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DUMBO Arts Fest bigger, better than ever

A revamped name, numerous new art mediums, and a wide array of performances, installations, panels, and workshops, all promise to make this year’s DUMBO Arts Festival the largest and most spectacular to date.

The former “Art Under the Bridge Festival,” which turns the entire neighborhood into one big art gallery, has undergone a serious overhaul with the goal of creating a more dynamic and multidisciplinary event this weekend between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

“The festival should be accessible to the general public in addition to aficionados deep in the art scene,” said Zannah Mass, the artistic director. “Whether you’re an art collector or just interested in something festive and exciting, it will be a feast for all senses.”

Among other things, the three-day festival includes a marionette theater, drum making, a colossal sushi sculpture, a cardboard box maze, animate three-dimensional portraits, street artists battling in a boxing ring, paper airplane war commentary, the number 2,629 assembled from take-out containers, a dangling accordion coming to life, sea creatures made of oil-absorbing hair booms, giant transparent spheres responding to the East River’s ebb and flow, an abyssal well, colorfully lit industrial spaces, the Manhattan Bridge Archway slowly transforming into ice, a fully restored 1922 carousel, and of course, fireworks.

In one performance, a naked figure will be projected onto the bridges to visually assault iconic New York structures.

Another festival highlight is the circus art street performance duo, Acrobuffos, which will be making its New York debut at the event.

“We’ll be performing a comedic water balloon gladiator show in the heart of DUMBO,” said co-Acrobuffo, Seth Bloom. “We’ll be out in the streets with spectators, interacting and really taking advantage of the outdoor atmosphere of the festival.”

Music will also be ubiquitous, with performers as varied as subway musicians, opera singers, avant-garde jazz duos, up-tempo country groups and even a Himalayan marching band.

“There’s going to be a lot of energy,” said Mass. “All of DUMBO will be taken in.”

DUMBO Arts Festival [centered at 45 Main St. between Water and Plymouth streets in DUMBO, (718) 488-9223], Sept. 24–26. For places, times, and tickets visit www.dumboartsfestival.com

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