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Festival of Colors at Cultural Performing Arts Center

Brooklyn Daily

Paint the town red — and blue, green, yellow, and pink.

On May 3, an event space in Flatbush will host the third annual “Festival of Colors,” where partygoers will cover themselves head-to-toe in colorful paint while dancing to live music.

Based on the Hindu festival of Holi, this re-imagined event incorporates art and music with traditional Hindu values such as unity, explained the organizer. “We’re celebrating universal values that even someone who isn’t Hindu can celebrate,” said “Festival of Colors” creator Jack Langerman. “There’s a beautiful vibe and energy that can be expanded to a group of people who appreciate it.”

Langerman, who is not Hindu himself, discovered Holi in 2012, while surfing the internet with his girlfriend. Wanting to embrace the celebration themselves, the pair decided to plan an event to coincide with the festival in India — which was just nine days away. Somehow, they pulled it off.

“It was insane. A crazy, fun experience,” said Langerman.

The Festival of Colors incorporates Holi’s signature element — powdered paint. Langerman imports the multicolored powders — made with corn starch and vegetable dyes — from India, and the 4,000 partygoers then proceed to throw, sprinkle, smudge, and smear the colors on each other.

Langerman said the experience of hurling paint at total strangers helps lower social barriers.

“We’re challenging social norms,” he said. “We’re breaking down that New York bubble, and you can feel comfortable tossing paint in someone’s face.”

This year’s events will also feature a hip-hop showcase, with an eleven-piece Afro-beat band from the New York University Master’s in Jazz program, plus electronic and indie rock performers.

There will also be a visual art display, plus food trucks and a bar — all of which Langerman said would come together to engage revellers’ five senses.

“People can see the art, smell and taste the food, hear the music, and feel the paint,” said Jack. “Expect it’s going to be different, keep an open mind, and keep smiling.”

“Festival of Colors” at Cultural Performing Arts Center [1020 E. 48th St. between Farragut Road and Haywood Place in Flatbush, May 3 at 2 pm. $25.

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