Local arts will take center stage at The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival, a free two-day celebration of music, performing arts, and visual arts in a public plaza later this month.
Brooklyn Downtown Partnership organized the annual event in collaboration with Two Trees Management Co. and gave us the scoop on what to expect for this festival on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 at The Plaza at 300 Ashland.
“Downtown Brooklyn is a thriving cultural hub and every year, DBAF allows us to celebrate all of the creativity and talent our neighborhood has to offer,” Regina Myer, president of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, said in a statement. “This year’s festival is even more special after a year of limited opportunities for community celebration. With an exciting lineup of art, dance, performance and more, we’re proud to bring residents and visitors together to enjoy a diverse array of events from some of the city’s best artists and institutions.”
Here’s a look at The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival schedule:
The Plaza at 300 Ashland events on Friday, September 30
One of the largest outdoor public spaces in Brooklyn for cultural activities, The Plaza at 300 Ashland has hosted hundreds of performances, exercise classes, and public art installations. It’s located at Flatbush and Lafayette Avenues. Here’s what’s on the schedule at the plaza.
- House music dance class
Get moving with some house music dance steps taught by Mark Morris Dance Group’s Kim Holmes.
- Soul summit dance party
Tap your does to the soulful and dynamic dance music from legendary intergenerational Soul Summit DJ collective.
- Installation opening: Bradley McCallum’s Witnessing
The Plaza at 300 Ashland events on Saturday, October 1
- Kids hip-hop dance class
Bring the kids for a free hip-hop dance class with Mark Morris Dance Group.
- Music and storytime
Let The Center for Fiction and The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music tell you a story through words and music.
- Brooklyn Music School student performance
Give a round of applause to students from Brooklyn Music School who will present a special musical performance.
- PhotoCube exhibition and interactive photo booth
Stop by an interactive photo booth and snap a few photos to take home. Also check out the work of interdisciplinary artist Tiffany Smith from the photography project “Throned.”
- The Knights orchestra collective
Hear a vibrant orchestral experience by The Knights, which promises to fascinate both loyal followers and new listeners.
- DJ Brina Payne
Move to the music curated by Brina Payne, a Brooklyn-based open-format DJ who celebrates the best from all musical genres.
- Afro Dominicano
Rock out to the sounds of Afro Dominican, a Brooklyn-based band synthesizing folkloric Dominican genres, pop and rock music. Their sound is at the forefront of Afro Caribbean Soul.
- Sample Sale Music featuring Tai Allen
Dance and think with the sounds of this funk-soul-jazz fusion collective.
- DJ Spinna
Go old school with world-renowned DJ, producer, artist, and remixer DJ Spinna who will close out the night with his “Flavors” sets featuring the best in music from the ‘80s, ’90s, as well as sprinkles of ‘00s.
Throughout the district both days
In addition to the events happening at 300 Ashland, regular programming by the neighborhood's cultural groups will round out the weekend (check the links for ticketing info). Here’s what you can see:
- 300 el x 50 el x 30 el. Pretend you’re in Noah’s Ark as BAM presents the US premiere of 300 el x 50 el x 30 el. With some Old Testament inspiration (the title refers to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark), the Harvey Theater at BAM Strong has been transformed into a village in the woods where live animals, a gigantic cast, and six small houses sit clustered around a pond.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present, and Future, a permanent exhibition at Building 92, tells the story of the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1801. The tale begins when it was founded as one of the nation’s first federal shipyards and continues through to the site’s use today as an active industrial and innovation hub home to nearly 500 businesses.
- Theatre for a New Audience presents Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center. In an acclaimed, tour-de-force solo performance, David Strathairn portrays World War II hero and Holocaust witness Jan Karski who risked his life to carry his report of the Warsaw ghetto from war-torn Poland to the Allied Nations and the Oval Office only to be disbelieved.
- Roulette presents Ex Machina. The Orchestre National de Jazz and IRCAM present Ex Machina, a creation conceived by the American saxophonist Steve Lehman and Frédéric Maurin, artistic director of the ONJ.
- UrbanGlass Window Gallery. Christina Massey will show her mixed media glass and repurposed aluminum sculptures in a new colorful installation that activates the senses.
- BRIC’s contemporary art program presents rigorously curated exhibitions and programs focusing on emerging and mid-career artists whose work captures a rich cross-section of ideas, voices, and artistic media that reflect Brooklyn’s diversity. Exhibitions currently on display include Na’ye Perez: What You Know Bout Love…, Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Works for a Post Worker’s World, and Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo-Ross: Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle.
- The New York Transit Museum features rotating exhibits now on view including Reign of the Redbirds, Streetscapes & Subways: Photographs by Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis, Ticket to Ride.