The Creative City Project is launching again, and October can’t come soon enough

In 2012, Cole NeSmith decided to rub Orlando’s face into its own Creative Culture.

NeSmith decided to create an event that could not only showcase our homegrown talent, but also take over our public spaces, and transform our community through art, if only for one night. It’s a chance for local artists and organizations to shake off the accrued institutionalized dust that comes from operating behind closed doors, and reveal themselves to their public, en masse … a flasher flash mob, if you will. And the public loves it. Each year more artists take part, and each year more and more people turn out to see them. Downtown Orlando’s fourth annual celebration of local creative culture is ramping up for one of the biggest years yet.

For one night, each October, the downtown core is taken over by busloads of artists, performers, dancers, and creatives. No swoopy tree painting hippy art walks here; the upper crust arts organizations are the big anchor tenants at this fest,

Cirque du Soleil will be back with their awe-inspiring, lycra-wearing selves. Last year a woman dangled from a construction crane over an Orange Avenue packed with onlookers, cell phones raised high in tribute. This year Cirque will be sharing a new act that just joined their Disney Springs La Nouba show, a duo of acrobats that perform on a steel beam. Said beam will be suspended from the aforementioned crane high above Orange Avenue, just like the ribbon dancer, but this act will also have a live singer, serenading the crowds from a balcony nearby. We hope she’ll be hanging laundry and wearing a shower cap. So URBAN, so Jane Jacobs!

Orlando’s own art mafia for heaven Central Florida Community Arts will have its orchestra performing an immersive concert experience, where the audience will be standing amongst the musicians. The embattled Orlando Ballet is making time in its semi-busy schedule, too. No word on what the group will be performing, but as it’s October, we’re assuming it’ll be “Vampire’s Ball”.

Accidental Music Festival’s adorable mastermind Chris Belt will be presenting a 70-minute music-installation piece inspired by modern classical music, featuring several dozen instrumentalists and singers. The music will shift and take shift over time, as the audience comes and goes.

Michael Ring, the liquor daddy of Central Florida, will be hosting the Art of the Cocktail, featuring local cocktail creations.

Mama’s Sauce will be demonstrating screen printing and letterpress too.

Even with all of the above names and performances attached to this year’s festival, the most exciting parts of the Creative City Project are the surprise performances and art encounters that attendees can stumble upon while walking from stage to stage and venue to venue Downtown.

We’re crossing our toes that Nathan Selikoff will be back with his interactive projections. We’re still reeling from the year he had a landscape image projected in front of the History Center. You could walk up to it and your movement would cause the image to change. We loved it.

There are usually outdoor stages with live music, too. Last year saw the Mud Flappers and the Cook Trio jamming on the corner of Orange and Pine Street.

We know Creative City Project doesn’t happen until October, but mark your calendars now. The event is always on the lookout for promising new talent, sponsors and volunteers, so if you think you have something they would want, be sure to reach out to them and offer your services.

More in Arts & Culture

See More