Click Here for More Articles on NEW YORK CITY

Lisa Lisa to Launch 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival at Joe's Pub; Lineup announced!

Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF), presented by Creative Ammo Inc., is a renowned multi-disciplinary arts event with cultural offerings in theater, film, music and poetry held annually during the spring at venues in downtown Manhattan, NYC.

The eclectic six-week festival will kick off this year at Joe's Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette Street), beginning with a special one-night only concert from legendary chart-topper Lisa Lisa ("I Wonder If I Take You Home," "Can You Feel the Beat," "All Cried Out," "Head to Toe," "Lost in Emotion") on Saturday, April 8th at 9:30 p.m.

The festival continues with Where Was I?, written by and starring Karen Ludwig (Broadway: The Deputy, Prelude to a Kiss, Broadway Bound; Film: Manhattan; TV: "Citizen Cohn") and directed by two-time Emmy Award winner Dorothy Lyman, on Thursday, April 13th at 9:30 p.m. The premiere of Salt Kid Watches Brooklyn Burn by Katie Looney will also be presented at Joe's Pub on Thursday April 27 at 9:30pm.

Downtown Urban Arts Festival is an annual eclectic six-week festival with events taking place this year at Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street), the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street), and Nuyorican Poets Café (236 E. 3rd Street), in addition to Joe's Pub at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street). For tickets and more information about Downtown Urban Arts Festival (April 8th - May 20th, 2017) visit at

Other festival offerings include Words Matter Slam at Nuyorican Poets Café on Saturday, April 22 at 7:00pm, a Film Series, screening short films at Tribeca Film Center Wednesday, May 3 through Saturday, May 6 at 7:00pm, and the 15th Anniversary Season of Theater Series, which returns to the Cherry Lane Theater Tuesday, May 9 - Saturday, May 20 at 7:00pm.

Downtown Urban Arts Festival, a celebration of the diversity of New York City, presents groundbreaking new work by up and coming writers from the burgeoning multicultural landscape of America and beyond, all sharing unique stories that interpret our history and our times. Its founding Theatre Series, formerly known as Downtown Urban Theater Festival/DUTF, was created in 2001 and inaugurated in 2002 at the HERE Arts Center in SoHo to help revitalize the NYC downtown arts scene following the WTC disaster. With a purpose to build a repertoire of new American theatre that echoes the true spirit of urban life and speaks to a whole new generation whose lives defy categorizing along conventional lines, over 150 writers have created and refined their work for the stage through this series, and thousands of inspired audience members have applauded their performances. Recognized as "one of the world's best festivals for new works" and described as "not only prestigious, but a slice of heaven for playwrights who want the chance to freely express themselves" (Lisa Mulcahy, Theater Festivals, Allworth Press, 2005) this annual event has evolved into a celebration of the arts that is both multi-disciplinary as well as multicultural, presented over several weeks at various venues each spring in Downtown Manhattan.

The 2017 events for Downtown Urban Arts Festival include:

Lisa Lisa in Concert

Genre: Music

Date: Saturday April 8 at 9:30pm

Venue: Joe's Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette Street)

Tickets: $30

Historically acknowledged as the originator of Latin Hip Hop/Freestyle genre, Lisa Lisa (born Lisa Velez in NYC's Hell Kitchen) is an international superstar with six top-selling albums and more than 20 million records sold worldwide. As the front-woman of Full Force's Cult Jam, Lisa Lisa enjoyed a string of chart-topping songs, including "I Wonder If I Take You Home," "Can You Feel the Beat," "All Cried Out," "Head to Toe," and "Lost in Emotion" from the platinum albums Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force and Spanish Fly, becoming one of the most beloved pop artists of the 1980s.

Where Was I?

Genre: Theater

Written by and starring Karen Ludwig

Directed by Dorothy Lyman

Date: Thursday April 13 at 9:30pm

Venue: Joe's Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette Street)

Tickets: $20

From playing Meryl Streep's lover in Woody Allen's Manhattan, to a heart-rending portrayal of Ethel Rosenberg in "Citizen Cohn," to her many memorable theater performances (Prelude to a Kiss, Broadway Bound, The Devils, and The Bacchae on Broadway; the world premiere of Moonchildren at The Royal Court in London), Karen Ludwig has shared the stage and screen for over four decades with some of Broadway and Hollywood's biggest stars. In Where Was I?, Ms. Ludwig tells the funny and poignant story of a lifetime spent in in the arts, and in one of the most passionate and public professions. Directed by two-time Emmy Award winner Dorothy Lyman, Where Was I? is a moving and often hilarious journey of a dedicated artist in search of her identity.

