The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is pleased to announce the inaugural Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival: Discover the District, showcasing all that’s new in the epicenter of Brooklyn’s arts district. At this annual weekend celebration of the Brooklyn Cultural District, acclaimed local arts organizations will open their doors with exciting performances, talks, and tours, and offer a host of free outdoor programming at The Plaza at 300 Ashland.
Participants include BRIC, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn Public Library, Mark Morris Dance Group, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Theater for a New Audience, with more to come.
This year’s festival will take place Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 23, rain or shine, kicking off with Soul Summit, the long-running Fort Greene dance party, on Friday evening.
Saturday September 22, is Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival’s official Community Day – where people of all ages can enjoy activities and programming on the Plaza at 300 Ashland. Activities and entertainment highlights will include instrumental works from Grammy-nominated The Knights, presented by BRIC, and Mark Morris Dance Group, who will perform its 2014 “Words,” set to Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words. The evening will culminate in a salsa dance party led by modern-day torchbearers of the Golden Age of Latin music and local favorites, Los Hacheros. Additional programming will be announced soon.
To close out the festival on Sunday, New York City Public Artist in Residence Bryan Doerries brings his celebrated Theater of War Productions to the plaza in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library. The project, starring Orange Is the New Black’s Samira Wiley, presents a reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s powerful sermon, The Drum Major Instinct, a powerful, cautionary speech about the impulse in all humans to be first. The Drum Major Instinct is intended to engage diverse audiences, with the intention of generating powerful dialogue about racism, inequality, and social justice, fostering compassion, understanding, and positive action following the reading. The event will be accompanied by music from Phil Woodmore, featuring The Phil Woodmore Singers and a choir that includes police officers, teachers, activists, and members of the faith community from St. Louis, Missouri.
Across the weekend, arts organizations from the district will also open their doors to welcome visitors behind the scenes for talks, tours, and special performances. Local cultural organizations will have booths onsite throughout the festival to provide information on their programming and engage with residents.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Regina Myer said, “This festival is all about bringing together the vibrant institutions, artists and spaces that make up the fabric of Downtown Brooklyn. The exciting lineup promises Brooklyn residents a unique opportunity to enjoy incredible performances, become involved with some of the neighborhood’s leading cultural institutions, and make use of important, iconic public spaces like 300 Ashland. We invite everyone to join us throughout the weekend.”
The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival is organized by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, with support from Two Trees Management Co and Whole Foods 365. A complete schedule will be released in the lead up to the event. For a full calendar of events see below and for more information, visit the website, http://www.dbartsfestival.org/.