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Festival of Colors at Cultural Performing Arts Center

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Paint the town red — and blue, green, yellow, and pink.

On May 3, an event space in Flatbush will host the third annual “Festival of Colors,” where partygoers will cover themselves head-to-toe in colorful paint while dancing to live music.

Based on the Hindu festival of Holi, this re-imagined event incorporates art and music with traditional Hindu values such as unity, explained the organizer. “We’re celebrating universal values that even someone who isn’t Hindu can celebrate,” said “Festival of Colors” creator Jack Langerman. “There’s a beautiful vibe and energy that can be expanded to a group of people who appreciate it.”

Langerman, who is not Hindu himself, discovered Holi in 2012, while surfing the internet with his girlfriend. Wanting to embrace the celebration themselves, the pair decided to plan an event to coincide with the festival in India — which was just nine days away. Somehow, they pulled it off.

“It was insane. A crazy, fun experience,” said Langerman.

The Festival of Colors incorporates Holi’s signature element — powdered paint. Langerman imports the multicolored powders — made with corn starch and vegetable dyes — from India, and the 4,000 partygoers then proceed to throw, sprinkle, smudge, and smear the colors on each other.

Langerman said the experience of hurling paint at total strangers helps lower social barriers.

“We’re challenging social norms,” he said. “We’re breaking down that New York bubble, and you can feel comfortable tossing paint in someone’s face.”

This year’s events will also feature a hip-hop showcase, with an eleven-piece Afro-beat band from the New York University Master’s in Jazz program, plus electronic and indie rock performers.

There will also be a visual art display, plus food trucks and a bar — all of which Langerman said would come together to engage revellers’ five senses.

“People can see the art, smell and taste the food, hear the music, and feel the paint,” said Jack. “Expect it’s going to be different, keep an open mind, and keep smiling.”

“Festival of Colors” at Cultural Performing Arts Center [1020 E. 48th St. between Farragut Road and Haywood Place in Flatbush, www.festivalofcolors.org). May 3 at 2 pm. $25.

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Or, they simply could have gone to the real Holi Festival celebrations in Richmond Hill in April. But why miss the chance to miss a real event by creating a fake event and pretending it's "authentic"?
May 1, 2014, 3:53 am
Michael from Brooklyn says:
Both are bad ideas - dyes and pigments are not healthy for your skin, and I think that breathing them in probably isn't a great idea either.
May 1, 2014, 5:26 am
bkmanhatman from nubrooklun says:
back in the day the old school brooklyn people would cosider it beneath them to try to partake in this Hindu festival.
Today at least the nuskool Bkpeople want to partake in the festivities and I'm sure there will be some authentic Indians and Hidus to guide this celebration.
May 1, 2014, 6:59 am
Clif from Brooklyn Heights says:
Above comment is a morning laugh! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face!
May 1, 2014, 7:59 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
Swampy - I'm pretty sure the 'creative' transplants would look at you with complete confusion if you said Richmond Hill to them. They probably think it's in Virginia.

My favorite part of the story "Langerman, who is not Hindu himself, discovered Holi in 2012 while surfing the Internet". Christopher Columbus syndrome strikes again
May 1, 2014, 8:50 am
Northside Ned from Greenpoint says:
I'm with the mooks on this one.

Once you get past the crypto-babble, “We’re challenging social norms” &c. it really does look like nothing more than appropriating another culture's religious ceremony as basically a backdrop for an afternoon of drinking.

If I went to this thing I'd feel like a creep.
May 1, 2014, 9:28 am
ty from pps says:
(Ned, too bad the mooks couldn't have a rational thought like that if they tried.)
May 1, 2014, 9:43 am
NYPD from NY says:
LOSER SwampYankee COMMENTS AT 4:53
LOOK AT MEEEEEEEE MOMMY!!!!!
May 1, 2014, 10:47 am
sev from crown heights says:
cultural appropriation no doubt. it's all too typical behavior from these people. they'll move on to their next newfound fad to exploit after they get tired of this one.

"find culture, move next to culture, exploit culture, call cops on culture, kill culture"
May 1, 2014, 12:03 pm
Ted from Iowa says:
I think this is great. We never had this in Iowa. I'm not sure where this Richmond Hill is but I wish I heard about this paint fest, I'd have gone. Weeeeee!
May 1, 2014, 12:17 pm
Mad William Flint from Sheepshead Bay says:
Really?

“We’re challenging social norms,” he said. “We’re breaking down that New York bubble, and you can feel comfortable tossing paint in someone’s face.”

Nothing these hipsters do is challenging to anything. The pretension is amazing.
May 1, 2014, 1:20 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Hello, Ted from Iowa,
Richmond Hill is a middle class and commercial neighborhood located in the central-southern area of the New York City borough of Queens. It is bordered by Kew Gardens to the north, Woodhaven and Ozone Park to the west, South Ozone Park to the south and South Jamaica to the east.[1] The neighborhood is split between Queens Community Board 9 and 10.[2]
Pardon the informative interruption.

Main commercial streets in the neighborhood include Jamaica Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and Liberty Avenue. The main zip code of Richmond Hill is 11418; the zip code for the southern part of the neighborhood is 11419.
May 1, 2014, 1:20 pm
ty from pps says:
HA! My comment was deleted?! Why? It was too offensive to Swampy and Jaz?! Haaaa!
May 1, 2014, 1:25 pm
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
@northside Ned
Don't forget to get your sombreros on and time to whack the pinata' with cervezas in hand - Cinco Demayo!
May 1, 2014, 1:54 pm
The Chooch from The Chooch Mahal says:
Once again, the mooks reveal their monumental ignorance. Holi is not "another culture's religious ceremony". Holi is a national celebration in India that has been "appropriated" by every creed and caste in that huge multicultural country. Indians live in every country in the world, not just in Jackson Heights, and it makes all the sense in the world that Holi should be celebrated today in Flatbush and should be celebrated by anyone who wants to celebrate it.
May 1, 2014, 2:51 pm
The Chooch from The Chooch Mahal says:
And anyway, Hindus and Hipsters are roughly of the same era of new immigration to Brooklyn. It makes sense that we should celebrate together, bring some color to a once drab neighborhood.
May 1, 2014, 3:10 pm
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
ty - I have no idea why your comment was deleted, but I got no problem with you stating your piece.
May 1, 2014, 3:58 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Well NYPD, seems I wake up, call the tune, and you dance to it....every time
May 1, 2014, 4:37 pm
The Chooch from The Chooch Mahal says:
Ya why would hipsters want to go to Richmond wherever at the end of the A train when we can celebrate Holi in our own hood.
May 1, 2014, 6:04 pm
The Chooch from The Chooch Mahal says:
You don't need to go to the azz-end of the MTA to Bangra no more.
May 1, 2014, 6:08 pm
The Chooch from The Chooch Mahal says:
And now we're going to hear that Holi in Richmond Hill is "real" but Holi in Flatbush is "fake." Actually, Holi in India is fake, if you like, insofar as it is no longer an exclusively religious festival, but is celebrated by all religions. It's as good as the Fourth of July over there. Not the 14th of August, but the 4th of July.
May 1, 2014, 6:15 pm
NYPD from NY says:
LOSER SwampYankee COMMENTS AFTER A 10 HOUR DAY WORKING FOR US.
LOOK AT MEEEEEEEE MOMMY!!!!!
May 1, 2014, 9:49 pm
NYPD from NY says:
I BET THAT LOSER SwampYankee IS IN BED BY NOW, HAS TO GET UP EARLY TO TOIL FOR US EDUCATED "YUPS".
LOL!
May 1, 2014, 9:50 pm

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