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Learn how to be an artist

Artscape is upon us once again, and as usual, the annual festival will feature stage shows, exhibits, international cuisine and a marketplace that's chock-full of artisans.

But according to event spokeswoman Tracy Baskerville, the 23rd annual celebration will include more than just the expected.

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This year's happening, she said, will provide an interactive art experience for thousands through a new program dubbed Hands On Artscape.

"We wanted to create something where people could participate in Artscape, where you could learn how to be an artist," said Baskerville, who works in the city's Office of Promotion & the Arts.

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The initiative, a cooperative effort involving state and local organizations, will invite festivalgoers to get involved in the creative process, from practicing the ancient Aboriginal didgeridoo and other musical instruments to learning the very Baltimorean art of screen-painting.

Teaching will take place in a large tent on Mount Royal Avenue, where experts on everything from African dance to decoy carving will also give demonstrations and advice to would-be artists.

Rory Turner, a program director with the Maryland State Arts Council, said the organization is excited to be offering such cultural and educational opportunities -- in particular, those that showcase traditional arts that have been practiced in the local area.

"Every one of these artists has a really neat story; and we're hoping that [the public will] learn about the really rich diversity of excellence in the traditional arts that we have in Maryland," he said.


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