Since 1968, the Bay Ridge Festival of the Arts (first called the Union Church Art Show) has been a cultural force in the local community as well as a supporter of arts in schools and of students who strive to make meaningful creativity one of their lifelong goals.

Every spring for one week, the festival showcases works by local painters, craftspersons and musicians, bringing art awareness and enjoyment to the public, free of charge. Almost a quarter of a million dollars in scholarship money has been raised over the past 30 years, with grants bestowed to local high school students for their college careers focusing on the arts. This is the most important mission of the festival, but certainly, not the only one.

Raising public awareness of the beauty of art is one of the other priorities of the Festival, using the Parish House of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd to its fullest extent as an exhibition space, theater and display stage, bringing the works of dozens of talented individuals to the forefront where they can be enjoyed by the largest number of people possible. Music, crafts, paintings and sculpture are all represented for everyone, young and old, to enjoy.