Artscape, Baltimore's annual outdoor festival of the arts, returns this weekend to draw crowds from across the Mid-Atlantic region for a giddy three days of live music, theater, dance and visual art exhibitions.
This will be the festival's 26th year, and organizers are hoping that it will be the biggest and best yet. More than a million people are expected to attend the weekend's events.
There are several new additions to the festival this year, including a new vocal competition for men named after Baltimore entertainment legend Cab Calloway, a new dance troupe and workshops in the Lyric Opera House and a theater troupe that plans to write, rehearse and produce an original play -- all in 24 hours.
There'll also be hands-on art projects for kids, demonstrations by artists and fashion shows by some of the 120 arts and craftspeople whose wares will be on display.
Of course, Artscape wouldn't be complete without the scores of food vendors selling items ranging from spicy sausages and tasty kebabs to cold beer and hand-dipped frozen cheesecake. Artscape is famous for its food, so go early, eat heartily and enjoy this year's dazzling array of art, music and entertainment.
Here are some of the highlights of this year's event:
Visual Arts --The seven finalists for Artscape's Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize, named after the longtime Baltimore civic leader and his wife, will be on view this year in a stunning exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. All of them are so good you almost pity the judges responsible for picking the winner.
In addition to the finalists' entries at the BMA, works by all 30 semifinalists in the competition will be on display in the Maryland Institute College of Art's Fox building on the Mount Royal Avenue corridor. Together with the finalists, they represent the creme de la creme of the more than 300 applications for the prize this year.
And don't forget to check out some of the Artscape-related exhibitions around town on display in area schools and galleries, such as Villa Julie College, the Creative Alliance and Maryland Art Place.
Theater --Single Carrot Theatre, a lively experimental troupe that relocated to Baltimore last winter from Boulder, Colo., will write, rehearse and perform an original play -- plus make the costumes, build the set and design the lighting -- all in the 24 hours between 6:30 p.m. Friday and showtime Saturday.
The piece will be performed at Baltimore's Theatre Project at 6:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to watch it take shape, make suggestions and help with the sets and costumes. It's a fine way to witness art in the making.
There'll also be a tribute to musical theater with the Arena Players Youththeatre, poetry by two of Baltimore's best spoken-word ensembles and the Mobtown Players' production of David Mamet's Boston Marriage.
Dance --The Ron Brown Evidence Dance Company is giving performances at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lyric Opera House of its ensemble piece, Grace.
Brown honed his chops as a choreographer with Alvin Ailey in New York, where he proved himself a master of the terpsichorean arts. The company will also conduct a series of dance master classes at the Lyric.
On Sunday check out the African Dance Gala with the Sankofa Dance Theater, the Kulu Mele African Dance Company and others.
For the kids --Visit the Target Family Art Park, where kids can work on hands-on art projects and watch the antics of jugglers, magicians, puppets and other imaginative actors.
The Ferris wheel returns to the site for the second consecutive year, and, like all the other Art Park attractions, it's free.
