Artscape is a large arts festival held every year in Baltimore. it’s billed as America’s largest free arts festival. It’s always the third weekend in July, which means that it’s always pretty much the hottest weekend of the year. Hence the reason that in the 15 years I’ve lived in Baltimore I’ve only been a couple of times. The last time I went was two years ago (I think. Last year seems to recent.) when a friend who used to live right on the edge of Artscape had a party in conjunction with it. We were only out at Artscape for a short time before it started pouring rain, so I didn’t even see much of it that year. I don’t even remember when the last time I went prior to that was. At least since the last time I went where I got to see the entire thing I’m pretty sure Artscape has at least doubled in size.
In some ways it’s your typical street festival with lots of vendors and food booths. Of course at this most of the vendors are artists. There are also a lot of other art related things going on though. There are several music stages outdoors where bands play. You also have other more classical musical performances in some of the theatres surrounding the area as well as dance and theatrical performances. Yesterday there was something with many actors from The Wire performing monologues written by Baltimoreans about their experiences in the unrest surrounding the death of Freddy Grey. The line to get into that was insane as I figured it would be so I didn’t even try to go. There is also a variety of performance art and larger art installations around the festival.
A couple of friends were going down yesterday and I decided that since I didn’t have anything else going on and I hadn’t really done the whole Artscape thing in awhile that I would brave the heat and crowds and go. Plus I feel like I’ve been traveling so much this summer that I have barely spent any time with most of my friends, so I decided rather than sitting inside on my couch I should get out and see some people. It was a fun, although very wilty time. It definitely reminded me of why I never go to Artscape. It’s just too dang hot. It was cool to walk around and look at everything and enjoy a little bit of the music. We didn’t go into any of the performances held in any of the theatres. I don’t think I’ve ever actually done that because I never pay close enough attention to the schedules for those things. It might have been a good idea to get out of the heat for awhile, but oh well. It was a fun afternoon, but unless by some miracle it’s not stupidly hot I’ll probably decide to sit Artscape out for a number of years before I go back again.