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The Brooklyn Academy of Music celebrates its new space with a party

In honor of its new building, the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts a block party---complete with musical performances and art workshops---on Saturday, September 22.

BAM Fisher Block Party

BAM Fisher Block Party

The Brooklyn Academy of Music got new digs this month, and to celebrate, the prestigious Brooklyn performing arts center is throwing a free family-friendly block party on Saturday, September 22. Located around the corner from the main Peter Jay Sharp facility, the Fisher extension will host a vibrant display of interactive art, music and dance activities—the perfect lineup for a space devoted to community initiatives and emerging artists. Here are five reasons to attend the inaugural party.

Catch an open-air musical performance
Kindie R&B group Shine and the Moonbeams kicks off the Ashland Place fete at noon, followed by the multigenerational Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Stars Band. Comedian W. Kamau Bell plays emcee for the remainder of the concert, introducing the audience to deconstructionist funk band Aabaraki, DJ Idlemind and soulful vocalist Alice Smith.

Enjoy alfresco activities
Also at street level, Brooklyn arts organization FOKUS teaches kids how to make art with glass jars and postcards, while the Laundromat Project offers a silk-screening how-to. Jumbo street games, speed chess, button making and face painting round out the outdoor offerings.

Tour the new facility
Official tours may be on tap (noon, 12:30, 5 and 5:30pm), but families can also feel free to explore the new building at their own pace. In the lobby, kids will flock to interactive indie video games presented by local distributor Babycastles. From there, head to the rooftop for table tennis or to the Hillman Studio for interactive workshops, like global percussion with Peruvian drummer Hector Morales and singer Jean Rohe. In this musical journey around the world, families will discover such global percussion instruments as the box drum, donkey jaw-bone and PVC marimba before joining the band for samba and hip-hop jam sessions.

Make a human alphabet
Stick around after the percussion session for a workshop with modern dance troupe Pilobolus. With a fast-paced tutorial that appeals to all ages and skill levels, the dancers lead kids and adults through the ABCs of how to form all 26 letters of the alphabet with their own bodies. Participants then collaborate with each other to string their body letters into words, all of which will be photographed at the end of the workshop.

Chow down on local food
Plenty of area food vendors will be on hand with deliciously exotic fare: Coconut Rob fruit smoothies, Brooklyn Moon tacos, Cesar's Empanadas and Miss Lily's Caribbean cuisine. Plus, kids can cool off with frozen treats from Prospect Heights scoop shop Ample Hills Creamery.

The BAM Fisher Block Party takes place on Sept 22 from noon to 6pm at BAM Fisher.

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