1400 Cathedral St. at Mount Royal Avenue
4 p.m. -- The Players, ska
5:30 p.m. -- Gordon Chambers, soul
7 p.m. -- Nuttin' But Stringz, eclectic hip-hop
8:30 p.m. -- The Isley Brothers, classic rhythm and blues
1:30 p.m. -- Love Craft, jazz
3 p.m. -- Marcel & the Truth, rhythm and blues
4:45 p.m. -- Emily King, soul
6:30 p.m. -- Lupe Fiasco, hip-hop
8:30 p.m. -- Keyshia Cole, rhythm and blues
1 p.m. -- Baltimore Islanders, steel band
2:45 p.m. -- Clarence "Bluesman" Turner, blues
4:30 p.m. -- Ryan Shaw, soul
6:30 p.m. -- Burning Spear, roots reggae
Mount Royal Avenue near Lafayette Street
5:30 p.m. -- The Bridge, funk/jam
7 p.m. -- Martin Sexton, rock/soul
8:30 p.m. -- Los Lonely Boys, blues/rock
12:30 p.m. -- Matt Wigler, blues
2 p.m. -- The Crawdaddies, zydeco
3:30 p.m. -- Far From Earth, rock/experimental
5 p.m. -- J-Roddy Walston and the Business, rock 'n' roll
6:30 p.m. -- The Avett Brothers, indie acoustic rock
8 p.m. -- Old 97's, alternative country
Noon -- Winner of the 2006 Billie Holiday Vocal Competition, Georgene Fountain
1:30 p.m. -- Archie Edwards Barbershop Players, blues
3 p.m. -- Bobby Radcliff and Bruce Ewan: Blues Hermanos, Latin blues
4:30 p.m. -- The Greencards, Americana/folk
6:30 p.m. -- Sam Bush, bluegrass
University of Baltimore Stage
University of Baltimore parking lot at Oliver Street and Mount Royal Avenue, inside the food court
Noon -- TBD
1:30 p.m. -- Sam 'O and the Band, Caribbean
4:30 p.m. -- Damsels, roots rock
6 p.m. -- Soul'd Out, funk/dance
7:30 p.m. -- Elikeh Band, African root
9 p.m. -- June Star, alternative country
Noon -- Deanna Dove, rock/pop
2 p.m. -- Wes Tucker and the Skillets, roots rock
3:30 p.m. -- Kirsten Thien, blues/rock
5 p.m. -- Wendy McIntyre, rhythm and blues
6:30 p.m. -- Rob Thorworth, pop/rock
8:30 p.m. -- Santa Mamba, Latin rock
12:30 p.m. -- Neenah Taylor, rhythm and blues
2 p.m. -- JaneilaSoul Afrique, world fusion
3:30 p.m. -- Smooth Play, jazz
5 p.m. -- The Hint, pop/rock
6:30 p.m. -- Fools & Horses, rock
DJ Culture Stage
Mount Royal and Charles Street
6 p.m. -- Ndinga
7 p.m. -- Terry Thompson
8 p.m. -- Tittsworth
9 p.m. -- Karizma
Noon -- Adam Macadam & Mr. Chips
2:30 p.m. -- Uncle Jesse
4 p.m. -- DJ Impulse
5 p.m. -- Santo Gold
6 p.m. -- DJ Vadim
7:30 p.m. -- Spiritual South
9 p.m. -- Scottie B with live performance from Pase Rock
Noon -- TBD
1 p.m. -- Shanta featuring DJ Ulken
2:30 p.m. -- Dubwar featuring Joe Nice, Dave Q and Jukali
4 p.m. -- See-I and DJs Kid Gusto and Brooksie
6 p.m. -- Sabo and Nappy G
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
1212 Cathedral St
Noon-4 p.m. -- Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway Vocal Competition semi-finalists
3 p.m. -- Competition winners with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Langsdale Auditorium, in Langsdale Library at University of Baltimore, 1420 Maryland Ave.
6 p.m. -- Chris Pumphrey, maximum electric piano
8 p.m. -- Peter Blasser, biological interface instruments
Noon -- Bonnie Jones and Andrew Hyleck, minimal electronic improvisation
2 p.m. -- John Dierker and Will Redman, intense improvised music
3 p.m. -- Kate Porter and Russel, classically tuned improvisation
4 p.m. -- Ilya Monosov, anything is possible
5 p.m. -- Lexie Mountain, good time rabble rousin'
6 p.m. -- Jackie Blake, transcendent bop
Noon -- Jai Kishor, Hindustani classical music
1 p.m. -- Vattel Cherry, spiritual music
2 p.m. -- Old Songs, ancient Greek music
3 p.m. -- Neil Feather, visionary inventions
4 p.m. -- Liz King, soulful song siren
5 p.m. -- Shaun Flynn, explosive experimental rock
6 p.m. -- Samuel Burt Ensemble, post-everything classical music
7 p.m. -- Shodekeh Bouma (The Human BeatBox)
In the Langsdale Library at University of Baltimore, 1420 Maryland Ave.
