Smarties, this is your last week to be moved, inspired and entertained at the Charlotte International Arts Festival, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 2.
C.I.A.F. is a new annual festival that celebrates local and international arts across genres, mediums, and cultures for multiple weeks of enjoyment in Charlotte and surrounding areas. It began on Sept 16. Locations from Uptown to Ballantyne have transformed into sensory playgrounds for all ages with exceptional artists and entertainment from more than 10 countries, as well as a showcase of local international cultures and traditions. With many events free and open to the public, ticketed events and performances range from $5 and up. Check out the festival lineup at charlotteartsfest.com.
The Queen City has been bustling with live performances, immersive art installations, and an abundance of inspired creations with a focus on the visual and performing arts—all in celebration of creativity, innovation, and community. Follow CIAF on Facebook and Instagram for updates, location details, and surprises!
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Four featured acts at CIAF
1. Architects of Air
This featured act out of Nottingham, U.K. is an immersive walk-through experience that invites visitors to a world apart from the normal and everyday through labyrinthian tunnels and cavernous domes of saturated color accompanied by a gentle sensory soundscape. The exhibit plays through the entirety of the festival in Ballantyne’s Backyard. Tickets are $5.
2. Blue Lapis Light
This act returns to transform the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center on East 4th Street into an inspired work of art, creating beauty that transcends space to connect us to a sense of wonder, possibility, and hope. Family-friendly performances will feature aerial dancers swinging from the 12-story building, ground dancers, and larger-than-life projection-mapped imagery. Performances at 7:30 pm and 9 pm between September 30 and October 2. Admission is free.
From Australian artist Amanda Parer and the studio that brought us the “big bunnies” invasion of Uptown comes Man, a large-scale, contemporized version of Rodin’s “Thinker.” Man holds his head in search of answers and invites visitors to do the same. Man will set up camp in Ballantyne’s Backyard; he is free and open to the public throughout the duration of the festival, September 16–October 2.
4. SWAY’s Bloom!
Also out of Australia is SWAY’s Bloom!, a colorful and spirited spectacle performed by aerialists atop 15-foot swaying poles. Originally commissioned for Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival, the performance is inspired by the beautiful flowers of the Smoky Mountains in a celebration of the natural world. Performances will pop up September 29–October 2. Keep an eye on Blumenthal’s website and social media for location and details.