.

Cathy Ponton King, down-home blues, Gordon

Ruben Blades and Editus, salsa, Decker

ART AT ARTSCAPE

There will be continuing art shows outdoors as well as indoors at six galleries. Art-gallery exhibits will take place at the Maryland Institute, College of Art; City Hall Courtyard Galleries; Maryland Art Place; Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College; School 33 Art Center; and Villa Julie College Gallery. A number of the exhibits extend beyond the three days of Artscape.

IN ADDITION

Other Artscape activities and events: Literary Arts Market; Artists' Market; entertainment at Mount Royal Avenue and Dolphin Street, Gordon Plaza; Performance Art on Gordon Plaza; the Art Car Symposium at the American Visionary Art Museum; the Art CARavan parade; Arts in Action on Gordon Plaza (arts and crafts activities); Bright StARTS Tent (art created by Baltimore youth); Baltimore Youth Television (eight videos made by young Baltimoreans); Cultural Resources Tent (information on cultural organizations); and Provident Bank Creation Station workshops (art projects for children ages 6-12).

Artscape on Sunspot

Quick, what year did Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Grover Washington Jr. and the Max Roach Quartet all make appearances at Artscape? What year did attendance reach 1 million? When did Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, grace the festival with her presence? For the answers, and many more Artscape tidbits, visit Sunspot, The Sun's online service. Go to www.sunspot.net and click on the link to the festival timelime.

The facts

What: Artscape

When: Friday 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Saturday noon-10:30 p.m.; Sunday noon-10:30 p.m.

Where: Mount Royal Avenue between North Avenue and Preston Street (accessible by light rail)

Admission: Free

Call: (410) 396-4575

Web: www.artscape.org

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