BROOKLYN BUZZ: Bay Ridge Festival of the Arts kicks off its 44th year

The 44th Annual Bay Ridge Festival of the Arts, which begins on Thursday, April 12 and runs through Sunday, April 15 is promising to be a long weekend filled with fun, crafts, live music, theater and of course, local art.

“We encourage people to come and purchase art. Not only are they supporting the organization and its scholarship fund, but local artists,” explained Chandra Hira, president of the festival. “When people think of artists, they often think of northern Brooklyn neighborhoods and I want to change that idea.”

The festival has a full schedule this year. On opening night, Thursday between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., there will be live classical music from A Class Act Ensemble and a pottery demonstration by the Bay Ridge Union Center for the Arts (BRUCA).

Friday night features the “Empty Bowls Project,” from 7 to 9 p.m. when participants can decorate and glaze bowls that have been thrown and fired by BRUCA potters. The finished bowls will be sold at a fundraiser in the fall for Bay Ridge food charities.

There will be a large craft fair on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. showcasing locally handmade gifts, such as ceramics, baked goods, beaded and gemstone jewelry and travel accessories. “This is great place for a locally made gift,” Hira commented.

Saturday night features a theater showcase from local talent, including the Narrows Community Theater, whose members will perform scenes from their upcoming play, “My Fair Lady.” I.S. 187 will showcase scenes from its production of “Bye, Bye Birdie” and students from Fontbonne Hall Academy will perform scenes from their upcoming play, “Little Women.”

Sunday is “Children’s Day,” and will feature a puppet show, children’s book author readings and signings, and art stations where kids can paint, draw and sculpt, for a $5 donation. “BRUCA was so involved in planning this day,” Hira said. “We are so excited to team up with them.”

Hira added that there will be a still life set up each day, so budding artists can practice their sketching. The Guild for Exceptional Children will also be selling plants throughout the festival. All exhibits will be available for sale throughout the whole festival.

The Bay Ridge Arts Festival will take place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7420 Fourth Avenue. Although it’s on the lower level, the venue is handicapped accessible. For more information and a complete schedule of events please visit

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