Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival | Downtown Raleigh | Arts | Indy Week
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Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival 

When: May 15-17 2015
Phone: 919-832-8699
Price: Free
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From the special events that close the city's center most every spring weekend to the newly ascendant skyline, downtown Raleigh is much more active and activated than it was when Artsplosure launched in 1980. In fact, you could argue that—between new gallery walks and music festivals, creativity conferences and concert venues—there's little need for the old standby. But Artsplosure has worked relentlessly to evolve its options and expand its audience; the three-day event now includes not only artists whose works you can browse and buy but also a decent assortment of bands and a panoply of oddball attractions meant to delight kids and adults alike. From pianos in Moore Square to buskers on street corners, from aerial dancers swinging among the treetops to a birdhouse-decorating extravaganza, from sand sculptures to massive chessboards, Artsplosure strives to find novel ways to combine art and entertainment each year. (And there's Kidsplosure, which recruits puppeteers, student musicians and dancers for two days in Moore Square.) This time, they've opted to aim for Americana-plus on multiple stages, with Nashville's Those Darlins headlining Friday, veteran bluesman Elvin Bishop closing Saturday and local favorites American Aquarium taking top honors Sunday evening. The Carolina China Council and China Arts Festival Foundation also partnered with Artsplosure to bring a coterie of Chinese musicians and artists to Raleigh for a concert on Saturday night and a City Market exhibition throughout the weekend. (For more on that, see page 35.) Don't forget Insplosure, the independent alternative to Artsplosure established by local artist and musician Caitlin Cary. It runs in The Pour House on Blount Street from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For a complete schedule and roster of your options, visit —Grayson Haver Currin

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