What you need to know about the Charlotte International Arts Festival, September 16 – October 2

What you need to know about the Charlotte International Arts Festival, September 16 – October 2

Photo: Rami Saarikorpi

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Produced in partnership with Blumenthal Performing Arts.


The inaugural Charlotte International Arts Festival aims to be a celebration of visual and performing arts from international and local talent.

The background: It’s spearheaded by Blumenthal Performing Arts, the organization responsible for bringing Broadway productions to Charlotte all year long.

What you need to know: The 17-day festival will feature 200+ attractions throughout Charlotte, most of which will be free.

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  • Expect performances, art installations, film screenings, tours and more.
  • Most attractions will be in Uptown or Ballantyne’s Backyard.

What Blumenthal is saying: “We are excited to bring compelling art and entertainment from all over the world, as well as highlight the rich international cultures right here in town,” says Blumenthal CEO Tom Gabbard.


Here are four can’t-miss events during the Charlotte International Arts Festival

Blue Lapis Light

Photo: Earl McGehee.

  • Dates: September 30 – October 2.
  • Location: Government Center.
  • Cost: Free
  • The deets: A ballet where dancers are suspended in the air while performing.
  • More info.

Sway’s Bloom!

Photo: Elsie Management.

  • Dates: September 16 – October 2.
  • Location: Watch Blumenthal’s social media and charlotteartsfest.com to see where Bloom! will be popping up.
  • Cost: Free
  • The deets: Nature-themed acrobatic artists will perform on 15-foot sway poles in 20-minute performances throughout the day.
  • More info.

Man by Amanda Parer

Photo: DavidsPaint.

  • Dates: September 16 – October 2.
  • Location: Ballantyne’s Backyard.
  • Cost: Free
  • The deets: From the team that brought us the beloved bunnies, Man is a giant inflatable statue modeled after Auguste Rodin’s ‘Thinker.’
  • More info.

Architects of Air Luminarium

Photo: Alan Parkinson.

  • Dates: September 16 – October 2.
  • Location: Ballantyne’s Backyard.
  • Cost: $5
  • The deets: An immersive, colorful, inflatable structure that has seen more than 3 million visitors in over 40 countries.
  • More info.

Plan your visit and follow along on Instagram for updates.

Produced in partnership with Blumenthal Performing Arts.

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