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Spotlight: Immerse 2019 Re-"Creates" Downtown Orlando With Interactive Art Experiences

Immerse event photo courtesy of Creative City Project on Facebook
Immerse event photo courtesy of Creative City Project on Facebook

It is nearly time for Orlando's annual two-day performing and interactive arts festival from the Creative City Project, Immerse 2019.

The Immerse 2019 event happens October 18th and 19th in downtown Orlando, with some affiliated exhibitions and experiences staying open at least another week.

Find more information on Immerse 2019 - including schedules, ticketing, and descriptions of participating artists - on the Creative City Project's website.

Creative City Project's founder and executive director Cole NeSmith says Immerse started small in 2012, when he asked a handful of his creative friends to come together and publicly share their various art forms out on downtown Orlando's streets.

"In 2012, I looked around and I saw all of my creative friends - musicians, dancers, performers, actors - and I thought, you know what? Our city would be better off if these people who are making, so often in their own space, just got out into the public sphere and did something interesting."

So, as NeSmith explains to 90.7's Nicole Darden Creston, he picked up the phone to make it happen.

Click the Play Audio button to hear Cole NeSmith's conversation with 90.7's Nicole Darden Creston.

"I just started calling friends and saying, 'Hey, come play your guitar on the street corner,' or 'Fill that vacant lot with you and some of your dancer friends,'" says NeSmith.

"That first year, we really didn't have any promotion or anything. People just kind of stumbled on it as we activated the public spaces downtown."

Since then, the event has grown exponentially.

Fast forward seven years, and it is time for Immerse 2019. These days, the streets in the heart of downtown Orlando are closed routinely for the event.

It's the same idea it was in 2012, but now it's on an epic scale - there are more than 1,000 artists participating over the two-day event and 70,000 people in all are expected to attend.

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined Central Florida Public Media in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy.