Arts Beat: The City Creative

Cole NeSmith and company take to the downtown streets again with a night of artistic bliss.



Members of the Orlando Ballet performing at last year's festival.

Shannon Smith

Leave it to Cole NeSmith to come up with this one: art on wheels.

That’s the latest wrinkle the pastor, fundraiser, musician and all-around artistic instigator has dreamed up for his brainchild, the Creative City Project, a free, annual street festival that will bring dozens of visual and performing artists to downtown Orlando from 6 to 11 p.m. October 17.

As part of this year’s festival along Orange Avenue, 10 rented Ryder box trucks will feature interactive art installations. “It’s immersive. You’ll be able to step right inside and experience a different creative experience in every truck,” says the charismatic community activist and creativity cheerleader. This is the fourth year he and a group of volunteers have staged the festival on a shoestring budget—“guerrilla style,” NeSmith calls it.

The event features hundreds of artists from groups that include Orlando Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, The Red Bull BC One BBoys (it’s a breakdance crew), the Cook Trio, the Central Florida Community Arts Orchestra and Phantasmagoria. Artist Michael Owen has been painting a 100-by-15-foot mural at 250 N. Orange Ave. featuring five Florida motifs as a centerpiece for the festival. A five-movement musical piece will be played live in conjunction with the mural’s unveiling during the festival Saturday night. 

For details go to creativecityproject.com

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