Baltimore School for the Arts students to play more than 40 pop-up concerts Friday

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Photo courtesy of Baltimore School for the Arts

In honor of the city that’s supported it for four decades, the Baltimore School for the Arts is sending students out across the city for a series of pop-up shows tomorrow.

Five student ensembles will play more than 40 spaces around Baltimore, including in Druid Hill Park, City Hall, Mondawmin Mall and elsewhere. One of the teams, a jazz ensemble, will cross the city-county line to play a set live on the air for WTMD at noon, then come back to play Baltimore Museum of Arts at 1:30 p.m. and the Western District police station at 2 p.m.

The performances, all five to seven minutes in length, will wrap up after the last show at Pratt Central Library at 3:30 p.m.

Thespians in training are also taking part, performing at the school theater department’s recurring Ages on Stages festival at the Basilica Place assisted-living facility in Mount Vernon from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The event is dubbed #40for40, alluding to the Baltimore School for the Arts’ 40th anniversary.

“We’re recognizing 40 years of being a successful education institution in Baltimore,” school director Chris Ford told Baltimore Fishbowl. “And the other piece is helping our young artists connect with the larger community, which I think is imperative for artists, regardless of their age. I think young people have to experience the value of that connection by doing it, and then they get it right away.”

Carter Polakoff, director of the Baltimore School for the Arts Foundation, the institution’s fundraising arm, said the wide footprint for the event, from Highlandtown to Pigtown and up to Towson, emphasizes “that our children can come from all over the city, and our community is the entire city.”

“That’s why we didn’t pick one corner or one city block. It’s just kind of a small way to show that we’re coming from all over the place.”

The BSA isn’t releasing the times and places for performances ahead of time (aside from what we’ve noted above). If one doesn’t come your way, though, you can watch them live on Facebook streams, which will fittingly be handled by students from the film department. 

While students have only been preparing for the last four weeks, since school began, Ford said the institution has planned the event for months. He and Polakoff said the Mount Vernon school is eyeing other publicly oriented programming by pupils throughout the academic year, including a series of visual art projects that we could be seeing next month.

“For us, this is kind of the launch of things we want to be doing all year,” Polakoff said.

Check BSA’s social media pages to follow along on Friday. The performances kick off at 8:45 a.m.

Ethan McLeod
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