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Columbia Festival of the Arts Moves From Lakefront Into the Woods This June

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For the first time in decades, Columbia Festival of the Arts is moving its traditional Opening Weekend from lakeside at Lake Kittamaqundi to a new location. This year, festival attendees will experience a re-envisioned celebration of outdoor bands, vendors, artisans, food, KidzArt, family entertainment and more at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods.

This move is, in part, sparked by creative changes in the landscape of Columbia. “Howard County’s artist epicenter is moving to Symphony Woods, and the festival would like to take part in that movement,” said Columbia Festival of the Arts Executive Director Todd Olson. “Merriweather has long been a heartbeat in downtown Columbia. The Chrysalis Amphitheatre and the woods surrounding both venues will only increase the importance of that place in the decades to come.”

This continuation of a community favorite takes on its new format on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Sunday, June, 19 from noon–6 p.m.

The festival’s “Free Weekend in the Woods” is part of the lineup for the Columbia Festival of the Arts Summer Season, “Silk Road Stories,” which ran on select weekends in April. The schedule further includes the inauguration of the new Columbia Film Festival, which introduces dozens of fresh films from national and international sources, with an additional special tribute to local Maryland and student filmmakers.

Some of the featured ticketed events for Columbia Festival of the Arts include “Stoop Storytelling” on June 10, classical pianist Sejoon Park on June 11 and Koresh Dance Company on June 17, preceded by a personal conversation with choreographer Ronen Koresh and a company member-led workshop on the 16th. “Mystic India: The World Tour, a Bollywood Dance Spectacular,” appears at Rouse Theatre on June 18; and a longtime audience pleaser, “Sundance Film Festival Shorts on Tour,” offers two screening on June 12.

The following is a complete summary of the Columbia Festival of the Arts Summer 2016 Lineup.

Stoop Storytelling Series

June 10 at 8 p.m., Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, $15

With the theme “Stories from Abroad,” Stoop shows are intimate and surprising, wonderful and weird, hilarious and heartbreaking — and a few individuals will be invited from the audience.

Sejoon Park, classic pianist

June 11 at 8 p.m., Horowitz Center at Howard Community College, $18

Born to cellist parents in Seoul, Korea, and making his debut with Korea’s Busan Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 10, Park trained at Julliard and was the winner of Astral’s 2014 National Auditions.

The Sundance Film Festival Shorts on Tour

June 12 at 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. (talk-backs to follow), Horowitz Center at Howard Community College, $18

Showcasing a wide variety of story and style, the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour is a 95-minute theatrical program of eight short films selected from this year’s festival.

Arts Council Open Studios & Improv

June 16 at 6 p.m., Howard County Center for the Arts, free

Resident Artists’ Open Studios, 7–8 p.m.; All-County Improv Performance, 6:30–7:15 p.m.

Koresh Dance Company: Mezze

June 17 at 8 p.m., Jim Rouse Theatre, $45/$40/$30

This internationally-acclaimed modern dance company was hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “typically turbocharged — because when the dust settles after a Koresh concert, you must leave bedazzled.”

Bollywood Spectacular! Mystic India: The World Tour

June 18 at 8 p.m., Jim Rouse Theatre, $55/$45/$35

Featuring renowned Indian musicians, dancers, aerialists and acrobats and 750 opulent costumes, Urban Asia said of this, “few spectacles are so global in appeal.”

Free Weekend in the Woods in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods

June 18 from 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. & June 19 noon–6 p.m.

Columbia Festival of the Arts’ traditional lakefront festival “LakeFest” has now moved to Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. This family-friendly event, which is free to attend, packs two days full of live music, kids’ entertainment and crafts, strolling performers, food and activities for all ages.

Band Lineup

June 18

  • Noon–1:15 p.m., Anthony “SwampDog” Clark
  • 1:30–2:45 p.m., The Shrapnels
  • 3–4:15 p.m., Elikeh
  • 4:30–6 p.m., Black Masala

June 19

  • 12:15–1:30 p.m., Samuel James
  • 1:45–3:15 p.m., La Unica
  • 3:30–5 p.m., Glenelg Jazz Ensemble

Orson Welles/Shylock, A Docu-Fantasy Radio Play by Matt Chiorini

June 24 at 8 p.m. & June 26 at 1 p.m., Horowitz Center at Howard Community College, $20

This new and highly original “Docu-Fantasy Radio Play,” was described by one critic as “endlessly entertaining … takes listeners on a roller coaster ride through time, space and the mind of Orson Welles.”

Debut of the Columbia Film Festival

June 24 at 7 p.m. & June 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Horowitz Center at Howard Community College, $15

The festival will produce original films from all over the world. Audiences also will take part in choosing who gets the “Audience Choice Award,” “Best of Fest Award” and “Best Director Award.”

Washington Sound Museum: Christylez Bacon & Nistha Raj, Progressive Hip-Hop Meets the Music of India With Indian Food and Drink

June 25 at 7 p.m., Horowitz Center at Howard Community College, $45 (includes food)

Enjoy three courses of Indian-inspired food and drink and three full sets of unforgettable music by Hindustani violinist Nistha Raj and D.C.-based, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon.

Novelist Nadia Hashimi: ‘Refugees on the Silk Road’

In co-production with the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society

June 26 at 4 p.m., Horowitz Center at Howard Community College

Hashimi also will offer audiences a sneak peek at her new novel, coming out in August, about women in today’s Afghanistan imprisoned for breaking social rules.

For more information or tickets, visit howardcc.edu/steinway.