The art initiative “48 Blocks” is 48 hours (June 21-23) of 48 arts-and-culture projects within the 48 blocks that comprise Atlantic City. The celebration begins with a kick-off party at Bourré (201 S. New York Ave.) from 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 21. Artist Billy Joe Michel will paint musician Bakko as she performs live during the party. Attendees will also get a first look at “48 Stories,” a photo book about the people and projects that have helped build 48 Blocks AC. Tickets are $15, including a Cajun BBQ buffet and cash bar.
The 48 Blocks AC weekend will feature the debut of Mural Jitney Tours – hop on to view 20 of the over 50 murals currently in Atlantic City, including five new murals completed in May during 48 Blocks AC Mural Week. Tours are free with donations accepted.
Saturday and Sunday programming is free, and will feature performances and interactive workshops at several sites in the city, including Venice Park, Brighton Park, O’Donnell Park, Brown’s Park, the Noyes Arts Garage and Dante Hall. Programming runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Some of the featured projects include:
• “Dance-in-Paint Mashup” by Jodee Clifford, a local artist and dancer. The interactive project will feature dance performance and invite viewers to join in, creating an abstract art piece from their dance steps.
• ”Drag Queen Story Hour 2.0” presented by Laurie Greene and& Brittany Lynn. DQSH gives kids glamorous, positive, queer role models and imagines a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
• “Korean Lanterns” presented by Saskia Schmidt of Stockton University. Korean paper lanterns have been decorated by local students and will be hung in O’Donnell Park. There will also be a make and take prior to the lantern lighting.
The event will also feature live music, dance performances, bike tours, improv workshops, yoga and tai chi classes and garden tours. In partnership with the Special Improvement District of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, 12 newly decorated Adirondack chairs created by 48 Blocks Atlantic City participants will be placed on the Boardwalk, joining 12 chairs from the past two years.
Joyce Hagen, executive director of the Atlantic City Arts Foundation (ACAF), said: “The purpose of 48 Blocks Atlantic City is to celebrate the city and promote a new story about Atlantic City that celebrates Atlantic City's creativity, culture and rich history."
For more information and a full schedule of events, go to 48BlocksAC.com.