BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The Kaufman Arts District, home to one of the city’s oldest movie studios, will present the Backlot Arts Festival—a free, two-day festival that will feature film screenings art exhibits, performance art and more—later this month.
The festival, which runs from June 24 to 25, will showcase more than 30 arts events and be held in local venues, including The Easement, Museum of Moving Image, Queens Council on the Arts, RaR Bar and Studio Nova.
“The Kaufman Arts District produces a tremendous amount of extraordinary work across the artistic spectrum—painting, sculpture, theater, dance and music,” said Tracy Capune, vice president of Kaufman Astoria Studios and one of the founders of the Kaufman Arts District. “The Backlot Fest is a great way to showcase this talent and remind our local community to explore all that is happening here and to encourage visitors to check out this unique and vibrant neighborhood.”
One of the highlights of the Backlot Arts Festival is Cultural Pride, a live “wearable fashion show” performance piece curated by Maria de Los Angeles that highlights the intersection of performance, fashion and sculpture. Cultural Pride will perform from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 24 and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 25.
The festival will also host screenings at the Moving Image’s Redstone Theatre of Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple” ( June 24 at 1 p.m.), “Empire of the Sun” ( June 24 at 4 p.m.) and “Always” (June 24 at 7 p.m. and June 25 at 4 p.m.).
There will also be a pop-up gallery at the Queens Council on the Arts that will run from noon to 5 p.m. on both June 24 and 25; a fine art exhibit at The Easement that will last all day on both festival dates at the Kaufman Astoria Studios; screenings of films by Astoria residents Keith Bearden and Signe Baumane at The Zukor Theater at Kaufman Astoria Studios at 6 p.m. on June 24 and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 25; book crafting at The Astoria Book Shop from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 25; and a performance by violinist and Astoria resident Josh Modney at Nomad Cycle on June 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Other offerings include an art installation at RaR Bar that will be available to view all day on both festival dates; musical performances at The Astor Room on June 24 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and The Art of Cocktail Making at Mars from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 24 and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 25.
“The Backlot Fest brings together the best of what the Kaufman Arts District has to offer and we’re very grateful to the dozens of artists who are participating and sharing their work with us,” said Tina Stipanovic, the curator of the Kaufman Arts District.
Families will have free admission to all events, with the exception of those being held at the Museum of the Moving Image. For more information, visit kaufmanartsdistrict.org.