Noon -- Young People's Dance Festival
Lyric Opera House
140 W. Mount Royal Ave.
4 p.m. -- Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company
6 p.m. -- Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company
7 p.m. -- Our Cultural Heritage Stilt Dancers
1 p.m. -- Kulu Mele African Dance Company and Coyaba Dance Theater
3 p.m. -- Sankofa Dance Theater and Kankouran African Dance Company
Outside Lyric Opera House
140 W. Mount Royal Ave.
5 p.m. -- Our Cultural Heritage Stilt Dancers with Harbor Nights Steel Band
6 p.m. -- Rueda by Dance in Time Productions/Latin Dance
7 p.m. -- Culkin School of Irish Dance
8 p.m. -- Sham El Sheik Egyptian Dance
1 p.m. -- Soaring Eagle Dance Troupe/Native American Dance
2 p.m. -- Asian American Art Center/Korean Dance
3 p.m. -- Latin American Folkloric Group
5 p.m. -- East/West Martial Arts Group
Noon -- Rueda by Dance in Time Productions/Latin Dance
2 p.m. -- Urban Foli Neo Traditional Drum Ensemble
4 p.m. -- Elifrey Caribbean Dancers
5 p.m. -- Urban Foli Neo Traditional Drum Ensemble
6 p.m. -- Sankofa Dance Theater
Baltimore Theatre Project
45 W. Preston St.
4:30 p.m. -- Arena Players Youth theatre, A Tribute to Musical Theatre
6:30 p.m. -- New Life Fellowship, For Better or Worse
8:30 p.m. -- Spoken Word Night with the 5th L and Poetry for the People
12:30 p.m. -- According to Ancients, When They Were Pharaohs
2:30 p.m. -- Quest, Mosaic
4:30 p.m. -- Mobtown Players, Boston Marriage
6:30 p.m. -- Single Carrot Theatre, Legalize Gay Marriage
8:30 p.m. -- Improv Night with Baltimore Improv Group and the Mime Hunters
12:30 p.m. -- Shakespeare Summer Camp, King Lear
2:30 p.m. -- Pete Taylor and Friends, Helping Herb
4:30 p.m. -- The Kulumba Collective, We Need to Talk
6:30 p.m. -- Return of Comedy Night with Koli Tengella
1301 Mount Royal Ave.
2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. -- She Never Lost a Passenger, Baltimore Opera Company
2 p.m. and 5 p.m. -- Trouble in Tahiti, Opera Vivente
Target Family Art Park
Pearlstone Park, Cathedral and Preston streets, open noon-8 p.m. daily
Arts in Action -- Arts and crafts activities from Port Discovery, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Walters Art Museum, the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra and the Baltimore Public Works Museum
Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles -- Bubble machines, bubble wands of all shapes and sizes and free bubbles to take home
Lego Tent -- Play and build with different LEGOs
Target Make it at Artscape -- Make and display artwork in the Make It at Artscape gallery.
The Big Wheel -- Ride the big wheel for free to see a bird's eye view of Artscape.
