Stevens Square arts festival is June 4-5

The fourth annual Red Hot Art Festival showcases a vibrant creative community with free arts-related activities Saturday-Sunday, June 4-5 at Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave.

This year, the festival has added several new elements to attract more visitors. Highlights include art for sale, film screenings and a bug-petting zoo.

Fifty area artists contributed to the "en plein air" gallery (art done outside). There will also be public art installations from The Soap Factory, 110 5th Ave. SE, Outsiders and Others, 1010 Park Ave. S. and Rabbit - an elusive gallery (it has no address).

Many installations will be interactive, such as a mural project wherein anyone can pick up a brush and contribute to an in-progress public artwork. Stencil artist Amy Rice and community members have already designed stencils to grace the mural.

Urban Film Dwellings shows local short films that will be viewed in a makeshift theater inside a rented moving truck.

Also, a long list of bands will perform alternately on two stages.

Local restaurants offer ethnic foods, and the Bell Museum of Natural History offers a bug-petting zoo.

Additionally, Stevens Square Center for the Arts, 1905 3rd Ave. S. will display one piece from all 50 exhibiting artists until Friday, June 3.

A Red Hot Art preview will be Friday, June 3, 7 p.m. at Acadia Caf, 1931 Nicollet Ave. The festival runs Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. District 202, SASE: The Write Place, North Country Co-op, Central School, Arise! Bookstore and Resource Center, Youth Art Studio and SuperClown are event sponsors.

For more information, call 879-0200 or see www.redhotart.org.