By Brandi Randolph, Special to the AFRO

Nothing screams summer in Baltimore quite like Artscape. It is a perfect representation of the city, as Baltimore’s art scene is diverse and expansive. We have a microcosm of creativity that other cities are not fully aware of. That is, until Artscape pops up every year in July.

The festival starts at 11 a.m., on July 20 in the area surrounding the MARC Penn Station (1500 N Charles St Baltimore, MD 21201) and goes on for the next three days until July 22. This year’s art is a cluster of interactive pieces, paintings, sculptures, demonstrations and more.

There will be performances, workshops concerts and more at this year’s Artscape. (Courtesy photo)

One of this year’s crowd pleasers will be the Silent Disco, occurring on July 20 at 12 p.m. at the 1300 block of Mt. Royal Avenue. Silent discos are a growing trend and are a ton of fun for all ages. Donning wireless headphones, you choose the genre of music you want to hear, and you dance like no one is watching with others who are listening to a variety of music through their headphones.  Another event that has garnered a lot of attention is the headlining concert starring TLC, which is on the same day as the disco. TLC is a 90’s, four-time Grammy award winning, American R&B girl group that topped the charts with their singles, “Creep,” “No Scrubs” and many more records. This performance will be taking place at the intersection of Mount Royal Avenue and Cathedral Street at 7:30 p.m. on the MICA Main stage.

The line-up for July 21 is also fun-filled. An event that will really make everyone move is the Garth Fagan dance experience/performance. This will take place at the Modell Lyric (140 W. Mount Royal Avenue Baltimore, Md 21201). These performances will be kicking off at 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., and on July 22 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Garth Fagan is a Tony award winner and is known for his work his work with “The Lion King” on Broadway.

On July 22, there will be a plethora of different performances to explore. One event is the second performance by the Sound Off! Live Winner, King Adam. There was a contest for up-and-coming bands from the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia area to compete for a spot to perform at Artscape, Light City, or the Baltimore Book Fest in September. This will be located at the Morgan State University Festival stage at 1 p.m. Another event that is geared towards kids will be the Harvey and Sam Puppet Company at 1 p.m. They will be doing a fun and informative puppet show storytelling of how African-Americans have contributed to the United States. This will be happening on Mount Royal Avenue.

It’s important to have events that bring everyone to one location from all over Baltimore. During my interview with Kathy Hornig, this year’s festival director, she said that, “having a weekend for everyone to come together to celebrate the arts and remind us that there are more things that unite us than divide us,” is what motivates her to make the festival a success for us all. Go and celebrate the music, performances, food and exhibits from artists all around the country.