Target Family Performance Tent
Cathedral and West Preston streets
2 p.m. -- Acting Accordingly, accordion, concertina and comedy
3 p.m. -- The Michael DuBois Show, variety juggling
4 p.m. -- Stories InCreasing with the Origami Swami, origami with storytelling
5 p.m. -- Jerry Brown, variety showman
6 p.m. -- Janice Green, African and African-American storyteller
7 p.m. -- Daniel Barash -- The Shadow Puppet
1 p.m. -- Mom & Me Show, musical show with mother and daughter
2 p.m. -- The Doer of Odd Deeds, magic, juggling and water sports
3 p.m. -- The Talented Jodi, stories, science and history with soap bubble spheres
4 p.m. -- Classic Comedy of Mark Lohr, slapstick, juggling and plate spinning
5 p.m. -- The Doer of Odd Deeds
6 p.m. -- The Stunt Comedian, comedy, contortion and stunts
7 p.m. -- Classic Comedy of Mark Lohr
MICA main building steps
5 p.m. -- The Talented Jodi, stories, science and history with soap bubble spheres
6 p.m. -- Belly Dance Delight
7 p.m. -- Simply Salsa by Beginning Ballroom
Noon -- 5 Minutes on the hour Artscape presents -- JAO Art
1 p.m. -- Morton Street Dance Center
2 p.m. -- The Skylr Experience Comedy Hypnosis Show
3 p.m. -- Comedy, Magic and Skateboard Stunt Show
4 p.m. -- Chikara Moth -- Living Art
5 p.m. -- Show Off Show, video skits, comedy and circus tricks
6 p.m. -- Simply Swing by Beginning Ballroom
7 p.m. -- Belly Dance Delight
Dolphin Street at Mount Royal Avenue
4:30 p.m. -- The Stunt Comedian, comedy contortion and stunts
5:30 p.m. -- On the Ball Spinny, basketball tricks
6:30 p.m. -- Imani Edu-tainer African Dance Company
7:30 p.m. -- The Doer of Odd Deeds, magic, juggling and water sports
12:30 p.m. -- The Michael DuBois Show
1:30 p.m. -- Kinderman
2:30 p.m. -- Show Off Show, video skits, comedy and circus tricks
3:30 p.m. -- Ryan and Friends, ventriloquism
4:30 p.m. -- Comedy, Magic and Skateboard Stunt Show
5:30 p.m. -- The Skylr Experience Comedy Hypnosis Show
6:30 p.m. -- Jilli, jokes, juggling, music and magic
Cathedral and Preston streets
5 p.m. -- Imani Edu-tainer African Dance Company
6 p.m. -- Queen of Whimsey Strolling Entertainment
7 p.m. -- On the Ball Spinny, basketball tricks
1 p.m. -- Have Monkey -- Will Travel
2 p.m. -- Chikara Moth -- Living Art
3 p.m. -- The Ickity Bickity Boo Show
4 p.m. -- Kinderman
5 p.m. -- Ryan and Friends, ventriloquism
6 p.m. -- Queen of Whimsey Strolling Entertainment
7 p.m. -- Uncle Pete with Kids, kids concert with dancing, moving, self-expression and humor
Shorts in a Tent
Oliver Street parking lot
Noon -- Narrative
1 p.m. -- Animated
2 p.m. -- Avant Garde
3 p.m. -- Edgy
4 p.m. -- Music Video
5 p.m. -- Narrative
6 p.m. -- Animated
7 p.m. -- Avant Garde
Noon -- Edgy
1 p.m. -- Music Video
2 p.m. -- Narrative
3 p.m. -- Animated
4 p.m. -- Avant Garde
5 p.m. -- Edgy
6 p.m. -- Music Video
1200 block of Mount Royal Ave., Cathedral and Oliver streets
Through Aug. 5 -- Janet and Walter Sodheim Prize finalists exhibition, Baltimore Museum of Art, Thalheimer Gallery, 10 Art Museum Drive
Through Aug. 2 -- Janet and Walter Sodheim Prize semi-finalists exhibition, Maryland Institute College of Art, Decker and Meyerhoff galleries, Fox Building, 1301 Mount Royal Ave.
Tomorrow-Sunday -- Maximum Approach, Maryland Institute College of Art, Pinkard Gallery, Bunting Center, 1401 Mount Royal Ave.
Tomorrow-Sunday -- Ceci n'est pas a Booth, Kiosk or Gazebo and Other Radical Shacks, Artscape Food Court at Bolton Yards
Tomorrow -- Through, Theatre Project, John Fonda Gallery, 45 W. Preston St.
