Welcome to the Festival

Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival Postponed to 2021

August 4, 2020 (Baltimore)
Given the concerns expressed by public health officials regarding the current level of infectiousness and the anticipated surge in Covid-19 infections, Little Italy Neighborhood Association and Baltimore Jazz Alliance have announced that the Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival will be postponed until next September 2021.
During the hiatus, the organizers of the Little Italy Madonnari Festival will refocus their efforts on the creation of a permanent mural and gallery dedicated to the art of the Madonnari. Painted in the style of the Renaissance artists, the mural will adorn the front of the Madonnari Gallery located at 227 Slemmers Alley facing President Street; this Gallery will be the first of its kind in the United States and only the second outside of Italy.
Little Italy and the art of the Madonnari can be enjoyed by residents from a safe distance and virtually until it is safe to gather in person again. Work on the mural began this week.  Artist Michael Kirby is the author of the mural which incorporates classical and contemporary elements and is intended to express the best instincts of humanity. The mural will serve as an entranceway to Little Italy and a permanent promotion of the Festival. The mural is funded by grants from Maryland State Arts Council and SouthEast CDC.  A video is being produced that will follow the progress of the mural and present interviews regarding the Festival and the community’s commitment to culture and the arts. The video will be available for viewing on the Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival website. 
The Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival is an annual 3-day cultural event that showcases elaborate chalk paintings created by artists directly on the streets of Little Italy. The free outdoor chalk festival includes live music, street performers, participatory art, an art market and al fresco dining in a celebration of the contemporary renaissance of Baltimore’s historic Italian neighborhood.
For additional information, contact Cyd Wolf, Executive Producer of the Festival. (410)967-5441 cyd@littleitalymadonnari.com

Thank you for your support of the Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival. We encourage everyone to be safe, and to take all precautions recommended by public health officials. We look forward to making art and music with you again soon.


The Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival Organizers


Little Italy Baltimore Madonnnari Arts Festival 2019

What a gorgeous Festival we had! All of the art is spectacular! Congratulations to the artists and thank you to all who participated! This year’s street paintings are exquisitely rendered and the art along with the Artists’ Statements on “Courage” are thought-provoking and encourage dialogue.  The First Place Classical Prize was awarded to Abraham Burciaga for his  David and Goliath, the 2nd Place Prize was won by Flavio Coppola for his fabulous interpretation of a vintage photograph of Italian immigrants at Ellis Island and his statement on immigration. Third Place was a tie between Nicole Flaig for her tribute to The NASA Women and Andrea Starinieri for his portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. The First Place Contemporary Prize was awarded to Julie Jilek  for her depiction of Jane Goodall passing the baton to Greta Thunberg. The People’s Choice Award went to Lissette Aguirre for her Gypsy and the School Art Prize was awarded to the Baltimore School for the Arts for their piece inspired by an Italian tarot card portraying strength.  Thank you to our judges Christine Sciacca (Associate Curator, European Art, 300-1400 CE- The Walters Art Museum), Rebecca Alban Hoffberger (Director, American Visionary Arts Museum), Craig Hankin, Director Emeritus of the Center for Visual Arts, Johns Hopkins University) and Denise Koch (Anchor/Reporter, WJZ-TV).

Our presenters, Little Italy Neighborhood Association and the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, threw the best party ever with the inspiration  of Jonathan Willen, Juli Wolf and Vintage Affairs.  Jazz, street painting and al fresco dining made for a magical weekend.

Thank you Mayor Jack Young, City Council Vice President Sharon Middleton, Councilman Zeke Cohen and Senator Bill Ferguson for joining us and awarding the Madonnari artists a special commendation.  We are also grateful to the Residents of Little Italy for their collaboration and enthusiasm for this glorious event and for their generosity and kindness to our international guests.

We could not have asked for a more perfect Festival!

Burciaga David and Goliath


Jilek 3S. High street sceneAndrea Starinieri Martin Luther King Jr.

Natalie Flaig and the Stars of NASA



Lissette 2
BSA Strength


















Countdown to the Festival!

image2 (4)IMG_2713

IMG_2413Be a part of the creative process at the Fifth Annual Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari Arts Festival as artists give vision and voice to this year’s theme, Courage. Whether expressing the courage to stand up for our convictions, the courage to create, the courage to explore new worlds, the courage to speak out for those who have no voice, or honoring those among us or have come before us who have demonstrated or personify courage, our artists will define in personal and universal terms that much honored virtue.  We look forward to sharing our Little Italy Neighborhood with our guest artists and patrons of the arts.

This year’s Festival is proudly presented by the Little Italy Neighborhood Association and the Baltimore Jazz Alliance and is supported in part by grants from Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland State Arts Council, msac.org, and Mayor Jack Young and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, promotionandarts.org. In addition to the exquisite street paintings to be located on S. High Street between Pratt Street and Eastern Avenue, the BJA Soundstage on Fawn Street between S. High Street and Albemarle Street hosts continuous live music by Baltimore’s exceptional performing artists.  Artists and artisans will also open shop at our pop up Art Market to be located on Stiles Street between S. High Street and Albemarle Street. Bring your emerging artists to the Children’s Chalk Center, enjoy our street performers and al fresco dining. and meet the artists as they create their street paintings.  There is plenty of parking in the Little Italy Parking Garage and the Fleet and Eden Garage.  A full schedule of events is posted on this website.




Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari Arts Festival 2018

MOTHER NATURE HAD A TANTRUM AND WE HAD A FESTIVAL!  As every respectable street painting chalk artist knows, a little rain can’t wash away memories!

The image1 (14)challenging Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari  Arts Festival 2018 was an overwhelming success on so many levels– the creativity and camaraderie of our artists, the kindness and enthusiasm of our Little Italy community and thanks to the virtual world of social media, the incredible art that was completed both on the street and in the studio— yes, the Little Italy Restaurants became working artist studios on Sunday to allow our talented group to express themselves— the art lives on!   You can see the art and the process  on Facebook and Instagram and on this website in our 2018 Media Gallery. Please continue to send us your best pics and we will display them.. Enjoy the newest masterpiece of The Chalk Guys, Hector Diaz and Ken Mullen, the definitive street painting of the

1969 Rooftop Beatles Concert, completed at our Festival!

Thank you to all who participated for your dedication, resilience and resourcefulness, for your commitment to the arts!

Madonnari Number 1 Week's 10 Best










Thank you Rhea Feikin and Maryland Public Television for this great MPT Maryland Minute!

Read this terrific article by Kate Orgera for Culture Trip!


Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari Arts Festival 2017

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE WEEKEND! The Little Italy Madonnari Arts Festival 2017 exceeded all expectations in terms of quality and execution of art, personal expression of our desperate love of freedom, the emotional connection with the Festival attendees and the very special camaraderie of our artists–Thank You. Grazie. Gracias. Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu.  Our Little Italy community and the City of Baltimore are forever changed for the good because of the brilliance of our artists and all of you who visited us in Little Italy to enjoy the art, the music, the delicious food and libations and the spirit of our community!

All of the art was extraordinary and the full gallery of photos  is now posted.  Prizes were awarded as follows:

Contemporary Category
Ketty Grossi  for “Black Mamba”- 1st
Ever Galvez  for “Wild Horses”- 2nd
CarlosAlberto GH  for “Freedom to live without fear”- 3rd
Erik Greenawalt for “Cap. Harvey West, Our Guardian of Freedom”- 3rd
KC Linn for her rendition of the Shepard Fairey posters from the 2017 Women’s March on Washington – Honorable Mention and People’s Choice
Classical Category
Katie Better for “Harriet Tubman” – 1st
Tomoteru “ToMo” Saito for “Butterfly Fairy” – 2nd
Dave and Shelley Brenner for “The Birth of the Flag”- 3rd
Francesca Arsi for the “Renaissance Woman”- Honorable Mention
High School Awards
Concordia Prep for “Modern Madonnari” – Classical
Baltimore School for the Arts for “We must fight for our freedoms”- Contemporary
A warm thank you to our judges, Master Street Artist Michael Kirby, the wonderful Denise Koch, WJZ-TV anchor and reporter, and Christine Sciacca, Associate Curator of the Walters Museum.


Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari  Arts Festival 2016

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE FABULOUS ARTISTS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE 2016 FESTIVAL!  You distinguished yourselves with exquisite street paintings and a spirit that brought new life and beauty to our Little Italy.  We also thank the wonderful performing artists, culinary artists, the judges, sponsors, the members of Columbus Celebrations, Inc. and the Associated Italian American Charities of Maryland, the City of Baltimore employees, our press and promotional partners, our planning committee members and volunteers who contributed to our glorious Second Annual Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari Arts Festival!   Grazie!  You are each an honored member of our extended Little Italy community!

The winners of the competition are as follows:

Classical:  First Place – ToMo, Second Place – Andrea Starinieri, Third Place – Flavio Coppola

Contemporary: First Place – Carlos Alberto Garcia, Second Place – Jennifer Chaparro and Mercedes Chaparro, Third Place – K.C. Linn

People’s Choice: Carlos Alberto Garcia

tomo-first-place-classical   andrea-second-place-classical
carlos-first-place-contemporary  jennifer-chaparro-second-place-contemporary-1280x853   kc-linn-contemporary-3rd-place


Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari  Arts Festival 2015

Congratulations to Matteo Appignani, our First Place winner and winner of the People’s Choice award, to Katie Better, our Second Place winner, and Heejun Ahn and John Gingrich, our Third Place winners.

Thank you to the residents of Little Italy, to the owners,  operators and staff of the Little Italy restaurants and businesses, to our organizers, our sponsors, our volunteers, our judges, members of the press, city officials and most of all, to the artists who have changed Little Italy forever with their creative energy and enthusiasm.  The beautiful chalk drawings may fade but the memories of this exquisite event and the knowledge that we can work together as a community to stage a world class arts festival is a lasting gift.  This year’s festival was the beginning of a new tradition in Baltimore…Get ready for the Little Italy Baltimore Madonnari Arts Festival 2016!

Cyd and Germano
October 12, 2015