Brooklyn, NY, February 21, 2012—Arts and Culture Fest, a production of The Creative Side, will launch on Saturday, April 21, 2012 as a one-of-kind artisan market for artists, craft makers and designers to sell their handmade goods to the Flatbush and surrounding communities. An innovative project supported by Community Board 9 and fiscally sponsored by the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Fest will be located at Parkside Plaza, an outdoor plaza in front of the Parkside Avenue Train Station (B and Q Trains) and at the intersection of Ocean and Parkside Avenues in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Arts and Culture Fest provides a creative space for artists, craft makers, and designers. It will feature ongoing monthly events – from musicians performing, poet and writer readings, hands-on children’s workshops and activities. For shoppers, the Fest will provide unique products and objects, and will add to the process of revitalizing an under-used and vacant plaza, and most importantly, it will provide sales and income for artists and designers in Brooklyn.
“We are planning a unique blend of artisans and designers whose work will show the creative talents of the city and provide new ways of exhibiting in the public sphere and selling art and design objects outdoors” says Atim Annette Oton, co-founder of The Creative Side. Oton previously lived in the community on East 21st Street in Flatbush, about 3 blocks from the Fest site while she went to college to study architecture; thus, she is very familiar with the proposed location. “I rode the train from Parkside station daily for about 7 years and I always imagined the multiplicity of possibilities of making this space much more interesting. This became one of the first places I visualized when conceiving the idea.” She continues, “as the co-chair of the Economic Development Committee in Community Board 8, I am expanding my interest in economic development and revitalization of communities through art, design and commerce in a new venue and neighborhood that I have ties to. My mother and brother still live in the area, and I spend some Sunday dinners in the neighborhood.”
The concept for the outdoor plaza involves 30 vendors showcasing and selling a wide range of functional, collectible art, crafts and design items. These vendors will sell handmade jewelry, t-shirts and fashion items, and home décor; and other vendors will sell handmade soaps, incense and body products. According to Javaka Steptoe, award-winning illustrator, artist and author, who initiated the idea with Oton, “the Arts and Culture Fest is coming to my neighborhood and it will showcase some of the culture heritage and work of artists and designers to local consumers. It will offer an alternate venue of commerce, creative arts marketing and a showcase for art and design goods right here in Flatbush, Brooklyn.”
The market will operate on Saturdays from April 21st till October 20th, 2012. It was initially presented to Brooklyn’s Community Board 9 in June 2011. The Creative Side was established in 2011 as collaboration between Atim Annette Oton and Javaka Steptoe to launch and maintain an Arts Venue and Business Opportunity for artists to sell their work in Brooklyn. For additional information, please visit our website at http://www.artsculturefest.com