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Music, art, to be featured at Common Ground fest

The sixth annual American Music & Arts Festival, presented by Common Ground on the Hill, will be held Saturday and July 13 at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster.

The event is the culmination of Common Ground's two-week summer school, which brings in world-renowned performers to teach music, dance and art at McDaniel College. The festival celebrates the "common ground" found in traditional arts.

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American musical genres - including blues, folk, bluegrass, Native American, Appalachian, jazz and gospel - Celtic music, African drumming and dance, world percussion, storytelling, poetry, performance art, arts and crafts, ethnic foods and a children's World Village will be featured.

More than 80 world-class performers will make music, dance, tell stories, lead sing-alongs and hold drum circles on four stages.

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This year's featured performer is Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Roger McGuinn of the Byrds on Saturday. Festival hours on Saturday are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., but activities continue at 9 p.m. with an old-time dance next door at the Carroll County Agricultural Center, featuring the Common Ground Concert String Band.

The festival will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 13 when Grammy Award-winning singer/performer Tom Chapin will be featured in two shows at the World Village and pavilion main stages.

ULAI, whose music was featured on the soundtrack of the Miramax film Smoke Signals, will perform both days. Other performers include Guy Davis, Dr. Loco, Tao Rodriquez-Seeger, Sankofa, Footworks, Spark and Rhonda Rucker, Fennig's All Stars, Bryan Bowers, Robin Bullock, John Sinclair, Bob Lucas and Willie Schwartz, Etta Baker, Walt Liniger, Walt Michael & Co., Sangmele and Voxology.

In addition to festival activities, the farm museum's exhibits will be open, including tours of the farmhouse and the Living History Museum.

Weekend passes are available for $34. Daily tickets are $22 for Saturday and $18 for July 13 for adults; $8 a day for teens age 18 and younger; and free for children age 12 and younger with a paying adult. For every ticket sold in advance, $2 will be donated to Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County. Camping in the rough is available at the Ag Center for $8 per person. Farm museum memberships will not be honored for the festival.

Information: Farm museum, 410-848-7775; or Common Ground at 410-857-2771.


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