CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte International Arts Festival kicks off Friday and runs through Oct. 1.
The annual event celebrates performing and visual arts by placing more than 200 installations and performances in the heart of the city. There are various free and ticketed events during the 17-day-long festival. Many concerts that are appropriate for all ages will happen during the event's run, too.
The events take place over nine different locations around the Queen City.
Some of the biggest events are:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 16 | 8 P.M.
FELA - The sensual, eclectic sounds and powerful lyrics of Fela Kuti, the founding father of Afrobeat. Members of the Tony-winning Broadway show, FELA, will be featured. This performance is at The Amp Ballantyne.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 17
Chicago - Through Sunday, the first of two major Broadway shows coming to CIAF is Chicago. After 25 years, Chicago is still the one musical with everything that makes Broadway shimmy-shake: a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz, with one show stopping song after another and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. These performances take place at the Belk Theatre.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 23
Festival of India - This mainstay of the Charlotte community for 25 years is now a part of CIAF. The festival takes over the Belk Theater (inside and outside) with food, performances, shopping, and more. This is one example of CIAF placing more focus on local multicultural communities and the rich cultures we have here in Charlotte. This performance is at the Belk Theatre.
Latin American Festival - The LAF, now in its 33rd year, will be in Ballantyne for the first time, also part of CIAF this year. Food, music, an interactive village, dance, and more. This event happens at The Amp Ballantyne from 12 to 8 p.m.
STARTING SEPT. 27
MJ - The second major Broadway show coming to CIAF is MJ. This is the new Tony Award-winning musical centered around the making of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour. MJ goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status. MJ is startin’ somethin’ as it makes its North Carolina premiere at Belk Theater and runs through Oct. 8.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 29
Coco - The popular Disney-Pixar film will be shown with live symphony orchestra at the new venue The Amp in Ballantyne, sponsored by Novant Health, which will have children’s activities during intermission.
Angelique Kidjo - Five-time Grammy Award winner and major international music star will perform at the Knight Theater.
Fantastic Planet - The popular Australian artist Amanda Parer who brought us the “big bunny invasion” of Uptown and last year’s Man sculpture. Her newest exhibit is called Fantastic Planet. The giant humanoids of Fantastic Planet have landed from afar and are quietly and gently exploring our ‘fantastic planet’. Inspiration for this artwork has been taken from the 1973 Czech/ French film Fantastic Planet (French: La Planète sauvage). These sculptures can be found in Ballantyne's Backyard.
Tickets can be purchased online to other events at CIAF.
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