Weekend block party welcomes newest neighbor to Astoria
By Tammy Scileppi

It’s a Queens-centric event and you’re invited.

It’s the talk of the town. Astoria’s fun-tastic, artsy block party welcomes Queens Council on the Arts to the ‘hood, this Saturday.

Having left its old digs in Forest Park, the well-known nonprofit is celebrating its new space at Kaufman Astoria Studios complex (37-11 35th Ave., Astoria).

But there’s more.

You can feed your inner artist – by tasting yummy delights and participating in what QCA Managing Director Lynn Lobell describes as “artistic-driven activities”

Sunnyside artists will create an oversized stoop so folks can play stoop ball. And why not get your portrait painted in 60 seconds (and matted for free) by students involved with QCA’s High School to Art School program?

How about getting creative by designing your very own chalk drawings? Or, you and your kids can try something totally different: making art with, of all things, paintbrushes attached to fishing poles and markers and crayons affixed to remote control cars.

And don’t forget to make your very own take-home gift from a cool assortment of used stuff, collected and provided by a unique City-run organization, Materials for the Arts.

“Queens Council on the Arts always hosts great events, but this one is even more special because it’ll mark the official opening of their new Astoria headquarters,” said Rob MacKay of the Queens Tourism Council.

“So in addition to great food, live music, artistic performances, henna tattoos and countless other crafts, we get to celebrate a ribbon-cutting. It’s exciting all around, and I look forward to bringing my two daughters.”

Wherever the Council goes, artists are happy.

You know QCA, they’re those visionary folks who support and embrace local emerging artists by offering free training and great workshops. And they’re deeply committed to enriching local communities with free cultural events and programs.

One lucky artist, Mark Salinas of Sunnyside, became a 2013 Queens Arts Fund recipient after he (along with his peers) decided to liven up his nabe by painting a mural on a dreary, graffiti-emblazened block. Sure enough, QCA provided a grant for the project, and Salinas was recently voted as NY1’s Queens Person Of The Week.

What better way to spend a day with family and friends?

IF YOU GO

Queens Council on the Arts block party

Saturday, June 22, 1-6 p.m.

37th Street between 34th and 35th avenues Astoria

(347) 505-3010

Free, tickets available at queensartexpress.com/block-party-2013

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