Organizers say Artscape won’t return in 2022 after all, but Baltimoreans will get ‘preview’ of 2023 festival
by Ed Gunts
Published April 5 in Baltimore Fishbowl
Excerpt: Baltimore is going to have to wait a little longer to experience the “bigger and better” Artscape festival that Mayor Brandon Scott promised on Sunday.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts contradicted the mayor when it put out a media advisory Monday afternoon, saying Artscape will not return in 2022 even though Scott said it would.
BOPA’s advisory said Artscape will return in 2023 and what Baltimoreans will see this year is a “preview” of the 2023 version, not the event itself. The advisory was titled: “BALTIMORE OFFICE OF PROMOTION & THE ARTS IS PLANNING THE RETURN OF ARTSCAPE.”
Monday’s message from BOPA was a contradiction of the one it posted last week with the subject line “Artscape 2022,” and the headline “Artscape is Shifting to September.” The earlier message gave the impression that Artscape was coming back in 2022 after a two-year, COVID-related hiatus, and that it was moving from July to September.
“We’re taking more time to collaborate on a bold new vision for America’s largest free festival,” said the first message, which was posted on BOPA’s website and shared widely on social media. “It’s a big effort, and we want to do it right, so we’re taking more time.”
That was followed by a statement from Scott on Sunday, saying he wants Artscape to return in 2022.
“We want all of our festivals to come back this year,” he said during an appearance at the American Visionary Art Museum. “Not just Artscape, but we’re going to have Afram. We want to bring all of those things back, to get us back to some normalcy in the city…. We’re bringing them back. We want to be bigger and better.”