BY BENJAMIN FANG
The arts took to the streets in Jackson Heights this past weekend.
Hundreds of community members attended the Jackson Heights Arts Festival on Saturday as over 30 local artists, from writers to painters, showcased their work.
Organized by Hibridos Collective, an interdisciplinary collaborative co-founded by Carlos Martinez and Beatriz Gil, the arts festival incorporated art into public spaces in the community.
“We don’t have spaces in the neighborhood for working artists,” said Martinez, who noted the lack of galleries and art centers in Jackson Heights. “We want to discover the talents in the neighborhood and give them opportunities to exhibit their work.”
The event started with cleanup activities. Volunteers watered plants and collected garbage on 37th Road, also known as “Pedestrian Plaza.”
“Bringing the community into practice allows you to share your work,” Gil said. “It’s really encouraging to know that we’re now connected to people in the neighborhood.”
Visitors including families with young children participated in art, music and literary workshops and watched performers sing and dance on stage.
“I feel like a lot of places in the city just sell art,” said Cindy Lin, a recent graduate of Swarthmore College who passed through the festival. “Here, it seems like community participation, which I like.”
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