Bed-Stuy STooPS Art Festival Tries to Raise Money to Pay Artists

By Paul DeBenedetto on May 14, 2014 8:32am 

 An excerpt of Andrea J. Fulton's "One Drop" from the 2013 STooPS Festival. The festival's organizer wants to raise funds to pay artists for the 2014 festival.
An excerpt of Andrea J. Fulton's "One Drop" from the 2013 STooPS Festival. The festival's organizer wants to raise funds to pay artists for the 2014 festival.
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Instagram/stoopsbedstuy

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — An outdoor Bed-Stuy arts event that swaps gallery walls for brownstone stoops is looking for a little help launching its second annual festival.

The STooPS festival, which in March put out a call for artists to take over about 20 stoops in Bed-Stuy, hopes to raise $7,500 through a crowdfunding site to help pay artists and staff, as well as pay for materials and space rental, according to organizer Kendra J. Ross.

Although most of the festival has already been paid for through grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Citizens Committee for New York City, Ross said the ultimate goal is to have the artists in attendance get reimbursed for their time and effort.

"Our main goal for the fundraiser is being able to pay artists," Ross said. "Last year none of our STooPS artists were paid, and we want to be able to provide them with a small stipend."

Ross attempted a similar fundraiser last year before receiving any grant funding, the organizer said.

Despite reaching the halfway point in that fundraising effort, Ross paid for much of the festival herself, she said.

"Honestly, I came out of pocket and prayed," Ross said.

Donors for the 2014 festival will receive different perks for each level of donation. A $1 donation will earn you a shoutout on the festival's website and social media, while a $1,000 donation gives you an array of perks, including a manicure and pedicure.

Donors can also earn T-shirts, body products and yogurt from Bed-Stuy shop Brooklyn Swirl.

The money will also go towards paying for a venue for the festival's "culminating performance," a show by local musicians.

Last year, French-born Bed-Stuy residents Les Nubians ended the festival.

This year, Ross tapped Afropunk Fest alum Tamar-Kali and renowned poet and spoken-word performer Jessica Care Moore.

The performance's venue is dependent on how much money is raised, Ross said.

"We're attempting to have the culminating performance at an outside venue, but that will require us renting a lot more equipment," Ross said. "But if it has to be inside, that'll be OK too."

"I'm sure it will still be amazing."

The STooPS Art Festival is on June 14, in the area surrounding the 375 Stuyvesant Mansion in Stuyvesant Heights. To donate, head to the festival's IndieGoGo site.

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