Trading Stories for Kites

By Denise Oliveira

Still looking for something artsy to do this weekend? Check out Field Day, a 2-day festival created by The Laundromat Project, where you can both see and make art, all while getting immersed in three distinct New York neighborhoods.

On Saturday from noon to 5 in Harlem and Hunts Point (Bronx), and Sunday from noon to 5 in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), the event features local artists and includes storytelling, art shows, walking tours and more.

The Laundromat Project seeks to build community and empower local artists by bringing “socially engaged arts programming” to, literally, laundromats, and other community spaces.

This weekend’s festival will include about a dozen exhibits and activities, such as a bike tour of Harlem’s murals and a sound collage and “climate change solution tree” that you can help create. And where else could you trade stories for kites?

The festival is led largely by Create Change Fellows, who are supported by The Laundromat Project to engage with local neighborhood groups to explore the intersection of art and community building. Alison Kibbe, a 24 year-old artist and one of this year’s Create Change Fellows has been assigned to the Hunts Point neighborhood, where she and other Fellows have been collaborating with the Kelly St. Garden to bring not only art to the garden, but also to increase neighborhood participation there.

“We’ve been exploring how to use art and cultural events to increase access to the garden,” Kibbe said. The Kelly St. Garden aims to increase the local neighborhood’s access to fresh food. This weekend, festival goers can help create a community sculpture, make piñatas, and visit a multimedia installation about the history of the garden and Hunts Point, all exploring the theme of “What do you want to grow?”

All Field Day events are free and open to the public.

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