Off-Broadway festival brings free entertainment to neighborhoods hit by pandemic

The streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, are coming alive through music and rhythm.

From the classic sounds of jazz legend Duke Ellington performed by the Hell’s Kitchen Happiness Krewe, to the beats of broomsticks and garbage cans from Stomp, there’s no denying New York City is making a cultural and artistic comeback.

"Over the past year and a half, the city’s done some pretty exciting things to being arts and culture out into the public sphere into the streets," says Noel Allain, Founding Artistic Director at The Bushwick Starr theater.

It’s all thanks, in part, to the "Off Broadway in the Boros Fest."

Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, says it’s a series of free, outdoor performances running through October 3rd across all five boroughs.

"It’s really important to connect New Yorkers to the rich talents and performances that are available right in their own backyards," she explains.

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"Being outdoors allows the music to go up into the air. The people, you can see them sticking their heads out of the windows and listening," Stacy Kovacs, Director of Fogo Azul NYC adds.

Coming on the heels of Broadway’s official reopening weekend, the five-day festival also aims to shine a light on local artists and reach neighborhoods hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It’s a joyful experience to be able to be back and be able to share again… just sharing our art, sharing our creativity," says Desmond Howard, a performer in Stomp.

For a full list of dates and performances, visit the Off-Broadway in the Boros Fest website.