Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that Open Walls Baltimore 2 is an international festival of site-specific street art, performance, and installations in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.
Building on the success of 2012’s inaugural Open Walls, more than 15 outstanding artists from Baltimore, New York, Europe and South America, selected by curator Gaia, have created large-scale painted murals and installations throughout Station North between March and June 2014. In addition to murals, OWB2 included a range of additional programming under the banner Open Walls Baltimore X. This includes Play the Plaza, a residency by the Urban Playground Group, a British Performance-Parkour team, who animated Penn Station plaza with free performances and workshops. Play the Plaza is part of TRANSIT, an initiative of the Washington, DC cluster of the European Union National Institutes for Culture and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, supported by a grant from the EU delegation in the US.
To celebrate it all, Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. in association with Primary Colors Presents put together the Open Walls Baltimore 2 Closing Party: “Dance to Keep from Crying” in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District to create a free, public, outdoor dance event that brought together the artistic and musical monuments of change.
The celebration was FREE and open to the public, kicking off with the culminating performance of the six-week residency PLAY the PLAZA at Penn Station Plaza, featuring the Performance Parkour of the UK’s The Urban Playground Team, then progressed to the Ynot Lot at 4 W. North Avenue for “Dance To Keep From Crying,” and finally to after parties at The Crown, Windup Space, and Liam Flynn’s Ale House.
Hosted by local entertainers Ellen Degenerate, Whitney Biennial, and Lexie Mountain, “Dance to Keep from Crying” featured performances by New Orleans sensation Big Freedia, Baltimore legend DJ Class, and ballroom/vogue-house culture leader Mike Q.