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5th Annual Madonnari Arts Festival Runs Through This Weekend In Little Italy

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- One of the most culturally rich festivals of the year is taking place in Baltimore.

The 5th Annual Madonnari Arts Festival will run Friday, Sept. 6, through Sunday, Sept. 8.

The three-day free outdoor festival will showcase elaborate chalk paintings created by artists directly on the streets of Little Italy.

Festivities include live music, street performers, participatory art, an art market, a children's chalk center and al fresco dining in celebration of the contemporary renaissance of Baltimore's historic Italian neighborhood.

Chalk drawing -- also known as Madonnari -- began in Italy in the 16th Century.

At the festival, you'll find chalk artists from Belgium, Italy and Mexico.

More than 300 people are involved this year. Forty-two professional artists will draw their interpretations of the theme: "courage."

Last year, Rome's Matteo Andrea drew the Mona Lisa.

"This [year] is Martin Luther King Jr., obviously courage, courage," Andrea said.

Four local schools are also participating. This morning, City Springs Elementary was given a lesson in perspective chalk art.

This year, the festival is co-sponsored by the Little Italy Neighborhood Association and The Baltimore Jazz Alliance.

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