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'Illuminate Stapleton' Light-Based Art Festival Highlights Neighborhood

By Nicholas Rizzi | October 7, 2015 2:31pm
 The Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership will host
The Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership will host "Illuminate Stapleton" in the park this weekend, which features light based installations from seven local artists and more. The festival aims to highlight the neighborhood and its residents amidst a wave of redevelopment on the North Shore of Staten Island.
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Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership

STAPLETON — A new festival hopes to shine a light on Stapleton and its residents amidst a wave of redevelopment that's headed to the neighborhood.

The Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership will put on the first "Illuminate Stapleton" festival this weekend, featuring light-based art from locals, a photography exhibit highlighting residents, an art market and more.

"With all of the redevelopment happening, the residents and businesses are feeling changed and pushed out," said Kamillah Hanks, president and CEO of the group. "What we decided to do is take a closer look at our community assets and create an event and a district-wide marketing campaign.

"We're highlighting our history, we're anticipating our future and we’ll also be defining who we are so that anybody coming in knows that this is an established community."

The festival — which the group is putting on after winning a neighborhood challenge grant from the city's Economic Development Corporation — kicks off on Friday with the opening of the "I am Stapleton" exhibit by Mike Shane, who photographed portraits of long-term residents of the neighborhood.

"That's how we illuminate our people," Hanks said. "They are people who helped shape our neighborhood.

On Saturday and Sunday, Tappen Park will be taken over by seven local artists who created light-based pieces based on the neighborhood.

"We wanted people to focus their ideas around Stapleton and shedding light on either a geographical area or a group of people or an idea," said Christian Penn of the Projectivity Movement, who helped with programming for the event.

"They really did a good job of how and what they were going to be illuminating and creating."

Pieces include a lit sign of Stapleon that also works as speakers for a phone; past images of the neighborhood projected on buildings; and a model of a Victorian home similar to ones found in the area lit from the inside, Penn said.

The park will also have local bands including Yeti, Kadre and Dolltits and an artist market.

Aside from the park, several other businesses around the neighborhood will host events during the festival including 5050 Skatepark, the Stapleton Library and more.

"Illuminate Stapleton" starts with a free opening reception of "I am Stapleton" on Friday at 8 p.m. at Edgewater Hall, 691 Bay St. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival will have light based installations inside Tappen Park from 5 to 11 p.m. For a full list of events visit their Facebook page.