Baltimore’s month long of free events courtesy of Free Fall Baltimore is over half way through. Have you taken advantage of this month long festival of free programming? If not, how about taking part in this Sundays Stilt-A-Thon hosted by Nana Projects!
What’s the most exciting part of walking on stilts? Is it the whimsical nature of it? Is it the sheer skill of being able to balance yourself at incredible heights? Or, is it the sensation of towering above everyone else? Whatever the case, Sunday’s event is your opportunity to it’s time to live out your larger-than-life dream!
Now in its second year, the Stilt-A-thon allows you to step up–literally– and take a walk in a stilt-walker’s shoes. For 45 minutes, you’ll learn all the basics: from hoisting yourself up (without falling back down, of course) to safely walking around. If you’re already an old pro at slilt-walking, maybe you’d be interested in joining The Big Stilt Up. At 4pm, all those who have participated in a previous Nana Projects stilt-walking workshop or have received safety approval from the organization can strut their stuff at incredible heights. Whether you decide to bring your own stilts or borrow one from Nana Projects, be prepared to dress funky and show off your superior stilt-walking skills.
Even if you prefer to not strap on some stilts, Stilt-A-Thon has plenty of unusual activities for everyone–from a giant “stilt cake” to a rockin’ kazoo band. The crafty visitor may even find a project to delve into at one of the event’s various crafts tables.
Nana Projects is well established within the world of Baltimore arts. Their ultimate mission is to “invent innovative artwork that draws people together in public spaces, strengthening their sense of community identity through shared cultural experience.” The company specializes in original performances including Paper Lantern Parades and Overhead Projector Shadow Puppetry (aka Magic Lantern Shows)
Why an entire event revolving around stilt-walking, you ask? In 2004, Nana Projects, decided to implement stilt-walking workshops to “get more height” in its parade events. They realized that the easiest way to have more stilters in their parade is to train them. Eventually, interest in these workshops accumulated until Molly Ross, the Director and Principle Artist at Nana Projects, had a moment of clarity.
“I had a vision to teach 1,000 people in Baltimore to walk on stilts. It sounded fun, outrageous and worthwhile. I would love in five years for people to assume you walk on stilts because you are from Baltimore,” said Ross.
With help from Free Fall Baltimore and the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks, Ross’s lofty dream is coming to fruition. With stilt-walking workshops held sporadically throughout the year, the annual Stilt-A-Thon is the celebration of all those Baltimoreans with a keen interest in rising above the pack. Now’s the time to stand tall, face your fears and soar above Baltimore—for free! Both workshops are open to anyone ages 9 and up, so don’t let age or lack of experience stop you from taking a chance. With only two stilt-walking workshops–one at 1:30pm and one at 2:15pm–and a limited amount of teachers and stilts, space is limited to 15 trainees at a time. Registration for both sessions begins at 1pm, so be sure to check-in early! Registration for the The Big Stilt Up begins at 3PM.
This Sunday, at Gwynns Falls Park, three miles West of Midtown, let your inner oddball climb up, dance around, and eat an outlandishly tall cake at the Second Annual Stilt-A-Thon at Rash Field. Your eccentric side won’t regret it.