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Jazz, The Jedi, Acrobatics and More at the Columbia Festival of the Arts

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Tickets soon will go on sale to the 31st annual Columbia Festival of the Arts. The event will features 16 days of activities for all ages, from Grammy award-winning jazz artists to stunning technology to a Jedi Academy for the kids.

Free Opening Weekend

The free LakeFest weekend returns June 15–17 with live music, an invitational arts and crafts show, strolling performers, festival food, a Howard OnTap Beer Garden presented by Clyde’s, and an array of activities and entertainment for all ages.

The highlight of this year’s LakeFest are evening performances of eVenti Verticali’s Wanted, a performance duo from Italy who bring together theater, circus, graphic design, acrobatics, dance, music, visual comedy and new technologies.

Arts & Crafts

The festival’s juried, invitational show returns with 60 artisans displaying and selling their one-of-a-kind artwork representing a breadth of media, including functional and wearable art at various prices. Booths are located through the festival grounds.

LakeStage Music

The LakeStage will be rocking all weekend with music from every genre, featuring performances by School of Rock Columbia, Chopteeth Afro Funk Big Band, Mr. Gabe & the Circle Time All-Stars, Nelly’s Echo, The Sidley’s, Gaiteros De Sanguashinton, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Bullbuckers, Maryland Winds, the Wilde Lake Steel Drum Band, Centennial Jazz Band, Columbia Jazz Band and the Glenelg Jazz Ensemble.

Other Performances

“The Other Mozart” comes to the Smith Theater stage on Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m. This award-winning play tells the true, forgotten story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus — a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history.

NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater will perform music from her album, Memphis, a collection of blues and soul songs that originated from the southern city in the 1960s. Friday, June 29, 8 p.m. at The Jim Rouse Theatre.

Learn the ways of the Jedi with Panniken Moonjumper, a Master of Intergalactic fun and adventure. During this program by veteran family entertainer David Engel, little Jedi warriors, princesses and Darth Vaders will experience comic antics, physical challenges, light saber lessons and a visit from his furry alien sidekick. Kids are encouraged to dress as their favorite Star Wars character. Sunday, June 24, at 3 p.m., at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods.
Stoop Storytelling Series: Stories About Education & Miseducation will be held on Thursday, June 14, 7 p.m., at Smith Theatre, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. The Stoop Storytelling Series is an event which seven people get seven minutes each to tell a true, personal tale on a shared theme in front of a live audience.

Two-faced super-nerd Charles Ross will tear into Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece in his new “One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody” on Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m., at Smith Theatre.

“Maine Girls,” a short film that follows 13 immigrant and U.S.-born teenage girls. It underscores the role that young people play in bridging cultural divides. Saturday, June 23, 2 p.m. at Monteabaro Hall, The Horowitz Center at Howard Community College.

Presented in Partnership with The Arc of Howard County and Autism Howard County, Sprout Films are shorts created by, for and about individuals with disabilized Saturday, June 23, 4 pm, Monteabaro Hall, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College.

Sundance Shorts on Tour will be shown on Sunday, June 24, 1 & 4 p.m., at Monteabaro Hall, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College.

Closing out the festival is Verba Shadow Theatre, a professional shadow theater team from Ukraine. One of pioneers of this genre, Verba takes you on a journey into the imaginative world of shadows. Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m. at Smith Theatre.

To learn more, visit columbiafestival.org or call the festival offices at 410-715-3044.