Saturday-Sunday -- 14th annual Art Car and Other Wheeled Vehicles Show, Cathedral Street at Preston Street
Through Aug. 30 -- City-County Exhibitions, Shapes and Sizes, 405 E. Oliver St.
Through Aug. 4 -- Visions of Conflict: Rendering Dissent, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Gormley Gallery, 4701 N. Charles St.
Through Aug. 4 -- Transparent Dialogs, the Gallery at CCBC Catonsville, 800 S. Rolling Road
Through Aug. 25 -- Period Pieces, Eubie Blake Cultural Center, 847 N. Howard St.
Through Saturday -- Plastic: Landscape, Cityscape, Lifescape, Creative Alliance, Amalie Rothschild Gallery, 3134 Eastern Ave.
Through July 28 -- School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St.
Through Aug. 3 -- Rumors, Current Gallery, 30 S. Calvert St.
Through July 30 -- Accumulation, Goucher College, Rosenberg Gallery, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson
Through Sunday -- MakeBakeFakeCake -- An Edible Art Event, Load of Fun Galerie, 120 W. North Ave.
Through Saturday -- Obsessive Aesthetics, Maryland Art Place, 8 Market Place, Suite 100
Through Aug. 31 -- Anonymous Rage, Sub-Basement Artist Studios, the Atrium at Market Center, 118 N. Howard St.
Through Aug. 4 -- A Confluence of Raconteurs: Work by MICA Post-Bac/MFA Students and Towson University MFA Students, Towson University, Department of Art Gallery, Osler and Cross Campus drives
Through Aug. 11 -- Variable Views: Identify, Villa Julie College Gallery, 1525 Greenspring Valley Road
University of Baltimore campus, Mount Royal Avenue at Maryland Avenue. Fashion workshops will also be held there throughout the weekend.
4 p.m. -- Linda Felder House of Etiquette
4:30 p.m. -- Little Chaz
5 p.m. -- Honey James
5:30 p.m. -- Bold Batik Wear for Women Who Dare
6 p.m. -- Kennie Ervin Collection
6:30 p.m. -- Aziz
1 p.m. -- The Full Figured Diva Academy
1:30 p.m. -- Le'Sheea Inc.
2 p.m. -- Vintage Fashions by Marvee
2:30 p.m. -- Ethnic Symmetry
3 p.m. -- Milk Maids
3:30 p.m. -- Absolut Boutique with KIS Models
4 p.m. -- Emancipation
4:30 p.m. -- Give Me Body
5 p.m. -- Gimmickwear/Aparadox
5:30 p.m. -- Thread & Yarn, Hyman & Hyman
6 p.m. -- Summer a la Mode by Do U Couture
6:30 p.m. -- Madisel
7 p.m. -- Dennya Summer 2007
1:30 p.m. -- Vintage Fashions by Marvee
2 p.m. -- Madelon Rose
2:30 p.m. -- AliceAnna
3 p.m. -- For Women ... For the Journey ... For Your Journey
3:30 p.m. -- Universalmulticultural
4 p.m. -- Eclosion Explosion
4:30 p.m. -- Miriam Coffey
5 p.m. -- Linda Felder House of Etiquette
5:30 p.m. -- Lunachic
6 p.m. -- High Exposure & Bouje Women's Boutique
6:30 p.m. -- Fashion Icons
Artists' Market and Cultural Resources
1301 Mount Royal Ave., along main corridor
Tomorrow-Sunday -- More than 100 booths of arts and crafts to view and to buy. Including, but not limited to, jewelry, glass, sculpture, fine art, clothing, photography, ceramics and more. Local art organizations, cultural institutions and museums will also be present to provide information.
Art Demo Dayz
In front of the Lyric in blue-topped tents
Tomorrow-Sunday -- Festivalgoers can enjoy creative arts demonstrations of all kinds. Highlights include wood crafts, wire sculptures, papier-mache, crochet, African culture crafts, paintings, clay, paper cut-outs, knitting and calligraphy.
For a complete list of Artscape events, go to artscape.org.