There’s so much to see. Exhibits include experimental and traditional art, in many park locations. They explore various themes including: Disappearing businesses, issues of race, issues of class, diversity, cultural displacements, overlooked portions of New York City history, and much more.
The Art in Parks program began in the late 60s with an intention to use public spaces as outdoor museums, “letting works of art ‘loose in the city, to set them under the light of day where they intrude upon our daily walks and errands.'”
“… a sphere of tiny porcelain sculptures, each an intimate, bone-like shape, adhered and supported by an elaborate system of aluminum and epoxy. Comprised of innumerable parts which on their own may appear insignificant, the structure celebrates the idea that small things together amount to something impactful; a monument to collective consciousness.”
“Karla and James Murray’s wood-framed sculpture consists of near life-size photographs of four mom-and-pop neighborhood stores of the Lower East Side, which are no longer in business and have disappeared from the streetscape. Images of a bodega, a coffee shop/luncheonette, a vintage store, and a newsstand recognize the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses.”
“Our Memories is an evolving audience participatory installation. Recognizing the need to record one’s personal experience, these neuron-inspired sculptures contain cavities in which participants place a color-coded “memory stone”. The memory stones are classified into six emotive categories: joy, anger, love, sadness, fear, and surprise. This active act of recollection not only stirs up personal memories, it also physiologically generates a new collective memory. The Our Memories project is both a larger memorial piece, made complete by thousands of individual memories from people all over the world, and an experience that connects us to our core and to one another.”
“Tanda Francis’ work examines the African presence in public space as a powerful force of beauty and cultural relevance. Inspired by African sculptural tradition, including Ife portraiture, Francis also incorporates Victorian and colonial ornamentation into her work. Adorn Me addresses the underrepresentation of this demographic in public artworks, and provide a healing message during a time of heated debate over monuments erected as symbols of oppression and control.”
Beyond being intriguing pieces, art can have profound influence, as this experience demonstrates:
“Dim, poignant, surreal, unconventional. Probably these are the first words to come to one’s mind, when describing the animated films made in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Almost 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the slow and oftentimes troubled process of democratization in the region, animated short films have an increasing approach to reflect on social and political subjects. While artistic animated short films have a tendency in general to evoke the universal condition of human existence, contemporary animation from Central and Eastern Europe combine this with a strong incentive for dealing with issues of the actual world, like the long-term effects of childhood traumas on one’s personality, the gender differences or the personal freedom in today’s society.”
Films from: Poland, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro, Latvia and Hungary.
(The full program has, in addition to the screenings, workshops and a networking event.)
Get ready for an exciting performance of Bollywood and Traditional Indian Dance and Music – followed by an interactive dance lesson! Ajna Dance Company delivers visually stunning and culturally rich performances that engage, educate and inspire – with dances that blend the traditions of classical Indian and folk dance with Bollywood and other contemporary movement. Ajna has appeared on NBC and ABC’s Good Morning America, The Food Network, and performed at countless NYC landmarks including The United Nations, Macy’s, and Barclays.
Kimya’s playful vocals paired with her eclectic musical compositions will capture your heart. She’s a Grammy winning, platinum selling singer songwriter most widely known for her work on the JUNO soundtrack. Kimya has been featured in Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times which described her as “a veteran of the scrappy anti-folk circuit, with stream of consciousness songs that balance the caustic and the childlike”.
George Gee’s 8th album is: “Swing Makes You Happy” – and that’s exactly what this show will do! When the George Gee Swing Orchestra plays popular songs from the Swing Era, you’re sure to feel more pep in your step. George Gee Swing Orchestra’s appearances include MTV, the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and ABC’s Good Morning America. (Note: This show will take place rain or shine! If it rains, we have an indoor space to sway and swing in!)
August: “Waterside Summer Movie Series” – Mondays (see below for times)
August brings you to the plaza for movies the whole family can enjoy. With over six acres (including landscaped gardens facing the East River), Waterside is the ideal location from which to take in the film, the amazing views, the complimentary refreshments, and, have a wonderful evening in the city – with the feel of an urban retreat.
Take a journey into worlds of animated toys, goblins and re-gain your child-like wonder:
August 20th – Waterside’s Audience Choice*! (7pm)
Being shown at Waterside by popular demand – “The Wizard of Oz”! This beloved, iconic 1939 musical is based on the work of L. Frank Baum.
SPECIAL EVENT: In addition to the film, Marc Baum of the All Things Oz Museum, a non-profit organization devoted to Oz, will join us. He will bring free collectable postcards and other Oz goodies.
Marc Baum will lead us in All Things Oz Trivia Contest – bring your knowledge, your courage and your heart. There will also be a best Oz costume. Both activities will feature prizes for the winners!
Friday, August 24th – “Labyrinth” (7:30pm) (Note: Rescheduled from Aug 13)
Starring the iconic David Bowie and a pre-Academy Award-winning Jennifer Connelly, this Jim Henson musical fantasy tale has a teenage girl, tired of babysitting her baby brother, wish him away – only to have him captured by the evil Goblin King!
Set in Yokohama in 1963, as Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the Olympics, the beautifully animated From Up on Poppy Hill tells the story of a high school couple’s innocent love and the secret surrounding their births. The film evokes both a wide-eyed hope for the future, and an aching nostalgia for a past that can never be recovered. Written by Academy Award Winner and the legendary founder of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by Goro Miyazaki, the film marks the first creative collaboration between father and son. This English language version features the voices of Christina Hendricks, Anton Yelchin, Gillian Anderson, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis and Bruce Dern.
Tuesday, August 28th – “Toy Story” (8pm) (Note: Rescheduled from Aug 6)
Toys come to life in this ever-popular 1995 film about a cowboy doll threatened by a new spaceman figure. Will the cowboy lose his place in a little boy’s heart? Featuring the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
Join Waterside for these irresistible events!
All events are free and take place on the plaza (25 Waterside Plaza, NY, NY 10010.) Limited seating is available, lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged.