Art in the City: The biggest performance party of the year in downtown Dayton

More than 500 local artists are participating

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Downtown Dayton will be overflowing with art and creative activities next Friday night.

More than 500 local artists are participating in Art in the City, a free arts and cultural festival held throughout Dayton from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Pop-up roving performances, creative chalk artists, ballroom dance lessons, paddlesport rentals, belly dancing and live music just scratch the surface of the fun that can be had.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

This year, a new event invites community participation. The Mosaic Institute, inaugural winner of the Art in the City Community Art Grant, needs help from the public to create a large mosaic gem. Stop by Courthouse Square for the community art project that will be incorporated into the revitalized Dayton Arcade streetscape for 2020.

An evening of visual and performing arts


• There’s something for everyone Friday night. Perform on a community stage, discover new artists or listen to live music at a patio party. Here are some of the highlights of the evening:

• Purchase handmade merchandise and artwork at the Artisan Market on Courthouse Square. Beer, wine and food trucks will also be on site.

• The Avenue of the Arts – Main Street between First and Second streets, will have performances inside and outside the Schuster Center, Victoria Theatre, the Loft Theatre, and the new PNC Arts Annex.

• Funk Lab Dance Center's annual festival will be held in the Stratacache Tower (formerly the Kettering Tower) and bluegrass music will fill the air at Pickin' in the Park at RiverScape.

• Participate in a karaoke contest on Courthouse Square for a chance to win $500 for the charity of your choice.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

• K12 Gallery & TEJAS, 341 S. Jefferson St., is bringing back the Creative Kids Market, offering children the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills by selling handmade merchandise. K12 studio artists will conduct live demonstrations, and guests can enjoy live music by Alyssa Hanson, and former American Idol contestant Alexis Gomez. Food and beer will be available for purchase.


• A juried art show, curated by The Contemporary Dayton, returns, placing 16 local artists' mini-galleries in downtown businesses. The installations will be up for two weeks, and the public is invited to vote for their favorite body of work on the website. The winning artist will take home $250. The juried show debuts on Aug. 2 and voting is open until Friday, Aug. 16.

Getting around town


You might need a ride to get around to see all the fun.The Flyer, a free shuttle, will transport visitors throughout the city making stops near the entertainment. For a more leisurely exploration, hop on board the specially marked Dayton Pedal Wagon with live entertainment on board or stop by a Link Dayton Bike Share station for a ride.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Free parking can be found at the Arts Garage (Second and Ludlow), K12 Gallery & TEJAS (341 S. Jefferson St.), and on-street metered spaces are free after 6 p.m. The Oregon District garage (Fifth Street between Patterson and Jefferson) only charges $1 for parking after 6 p.m.

Map your evening


• More information about the DP&L Summer in the City and a schedule and map for the event can be downloaded at

• Information tents can be found Friday night on Courthouse Square, the Levitt Pavilion and at the community stage near the Trolley Stop.

The arts help our economy


“The arts play an important role, not only in attracting businesses to our region, but they make a huge economic impact, as well,” said Downtown Dayton Partnership President Sandra Gudorf in a news release.

According to the 2017 Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity report, the nonprofit arts and culture industry has a $213.7 million impact in the Dayton Region, supports 8,829 full-time equivalent jobs, and generates $23.9 million in local and state government revenues.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

DP&L Summer in the City and Art in the City is a program of the Downtown Dayton Partnership and is sponsored by Dayton Power & Light, WHIO TV, the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation of the Dayton Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, PNC, Dayton Art Solutions, Miller-Valentine Group, and CODE Credit Union, with additional support from 91.3 WYSO.

Art in the City program partners include The Contemporary, Culture Works, the Dayton Art Institute, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, Five Rivers MetroParks, Front Street Studios, the Human Race Theatre Company, K12 Gallery & TEJAS, Levitt Pavilion, and the Victoria Theatre Association.

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