Words Matter Slam

Genre: Spoken Word

Date: Saturday, April 22 at 7:00pm

Venue: Nuyorican Poets Café (236 E. 3rd Street)

Tickets: $12

Calling all poets with poetic words about today's social issues and social conscious people. Best poem voted by the audience wins $200. Hosted by 2016 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion Jaime Lee Lewis and with special guest Miguel Algarin, the founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Also, the audience can win tickets to the 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival. Sign up for poetry slam starting at 6:30pm.

Salt Kid Watches Brooklyn Burn

Genre: Theater (presented as part of DUAF's Theater Series)

By Katie Looney

Date: Thursday April 27 at 9:30pm

Venue: Joe's Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette Street)

Tickets: $20

A New York City college student wakes up covered in bumps and grapples to stay living in reality as they slowly turn to salt. Based on true events and infused with indie rock, Salt Kid Watches Brooklyn Burn fights the social snares of dominator culture within a radical adaptation of the biblical event of Lot's Wife.

Katie Lonney's plays include 100 Scissors (Insomnium: Nightmare at DCTV), Inheritance of War (Dixon Place), Grrrls and Doll (The LGBT Center), and She Left the Mark of Broken Things (Stella Adler Studio), among others. Looney is a member of The Civilians Field Research Team, Honest Accomplice Theatre, and formerly the AmeriCorps. Up next, Looney will workshop a new play as a featured playwright in the 2017-2018 Magic Time at Judson reading series. BFA/NYU Tisch.

Film Series

Genre: Film (Shorts)

Wednesday, May 3- Saturday, May 6

All screenings at 7:00pm

Venue: Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street)

Tickets: $15


Wed, May 3 - State of Emergency, Dreams, Superimpose, We All Want to Fly

Thurs, May 4 - Spoilers, Teapot, Piece of Cake, Up Next

Fri, May 5 - My Story, Normal, Toyed, Now What?

Sat, May 6 - An American Short Story, Excess Baggage, Women Versus, Bardo

Theater Series (15th Anniversary Season)

Genre: Theater

Tuesday, May 9 - Saturday, May 20

All performances at 7:00pm

Venue: Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street)

Tickets: $20

Theater Schedule:

Tues, May 9 - Garbo by Joe Gulla

Wed, May 10 - Harold and Rodney Play Chess by Adam Seidel / Members Only by D. L. Siegel

Thurs, May 11 - Dear Dashboard by Justice Hehir / Don't Take Me Alive! by Alano Baez

Fri, May 12 - Crooked Parts by Azure D. Osborne-Lee

Sat, May 13 - The Field Trip by Chip Bolcik / The Problem of Verisimilitude by Jeff Tabnick

Tues, May 16 - Educated and Still Trapped by Cyd Charisse Fulton / The Protest by Nako Adodoadji

Wed, May 17 - Father God Mother Death by Mario Golden

Thurs, May 18 - Honor Among Thieves by Juan Ramirez, Jr.

Fri, May 19 - Malaise by Marcus Scott / Eternal Flamer! The Ballad of Jessie Blade by Tommy Jamerson

Sat, May 20 - The Book of Leonidas by Augusto Federico Amador

For tickets and more information about Downtown Urban Arts Festival (Saturday, April 8th through Saturday, May 20th, 2017) visit at

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Breaking: Samantha Barks To Play Elsa In FROZEN West End
Pretty Woman and Les Miserables star, Samantha Barks, is set to lead the West End transfer of Disney's Frozen in the iconic role of Elsa!... (read more)

ANGELS IN AMERICA Tony-Winner Ron Leibman Has Passed Away
Tony Award-winning actor, Ron Leibman, best known to theatre fans for originating the role of Roy Cohn in the original Broadway production of Angels I... (read more)

Bernadette Peters To Host NEW YEARS EVE: CELEBRATING SONDHEIM with the New York Philharmonic
Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters will join the New York Philharmonic as host of New Year's Eve: Celebrating Sondheim, December 31, 2019. 'Considere... (read more)

10 Reasons Not to Miss LES MISERABLES Live in Concert- In Cinemas December 8 & 11
Coming to US cinemas nationwide on December 8 & 11 only, Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular sold-out staged concert version of the musical phenomenon LE... (read more)

Photo Flash: Get A First Look At Caroline Bowman, Caroline Innerbichler And More In FROZEN On Tour
As the Frozen North American tour begins its nine-week engagement at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in LA, BroadwayWorld has a first look at the produ... (read more)

Voting Open For The 2019 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards Worldwide
Voting is NOW OPEN for the 2019 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards Worldwide, brought to you by TodayTix! The nominees are set, and now you can vote to mak... (read more)