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Astor Alive! Festival Offers Free Weekend Of Music, Art And Dance

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The arts are coming alive at Astor Place this weekend.

Starting Sept. 16, a collection of the city's best actors, singers dancers and performers will come together for three days of jubilation for the newly-revitalized Astor Place -- a $16 million endeavor dedicated to renewing the epicenter of downtown Manhattan's rich cultural and arts district.

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More than 20 groups representing local arts and theater organizations with perform across four stages between 4th Street and 9th Street in the heart of Astor Place. Notable participants include the Public Theater, Joe's Pub, the Bowery Poetry Club, La MaMa, the Rod Rodgers Dance Company and the Danspace Project.

Students from area schools including the Grace Church School and NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Hetrik-Martin Institute,  will also showcase their talent on the Youth Stage.

According to the Village Alliance Business Improvement District, which coordinated the celebration, each performance will focus on five key themes representing Astor Place's culture and history: "Theater for All, Alternative Cultures and Radical Politics, Thinkers and Writers, Immigrant Populations, and Architectural Frontiers."

Those visiting the fair can join in on the fun with family-friendly workshops in puppetry, spinning cubes and a sticker slam.

The weekend of events will culminate Sept. 17 with a vibrant Grand Procession, featuring massive puppets in a dazzling array of music and color. All are welcome to participate in the parade.

Admission to the festival is free. For more information, click here.

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