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Arts Leader Kendra J. Ross Heads 9th Annual STooPS BEDSTUY ARTS CRAWL

Returns this year to Bedford-Stuyvesant for an afternoon of dance, music, spoken word, theater, visual art, conversations, workshops, and more on July 30.

Arts Leader Kendra J. Ross Heads 9th Annual STooPS BEDSTUY ARTS CRAWL

STooPS BedStuy, an annual celebration of creativity in Brooklyn named the New York Times' Best Dance of 2020, Best of Street, returns this year to Bedford-Stuyvesant for an afternoon of dance, music, spoken word, theater, visual art, conversations, workshops, and more on July 30, from 12:00-6:00 P.M. Stoops, especially in BedStuy, have historically been a space of gathering, visibility, and celebration.

The STooPS BedStuy Annual Arts Crawl is continuing the legacy of those spaces by transforming them into performance venues. Celebrating its 9th year, STooPS uses art as a catalyst for community building by fostering meaningful interactions between neighbors, artists, businesses, organizations, and attendees. This is an all-ages, family-friendly event that includes a variety of the artforms that make up the foundation of New York's creative scene such as dance, theater, poetry,, and the visual arts.

Hosted by America's Next Top Model Winner, Model, Author, and Artist, Naima Mora, this year's festival will be headlined by the ground-breaking performance ensemble Urban Bush Women. Other New York-based performance artists showcasing their work include: Kendra Foster (Grammy Winning singer), Kendra J. Ross (choreographer), Mere (Visual Artist) Olivia Lemon/Mut'Sun (Visual Artist), Rachel Watson-Jih/Blue Morph Collective (multi-disciplinary arts), and DJ Toni B. Ziedah Diata and Kai Diata Giovanni will offer high-quality participatory experiences to the community to catalyze connection and relationship building. Energy Healer Hadiya Barbel will cultivate a place of mindfulness and wellness for participants in the garden space. Bridges: A Pan Afrikan ARTS Movement will lead a series of children's based arts activities in the STooPS Kiddie Korner.

Assemblymember Stefani L. Zinerman, New York State Assembly, 56th District says of the event, "STooPS is a hallmark experience and organization within the Bedford Stuyvesant community, serving an integral engagement of the arts, creatives, business owners and homeowners around the neighborhood. Kendra J. Ross has created an important blend of arts, culture, activism and communal healing through this project that serves not only as an arts experience, but also as a community unifier of generations, neighbors, business owners and travelers. I'm so proud to support the work of STooPS each year. As the Chair of Tourism & Arts, who has hosted STooPS on my block, I am especially excited as we re-emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforce our grassroots organizing to support the wellbeing of our community."

Artist and Founder, Kendra J. Ross has been recognized as Brooklyn Arts Council Black Artists to Know 2021 for her mission to continue making BedStuy even better through her artistry and activism. Bed-Stuy is rich with cultural and arts groups that make up the neighborhood, but there is no centralized organization.

"I hope to unify the Brooklyn arts community-over the past nine years STooPS has made me continually fall in love with BedStuy and fight to stay and make the neighborhood better. The arts crawl has brought hundreds of community members in contact with compelling Brooklyn-based artists in a unique and authentic setting," said Kendra J. Ross. "COVID-19 showcased how important it is to bring arts experiences to our doorsteps, it can often be the only opportunity for many to experience and be impacted by live art."

STooPS 2022 is sponsored by Brooklyn Arts Council, Citizens Committee of New York, Museum of African Art & World Cultures (MAAWOCU), LifeWellness, and Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance.

PERFORMANCE LINE UP

Urban Bush Women (world renowned dance company)

Bridges: A Pan-Afrikan ARTS Movement (Kiddie Korner)

Kendra Foster (Grammy winning singer)

Kendra J. Ross (Choreographer)

Mere (Visual Artist)

Ovila Lemon/Mut'Sun (Visual Artist)

Rachel Watson-Jih/Blue Morph Collective (Multi-disciplinary artist collective)

DJ Toni B

Ziedah Diata and Kai Diata Giovanni (participatory art experience)

Hadiiya Barbel (Energy Healer)

The 9th Annual STooPS BedStuy Art Crawl will be held on Saturday, July 30, 12:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. This event is FREE to the public. For performance locations and a full roster of participating artists, visit stoopsbedstuy.org.

Attendees can begin the crawl at 392 Hancock Street or the Hancock T&T Community Garden located at 322-324 Hancock St in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, accessible by the A/C train.

STooPS connects the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn with a block party, classes, and opportunities for artistic expression in unconventional spaces. Celebrated annually with outdoor public art performances, STooPS enables artists to create where they live. We believe in artists' ability to activate a space, inspire new ideas, and expand the creative culture of a community when they are able to create and share their work locally. Every summer since 2013, Bed-Stuy homeowners have collaborated with local artists to host performances and art showcases on their stoops, storefronts, yards, or sidewalks. To encourage family-wide participation, our Kiddie Korner features various children's art activities.



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