Ends on February 28, 2018

ARTSCAPE 2018: Performing Arts – Application

The 37th annual Artscape – America's largest free arts festival – returns July 20-22, 2018. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) invites artists and artist collaborative groups to apply to have an artwork project commissioned and featured at this year’s festival.

For 2018, Artscape is seeking creative performances in dance, theater, operatic, American and world music, storytelling and poetry, and are combining the calls for entry for these art forms, as well as pop-up and street theater performances. Please Note: these performances do not include music/concert performances on the festival’s three outdoor music stages. 

In recent years, Artscape organizers have applied an overarching theme, relevant to both the arts and Baltimore City, into the festival’s creative thinking. For 2018, we’re going back to the basics…ART and celebrating Baltimore’s pop-up institution, Artscape. For “the year we didn’t have a theme” we encourage artists and festival-goers to embrace Artscape for what it is – a fully accessible, 100% FREE, world-class arts festival – right here in the heart of Baltimore City.

New for 2018! Artscape is proud to shine a light on the creative and artistic talent of Baltimore’s youth. We plan to showcase youth-focused programming (in both the visual and performing arts) on Artscape’s opening day – Friday, July 20, 2018. If you are interested in participating and would like to provide programming, please indicate so in your application.


Produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts – the city’s arts council, events agency and film office – Artscape is America’s largest free arts festivals, attracting 350,000+ attendees over three days. Artscape features 150+ fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, including exhibitions, outdoor sculpture, photography, Artscape Gallery Network and the $25,000 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize; incredible live concerts on three outdoor stages; a robust schedule of performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; family events such as hands-on projects, demonstrations, competitions, children’s entertainers and street theater; and a delicious, Baltimore-proud menu of food and beverage available throughout the festival site. Artscape’s total economic impact on Baltimore City is $28.5 million.


Artscape takes place rain or shine, and is open from 11am-9pm on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, and 11am-7pm on Sunday, July 22. Artscape After Hours (Charles Street only, from Preston Street to North Avenue) is open from 9-11pm on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 nights.


Artscape's goal is to present a full schedule of quality performances, for all three days of the festival. We want to entertain and engage a broad demographic of Artscape festival-goers, and develop new, year-round audiences for theater and dance companies and musical performers in the region. We invite companies to submit more than one proposal, if they have multiple ideas they are considering. For example, a theater company could propose a full-scale production of King Lear, a one-act send-up of Shakespeare’s work and an improv workshop for teens. Although all three proposals may not be practical for the company to execute during a single Artscape weekend, we plan to “mix and match” the proposals we receive to maximize our budget and venue options. To keep our schedule fresh, repeat performances are not encouraged. We welcome all NEW ideas.

The Artscape performing arts team will review these proposals, and reserves the right to ask companies to revise proposals if needed (based on potential scheduling conflicts and budget considerations). Please keep your proposal brief.


Theatre Project (45 W. Preston Street) will serve as the venue for theatre and local dance. Falvey Hall in the Brown Center (1301 W. Mt. Royal Avenue) at the Maryland Institute College of Art will host music (jazz, opera, classical and world music) performances. The Corpus Christi Church (110 W. Mt. Royal Avenue) is reserved for classical/folk music performances. Street Theatre performances will take place outdoors in front of the Main Building at Maryland Institute College of Art (1300 W. Mt. Royal Avenue). Pop-up performances are short performances occurring throughout the Artscape festival footprint during the weekend. All performances are FREE and open to the public. 

Parking: The festival is not able to provide free parking for its artists, exhibitors, and vendors.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, February 28, 2018. 

Submitting an application does not automatically imply acceptance.

Have questions about applying to Artscape? Attend the information session:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 6-7pm

Creative Alliance (3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224)

The information session is designed to give anyone interested in submitting a proposal or application for Artscape (and the Baltimore Book Festival, September 28-30, 2018) an opportunity to ask questions about the process, hear more about requirements for submitting a proposal, learn more about the festival, meet up with potential collaborators and hear about locations in the festival footprint that may offer inspiration for a proposal. 

The information session is approximately one hour in length; patrons are responsible for own parking. Please RSVP to artscape@promotionandarts.org

For more information, email sfortkiewicz@promotionandarts.org or call Susan Fortkiewicz at 443-263-4347.

Questions? Contact Chris Brooks, Community Arts Specialist (via email or direct dial 443-263-4347).

Artscape’s Performing Arts Program is a program of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Inc. (BOPA). Artscape is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Inc. on behalf of the Baltimore Festival of the Arts, Inc.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, film office, and events agency. By producing large-scale events such as Light City, Artscape and the Baltimore Book Festival, and providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.

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