From Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17 Baltimore, Maryland will be hosting Artscape, one of the country’s largest festivals featuring art exhibitions, live concerts, competitions, and many hands-on activities.

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One of the participants at last year’s Artscape festival indulges his inner musician. (Courtesy photo)

The theme of this year’s festival is “Space: Explore What’s Out There.” Many of this year’s projects are focused on extraterrestrial life forms and environments including a walk in spaceship, a futuristic habitat and 20 foot tall sculptures of various celestial bodies. Artscape will also be home to an Artist Run Art Fair located on 512 West Franklin Street where visitors will have access to various artist run projects and exhibits.

NASA played a huge role in this year’s Artscape and will have its resources utilized by many of the artists participating in the event this year. At MICA’s Pinkard Gallery on 1401 West Mount Royal Avenue artists will be using images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in order to create a large immersive projection that simulates outer space for the viewer. NASA will also have an exhibit entitled “Sun as Art” in which several high resolution photos of the sun are modified and presented in an artistic format for the viewers. This exhibit will be taking place at 1727 N. Charles Street and will have an interactive element that allows smart phone users to watch solar events and the history of certain images that are being presented in the gallery.

The festival will also feature a “Kidscape” on Lafayette Street and Mount Royal Avenue families and children can participate in space themed hands on activities such as creating space themed arts and crafts and observing glow in the dark constellations. Kidscape will also feature a STEM-related demonstration exhibit where families can take their children to learn about electromagnetic and infrared lights and interact with telescopes.

Artscape will also include performance arts features. The festival’s concerts are conducted on one of three stages, either the BGE Main Stage, Johns Hopkins North Stage, or the Morgan State Sound Off Stage. All three stages feature eclectic combinations of different music genres including pop, jazz, hip hop, rock and reggae. There will be shows by musicians such as Wyclef Jean, Reggie Wayne Morris, Tropik Sol and many more.  There will also be street theatre, jazz, opera and pop up performances by dance troupes and marching bands.

In addition to its multiple exhibits and concerts Artscape will also host a video game showcase, film screenings, experimental performances and numerous food vendors.

Artscape will take place July 15: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., July 16 11 a.m.-9 p.m., July 17: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Artscape After Hours will take place on July 15 and July 16 from 9 p.m.-11 p.m.

For a full schedule of events go to artscape.org/home.