Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival: What to see

October 2, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick
The Plaza at 300 Ashland, Downtown Brooklyn’s newest open public space in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District, will host free outdoor programming throughout the festival. Photos courtesy of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
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Culture, couture, music and makers will come together at the second annual Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival, hosted by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership in the epicenter of the borough’s cultural district.

The festival — formally dubbed the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival: Discover the District — will run from Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6 and feature live theater, poetry, dance, music and more.

Throughout the weekend, acclaimed arts organizations in the area will open their doors with free performances. The Plaza at 300 Ashland will host talks, tours and a host of other programs.

The event — which celebrated its premiere last year — is the result of a collaboration between BRIC, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Theater for a New Audience and more.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

“We’re so thrilled to be presenting Brooklyn culture in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District,” Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We have so much great participation from so many of our key organizers, and each one of them really show how culturally rich our district is.”

Here’s (just some of) what you can expect:

A Friday night dance party

The festival will kick off Friday night with a dance party with Soul Summit Music and a performance by Soul Tigers Marching Band, starting at 5 p.m. at The Plaza.

Friday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. at 300 Ashland. More info here.

Community Day

Saturday is DBAF’s Community Day and the theme is — you guessed it — community. People of all ages can come together and enjoy activities and programming throughout the festival’s main day, including a instrument-making workshop, interactive live performances and more.

Saturday, Oct. 5. Various times and locations. More info here

A treasure hunt

If you want to get more specific — and stray a bit from the event’s main stage at The Plaza, you can pencil in this Pop Up, hosted by Strike Anywhere and the Tours Soundpainting Orchestra. The Artistic Treasure Hunt will include three different immersive outdoor voyages with 20 performers, 15 performances, 15 secret locations and a hand-drawn map.

Saturday, Oct. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Fort Greene. More info/RSVP here.

A S.T.E.A.M. Punk house party

Embrace a “do it yourself” attitude while mixing up art with technology with Steampunk-inspired activities (with a promised punk rock edge). Experiment with printmaking and wearables, explore contemporary art and — of course — enjoy free performances. The day ends with BRIC’s feel-good family dance party hosted by Party Like Brooklyn, Baby!

Saturday, Oct. 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at BRIC (647 Fulton Street). More info here.

Brooklyn-based films

As to be expected, you can catch a bunch of borough-based films all weekend, but especially Saturday night, when it’s the theme. Among those in the spotlight will be StoryCorps’ animated short “You Move Me,” BRIC TV’s “BK Made: John Tebeau’s Illustrated Pub Crawl,” and a documentary short about Betty Carter.

The feature film of the evening will be Spike Lee’s Crooklyn.

Saturday, Oct. 5 all day on the main stage at 300 Ashland. More info here.

For a full list of event’s check out DBAF’s website.

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