Free arts festival takes over Dumbo, Brooklyn this weekend

September 26, 2013 2:44:02 PM PDT
Russian artist Andre Bartenev, dressed in a rainbow of stretchy fabric and actual balloons, brings a color procession with his "Bubbles of Hope" exposition.

"We bring color, and happy emotions to citizens," Bartenev said.

He has brought the project around the world, and this weekend, he's bringing it to Dumbo, along with some company.

"It will be 80 participants, who will be dressed in colorful inflatable costumes," Bartenev said.

Bartenev is one of more than 300 artists to gather in Brooklyn this weekend, at the DUMBO Arts Festival. The three-day celebration of art, music, and performance is a free public event.

For example, there is work being done on the back drop for a stop-animation shot by Dada, an online social platform for artists. They are creating Dada's playground in and around Dumbo.

"Our work is very kid friendly, but the idea is that it's for everyone to be a little bit of a kid again" said Beatriz Helena Ramos, a Dada artist.

And speaking of children, there is a piece created by kids, many from New York City. It's the sail to a more than 60 foot long boat, a piece called the Ship of Tolerance. It has been constructed on Staten Island, and will sail on a barge to Dumbo in time for the festival. It is meant to be educational, teaching kids about the meaning and importance of tolerance.

"In general, we are trying to make them feel powerful. Like they are in charge of the world, that they can change the world, that it is not necessary to go by violence. They can do it through culture, through knowledge, and through conversation," said Emilia Kabokov, an artist.

The DUMBO Arts Festival spans Dumbo, Brooklyn (between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, including the waterfront). For details on directions and event schedules, please visit