From fist pumping live performances to arts and crafts for the kids, Artomatic 2012 has something for everyone.
Running from now until June 23 at an office building in Crystal City, Va., Artomatic is the Washington area's largest free creative arts event -- and it's free to the public.
This year, volunteers and artists took over an office building at 1851 S. Bell Street, and it's the largest Artomatic in event history. The event is open Wednesday through Sunday and, yes, admission is free.
The site is next to the Crystal City Metro stop, and there are parking decks nearby that are free after 4 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday.
The event starts out as a blank building and then transforms into a life-size arts world with more than 1,300 visual artists, 750 performers, 11 floors, six stages and three cafes -- whew -- and the list just keeps going.
Every level and corner has something different, such as art installations created from old fibrotic cables or credit cards, and places for you to get your hands involved to create some art of your own.
The non-profit organization is headed by a volunteer Board of Directors and started in 1999. Almost every year after that, the event has continued with the same goal: to showcase creativity in the form of visual art, music, film, performance and fashion, and to give emerging and established artists a place to present their work to the public.
If you get there and still have questions about where to go first, check out Artomatic's mobile site, artomatic.org/mobile and you'll have everything you need to tackle all 11 floors of Artomatic.