Columbia Festival of the Arts Returns in June

May 26, 2016

Columbia Festival of the Arts and Columbia Association (CA) share a long history of presenting arts and entertainment throughout not only Columbia, but also across Howard County and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

As a founding benefactor, CA has supported the Festival since its inception in 1987. Grant funding is only part of the puzzle; CA’s Open Space staff provides significant in-kind support for the Festival during our Free Weekend each year, helping to create the infrastructure that brings the arts to our community each summer. To this day, Columbia Festival of the Arts has received more support from CA than from any other single entity.

That helps Columbia Festival of the Arts achieve its mission of presenting a world-class celebration of the arts — with entertainment that attracts, engages and inspires the broad and diverse community it serves. In support of this vision and mission, the Festival has extended the celebration by making the Festival a year-round event.

“Arts For Every Season” continues in 2016 with the summer-themed Festival, “Silk Road Stories,” which runs from June 10 through June 26, including a kickoff for the first Columbia Film Festival on June 24-25; classical pianist Sejoon Park on June 11; Sundance Film Festival Shorts on Tour on June 12; Koresh Dance Company on June 17; and a Bollywood Dance Spectacular called Mystic India on June 18, among others.

The Festival’s traditional free festival days at Lake Kittamaqundi (not to be confused with CA’s Lakefront Summer Festival) have now moved to Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods for a dynamic new outdoor arts experience with live bands, arts and crafts vendors, food, strolling entertainers and more. This year’s inaugural free “Weekend In The Woods” runs on Saturday, June 18 from 10am to 6pm and Sunday, June 19 from noon to 6pm. In addition to D.C.’s high-energy brass band Black Masala, the Glenelg Jazz Ensemble — a classic crowd pleaser — will join the outdoor celebrations.

Festival patrons and sponsors alike sing their praises for the Festival and echo a common theme that builds enthusiasm for the coming years: “I believe the arts is an outlet that lifts your spirits and all your troubles seem to disappear,” they say. “The Festival is a needed entity in the county and provides an opportunity for visitors near and far to come to a venue that features well-known performances from around the world. The festival has something for everyone at prices that are affordable.”

We hope that you enjoy this summer’s Festival. And check back at for announcements on the events to come this fall and winter.

Todd Olson, Robert Neal Marshall, Diana Forbus, Dave Simmons and Melissa Rosenberg,
Columbia Festival of the Arts

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