Whether you love art, music, theater or dancing, expand your cultural and artistic horizons and check out one of these upcoming art festivals in the D.C. area.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
National Mall between the Smithsonian Museums
(202) 633-1000

Date: June 27 to July 1 and July 4 to July 8, 2012
Schedule: Click here for schedule information
Cost: Free

In addition to visual and artistic performances and programs, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will also feature authentic living traditions, both old and new, a commemorative program in celebration of public universities and the USDA as well as many hands-on activities, discussions and demonstrations. Learn about astronomy, paleontology and modern farming practices or try your hand at a 4-H program. The festival will also feature the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which consists of about 48,000 different panels that help educate the public on the epidemic as well as remember those who have suffered and passed away from the disease. More than 100 visual artists, designers and community activists will be on hand to disseminate the plight of this serious worldwide epidemic.

Transwestern Presidential Towers
2511 S. Clark St.
Crystal City, VA 22202

artomatic Best Upcoming Art Festivals In The DC Area

(credit: artomatic.org)

Date: May 18 to June 24, 2012
Schedule: Click here for schedule information
Cost: Free

Since 1999,  Artomatic has transformed large, empty public spaces into a unique art gallery featuring the artistic works of D.C. area residents and artists. This year, Artomatic takes over its largest building ever—the Transwestern Presidential Towers in Crystal City—and plans to incorporate additional events including a special opening night celebration, art workshops, concerts, films, a fashion show and much more. If you wish to submit a work of art, please visit the Artomatic website. There is no criteria to participate in the event and artwork is selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please note that some artwork may be inappropriate for children.

Related: Best Impressionist Art in D.C.

Sugarloaf Craft Festival
Montgomery County Fairgrounds
16 Chestnut St.
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 990-1400

jewelry Best Upcoming Art Festivals In The DC Area

(credit: Thinsktock)

Date: April 13 to 15, 2012
Schedule: Click here for schedule information
Cost: Purchase tickets online for $7 or $9 at door; discounts available; parking and children under 12 free

This popular annual festival features the art and craftwork of more than 250 top artisans as well as new and emerging artists. The family-friendly festival features live music, interactive demonstrations, delicious gourmet foods and more. Learn how to make paper, furniture or scarves. Bring the kids and help bring a fairy tale to life. Or, simply come and see beautiful works of pottery, paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, fashion, glasswork, home and garden decor. Like what you see? Many artisans will have items available for purchase as well.

Capital Fringe Festival
607 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-7230

capitalfringe Best Upcoming Art Festivals In The DC Area

(credit: capfringe.org)

Date: July 12 to 29, 2012
Schedule: Click here for schedule information
Cost: Tickets range between $12 and $17; available June 18

Known as the second largest unjuried Fringe festival in the country, the Capital Fringe Festival provides a venue for DC-area artists to showcase their creative talents and artistic vision in a uncensored environment. The festival features numerous cutting-edge and contemporary performing art events including theater, dance, puppetry and more. In 2011, the festival featured more than 700 performances throughout the D.C. area and premiered more than 250 new pieces of work. This year, the festival plans to feature even more performances as well as educate the public on green environmental practices.

Related: Best Art Museums in Washington DC Area

Fairfax Fine Arts Festival at Fairfax Corner
4100 Monument Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 227-0895

Date: April 28 to 29, 2012
Schedule: Click here for schedule information
Cost: Free

View hundreds of original works of art, jewelry, glasswork, photography, decorative accents and much more at the Fairfax Fine Arts Festival. Set among the restaurants and shops of Fairfax Corner, more than 80 artists and exhibitors will feature their artistic wares at the festival. Admission is free, however many artists will have items available for purchase. The festival, organized by Paragon Fine Art Festivals, will also make a stop in Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Leesburg as well as other cities along the East Coast throughout 2012.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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