‘Discover The District’: Downtown Brooklyn’s Inaugural Weekend Arts Festival

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Next weekend, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership will host Discover the District, an inaugural festival celebrating the many diverse arts organizations in the Brooklyn Cultural District.

300 Ashland Plaza (Photo courtesy of Two Trees)

Brooklyn’s top cultural institutions are participating in the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival, including  BRIC, BAM, Brooklyn Ballet, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Music School, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Public Library, Dancewave, Irondale Ensemble Project, Issue Project Room, Mark Morris Dance Group, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), New York Transit Museum, NY Writers Coalition, Roulette, Theater for a New Audience, and UrbanGlass.

The arts organizations will open up their doors throughout the weekend and present special performances, talks, open studios (UrbanGlass) and tours (Brooklyn Navy Yard and Theater for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center), as well as offer free outdoor programs at The Plaza at 300 Ashland.

Artist Katie Merz’s 80 Flatbush mural (Photo: Pamela Wong/BKLYNER)

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Katie Merz’s 80 Flatbush mural, the artist will be drawing a block-long strip replicating the artwork’s black-and-white graphics that depict Brooklyn’s past, present, and future. Pieces of the recreation will be cut and sold to festival-goers.

The festival will kick off next Friday, September 21, with a drum circle led by the Brooklyn Music School (5pm to 5:30pm) followed by Soul Summit (5:30pm to 8pm), Fort Greene’s popular annual dance party.

The fest’s Community Day takes place on Saturday September 22 (12pm to 8pm), with an array of activities and entertainment on The Plaza at 300 Ashland including readings and a family dance class. BRIC will present a performance by the Grammy-nominated orchestra The Knights (2:45pm) and the Mark Morris Dance Group will perform excerpts from its 2014 piece “Words” (3:30pm). Los Hacheros will close Community Day with a salsa dance party (5pm to 8pm).

On Sunday, the Brooklyn Public Library and Theater of War Productions present a reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s sermon, The Drum Major Instinct, featuring actor Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black) accompanied by The Phil Woodmore Singers—a choir made up of police officers, teachers, activists, and members of the faith community from St. Louis, Missouri (2pm to 4:30). Following the performance, MoCADA will host a community dance party with DJ Run P (4:30pm to 6pm).

Learn more about the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival, Discover the District, at dbartsfestival.org.

Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival
Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 23

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