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Call for Artists To Perform on Bed-Stuy's Stoops at Summer Festival

 Paula Jeanine Bennett's
Paula Jeanine Bennett's "A Village Of One" is performed at STooPS 2014. The art festival is looking for performers to take over local stoops, sidewalks and neighborhood spaces.
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Dominique Taylor

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — All the stoop’s a stage this summer with the return of an outdoor art festival on the steps of Bed-Stuy’s brownstones.

STooPs enters its fourth year hosting performances at stoops, yards and sidewalks from Nostrand to Patchen avenues and Putnam Avenue to Fulton Street.

“The main goal has always been to just be a way to connect the different entities in the neighborhood,” said founder and director Kendra Ross.

“We know art has the power to really open people up in a way that just seeing each other walking down the street may not.”

This year, STooPs will partner with the Tap+Cork: Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest on Aug. 14 in an effort to highlight Bed-Stuy’s arts and culture, Ross added.

The organization is seeking up to 25 artists to perform throughout the area and showcase their interactive work.

Artists are encouraged to challenge the community to be involved, Ross said, whether it’s through spoken word, dance, visual art, skits, jewelry-making or other genres.

While they don’t need to live in Bed-Stuy, applicants should have a connection to the neighborhood, the director said, and have until April 22 to sign up.

Past performances included pieces about childhood memories that invited kids to play, and a theater artist who presented an excerpt from his one-man play about a gay basketball player’s experiences moving to New York.

Musician and songwriter Noni Rene sang at the STooPs festival in 2013 and 2014, and looks to return this summer, she said.

“It’s been a really great honor and pleasure, because it just fosters community and the essence of what makes Bed-Stuy beautiful with the soul, the artistry, the eclectic-ness,” Rene said.

Artists are able to become part of the STooPs network, she added, which opens them up to a support system and other performance opportunities.

Onlookers can pick up a guide at the 375 Stuyvesant Ave. mansion on Aug. 14 and walk from house to house of participating locations.

The organization is also looking for volunteers who’d like to host artists on their stoops or sidewalks.

For more information on artist or volunteer applications, visit the STooPS website here.