DUMBO arts festival makes for a colorful weekend

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Over this past weekend, Brooklyn’s neighborhood of DUMBO hosted its 17th annual arts festival. The event took place both indoors and out from September 27 through September 29 and featured over 400 artists and a plethora of mediums including live performances, digital art, and poetry. The event is free and open to the public, so it was a great opportunity for those interested in expanding their cultural horizons without shrinking their wallets.

One of the most exciting aspects of the festival was its lack of a confined space: the festival’s pieces could be found anywhere from street corners, to the walls under the BQE, to projected onto the archway of the Manhattan Bridge, and even on a ship anchored in the harbor. This ‘Ship of Tolerance’ was a collaborative piece between Ilya and Emilia Kabakov and Studio in a School. It featured a sail composed of 150 student (ages 5-13) paintings on their understanding of tolerance.

However, not all of the pieces were just for admiring. Many of the installations featured required participation to have an effect, among them being Heather Hart’s “Bartertown” in which festival goers were encouraged to purchase items at a street fair. These items were bought not in exchange for money, but rather for items they had on their person or for services and skills they were proficient in.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors over the three days meant great business for the artists, and also the neighborhood’s unique and epicurean shops and eateries. Art lovers were encouraged to enjoy the seemingly infinite art installations while munching on adorable apricot filled, ‘Penelope’ cookies from One Girl Cookies, or sipping freshly brewed exotic coffee from The Brooklyn Roasting Company.

Although it is now over, the DUMBO Arts Festival was not only entertaining but it redefined art and how we experience it.