Beginning May 17, busking — playing music in the street or another public place for voluntary donations — will be allowed by community members in downtown Dover.

Dover City Council President Tim Slavin, initiator of the program, along with members of the Downtown Dover Partnership, will launch the program at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Dover Art League, 21 Loockerman St. Featured musicians will be Mike Miller and Rick Hudson, from Dover’s Friends of Folk.

“Busking is a way to bring more arts into the city. And while this activity typically focuses on musicians, we are encouraging street performances by poets and plein air artists, as well,” said Slavin.

Slavin also noted busking not only creates a welcoming, lighthearted outdoor setting for visitors, shoppers and anyone walking and driving through downtown, but it also provides a venue for artists to showcase their talents and in turn, receive gratuities from appreciative patrons. Musicians and performers will typically be “unamplified.”

The program will be piloted between the library and South Bradford Street and will feature musicians from Dover’s Friends of Folk, with Dover High School and the Inner City Cultural League soon to follow. While the program will roll from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays for the lunch crowd, it is anticipated that hours and locations will be expanded expand to include late afternoons, weekends and during downtown events. Pre-selected spaces for buskers to perform have been approved for use by the business or property owners and will be identified by a unique graphic. Those spaces are sizeable enough to allow for pedestrian flow and many of them feature overhangs or canopies for poor weather conditions.

For more, email diane@downtowndoverpartnership.com or call 678-2940.