Cicada Parade-a is a large-scale collaborative art project on display in and around Baltimore and the surrounding area starting in May and running through the end of summer of 2021. This project celebrates the re-emergence of Brood X, central Maryland’s 17-year cicada brood, which will return by the billions to Maryland during Summer 2021.
Emerging from the Dark
The last time Brood X emerged was in 2004—what feels like a lifetime ago by now. The Cicada Parade-a represents an emergence from a long period of darkness to sing, make noise and fall in love with the world again. This theme of transformative change will be explored in each piece, not just in the sculptures, but in a collection of stories about looking back and acknowledging the changes and transformations that occur in and around us over long cycles. as well as exploring deep cycles on different scales—cycles that repeat over and over in the rhythms of life, from the orbit of an electron around an atom, the cycle of blood around the body, the earth around the sun, the cycle of the tides in the Bay, election cycles, and even greater to cycles longer than a human lifetime.
Funding and Goals
Cicada Parade-a is funded by a MSAC Creativity Grant. The goals of the full collaborative project are closely aligned with that of the Maryland State Arts Council. We aim to increase the participation of communities in the arts as well as create opportunities to support multiple artists throughout Baltimore. This project was created in a way that can be enjoyed even while social distancing, should that remain necessary.
We have placed sculptures to increase traffic to places of interest around town from the streets to the parks, inspiring people to explore and find other cicada sculptures, creating joyful encounters that can spark transformative conversations and promote social change.
About the Organizers
Formstone Castle is a small team based out of Upper Fells Point, Baltimore, bringing together the enthusiasm and diverse skillsets of many different communities to make art for festivals and events, as well as simply for the joy of creation. The projects are typically envisioned and produced by lead artist Michael Bowman, and made real through the efforts of numerous volunteers and collaborative artists, who bring a wealth of professional and amateur visual art, music, technology, graphic design, fabrication, and building skills and experience of all kinds to our projects, which evolve through the collective vision of everyone involved.