The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), in consideration of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, announces cancellations and updates for its Summer 2020 calendar of events. Following mass gathering restrictions, BOPA’s large-scale summer events Artscape 2020 and Baltimore’s 4th of July Celebration have been canceled. The Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibitions will proceed on a virtual platform this year. BOPA will continue to adapt its annual programming and seek alternatives including virtual platforms in response to the health crisis. Announcements will be made accordingly in the coming weeks.

“Because of the evolving development of the COVID-19 global pandemic and in collaboration with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s office, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our large-scale events this summer. For all of us, the health and safety of attendees, staff, participants and volunteers is our primary concern,” said Donna Drew Sawyer, CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. “The cancellation of these major events impact so many—artists, performers and exhibitors, as well as our production staff, crew, vendors, production assistants, volunteers and neighbors—however, large gatherings of the community are not possible at this time. We are looking into ways we can virtually celebrate and showcase the arts in Baltimore this summer and we look forward to resuming healthy gatherings across the city when it is safe to do so.”

During this critical time of social distancing, BOPA remains connected to the creative pulse of Baltimore through several initiatives. At the sudden onset of the mandatory stay at home declaration in Maryland, BOPA collaborated with several area arts organization to launch the Baltimore Artists Emergency Relief Fund. The generosity of funders and individuals enabled the fund to distribute more than $161,000 in grants to independent artists. Information on BOPA initiatives is available on and BOPA’s social media channels. Look to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates on arts resources, virtual art displays, and to learn about how Baltimore’s creative community is keeping the arts thriving remotely.

Continue reading below for more details on BOPA’s cancellations and updates for Summer 2020.

Artscape 2020 Canceled, Returns in 2021 Artscape, Baltimore’s largest and most beloved annual arts festival attracts an average audience of more than 300,000 people to Midtown Baltimore and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District each summer. BOPA looks forward to returning in 2021 stronger and healthier, as part of the City’s recovery, ready to celebrate the landmark 40th anniversary of Artscape. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts continues to plan for the best way to remain connected with Artscape artists and the community this summer. While the wait for Artscape is now longer than expected, look for BOPA announcements soon regarding virtual content and opportunities that will keep the Artscape spirit alive.

Despite this cancellation, the 15th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, an Artscape tradition, will continue this year. The $25,000 finalist award and exhibition will take place on a virtual platform with details announced soon.

Baltimore’s 4th of July Celebration and Picnic at the Top Canceled for 2020, Baltimore’s 4th of July Celebration commemorates the Declaration of Independence with a live music performance and fireworks display at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. In addition, Picnic at the Top, held at Top of the World Observation Level, is also canceled.

For more information on the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, call 410-752-8632 or visit To learn more about COVID-19, please visit the Baltimore City Health Department website.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, events center and film office. By providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, and by producing large-scale events such as Artscape, Baltimore Book Festival and Light City, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA)

courtesy Photo

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA)