NYRP and BAM Team Up to Present Arts in the Gardens Series in Select Brooklyn Community Gardens


Partnership commits to activating NYRP community gardens in under-resourced areas with wide-ranging quality arts programming

New York, NY, May 2014 – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) have partnered to present a season of free arts programming in select NYRP community gardens in Brooklyn. NYRP gardens are available for anyone to volunteer in, grow produce, and host their own events. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in a natural, outdoor setting. The event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including a music festival; movement, dance and rhythm workshops; a performance art installation; dance performances and a dance-themed film series. The events will take place in four Bedford-Stuyvesant and Gowanus gardens from June through September.

"We're thrilled to partner with BAM to offer high-quality arts programming that turns these spaces into multi-functional event venues for engaging with the community," said Jordan Dyniewski, NYRP's Public Events Director. "NYRP's community gardens are not just spaces for urban agriculture; they become exciting event venues where the community can gather to enjoy arts and nature together, and establish a growing sense of community."

The collaboration between NYRP and BAM demonstrates a sustainable partnership model that presents local communities with opportunities to enjoy free, high-quality programming, which they might not normally experience. The robust program also encourages people to engage more actively with their local environment. NYRP’s 52 community gardens across the city are places where individuals can discover and build community within a socio-economically diverse environment. By turning these outdoor public spaces into interactive event venues, the program will increase awareness of community gardens as resources for local communities as well as the wider NYC audience.

“As the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas, BAM has long been dedicated to serving its surrounding community of artists and art lovers,” said BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo. “Thanks to the work of NYRP in developing these community gardens, we have a unique opportunity to present diverse programs in some of Brooklyn’s hidden gems.”    

The Arts in the Gardens series includes the following events. Dates and locations are subject to change. Participants should visit for most up-to-date information.

Music Festival: Saturday June 14, 1:00-8:00pm
This day-long music extravaganza will feature local Brooklyn musicians performing a variety of blues, jazz, funk and other genres.

1:00pm – New York-style blues from Michael Hill’s Blues Mob
2:30pm – Experimental jazz quintet The Flail
4:00pm – Portuguese jazz singer Sara Serpa & André Matos
5:30pm – Imaginative jazz vocalist Elisabeth Lohninger
7:00pm – Afrotronic sounds of Digital Diaspora
Location: Jane Bailey Memorial Garden (327-329 Greene Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

“Youth Moves” Movement Workshop Series: First three Saturdays in July and August, Noon
A series of family-friendly movement workshops rooted in basic concepts presented by two Brooklyn-based dance companies—Urban Bush Women and Cora Dance. 

Urban Bush Women’s Kinetic Kids workshops will explore creative movement through dance games for children ages 5-12. 

July 12 – Garden of Hope (392 Hancock Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant)  
August 9 – Garden of Hope
August 16 – Jane Bailey Memorial Garden (327-329 Greene Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

Cora Dance will present Hip Hop Workshop for Everyone, exploring the concept that everyone is able to dance and find their own personal hip hop.  

July 5 – Jane Bailey Memorial Garden (327-329 Greene Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant)
July 19 – Jane Bailey Memorial Garden 
August 2 – Garden of Hope (392 Hancock Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant)    

“Garden Grooves” Music Nights: Thursdays, August 7, 14 and 21, 7:00-9:30pm
Enjoy the soothing sounds of live music from local musicians in the comfort of NYRP’s outdoor spaces.

Thursday, August 7 
7:00pm – Brooklyn-bred singer, keyboardist, and composer Akie Bermiss 
8:30p – Sultry, mellow soul by trio Soulfolk Experience
Location: Target Community Garden (931-933 Bedford Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

Thursday August 14 
7:00pm – Pop Rock with Kelsey Warren 
8:30pm – New York singer-songwriter Rebecca Jordan
Location: Gil Hodges Community Garden (534 Carroll Street, Gowanus)

Thursday August 21st
7:00pm – Ambient electronic soundscapes by Threefifty
8:30pm – Acoustic folk sounds of Jessica Carvo
Location: Garden of Hope (392 Hancock Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

“Qualia Gardens” Installation and Performance Art by LEIMAY: installation July 15-August 13, performances August 1 at 7pm and August 9th at 4pm
Qualia, your personal sense of experience, is an idea LEIMAY Dance Company will look to explore through art and dance. What will your unique interpretation be? The art installation will be on display in July and August, with two dance performances in August.

Installation Duration: Thursday, July 15 – Wednesday, August 13
Performance 1: Friday August 1, 7pm
Performance 2: Saturday August 9, 4pm
Location: Gil Hodges Community Garden (534 Carroll Street, Gowanus)

Dance ‘n’ Film Series: Saturdays in September, Workshop from 4-6:30pm, Films begin at sunset
Enjoy a dance-themed summer movie night series just for Brooklyn! Beginning at sunset (approx. 7—8pm), each screening is preceded by a fun workshop, led by Cora Dance, based on one of their works and culminates in a performance at the end of the workshop.

Saturday, September 6
Dance: LAWN workshop
Film: An American in Paris (1951) 113 min, PG
Location: Target Community Garden (931-933 Bedford Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

LAWN brings together the professional dancers from Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance with youth and community members for an exploration of the pleasure we experience in the city's public outdoor spaces. Tender and funny, sweeping and still, this work is a love letter to the city's gardens and the residents who bring them to life. Community members wishing to participate in the performance of this work are invited to join in a workshop (4—6:30pm) led by Choreographer Shannon Hummel and her dancers which is followed by a performance of the work. 
*No prior dance experience necessary.

Saturday, September 13
Dance: LAWN workshop
Film: Breakin (1984) 90 min, PG
Location: Garden of Hope (392 Hancock Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

Saturday, September 20
Dance: BENCH workshop
Film: NY Export: Opus Jazz (2010) 61 min
Location: Target Community Garden (931-933 Bedford Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant)

Seated on a BENCH, two strangers connect and disconnect, compete and comply, negotiate and tease their way through introducing themselves to one another. A celebration of our differences as well as the common ground we share, this work was created in collaboration with hip-hop dancer Solomon Goodwin and modern dancer Sarah Burke. Preceding the performance of BENCH, community members, ages 9 and up, are invited to participate in a workshop (4—6:30pm) where they will create their own pieces to be presented alongside a live performance with Goodwin and Burke. 
*No prior dance experience necessary. 

Saturday, September 27
Dance: LAWN workshop
Film: The Wiz (1978) 134 min, G
Location: Jane Bailey Memorial Garden (327-329 Greene Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant
About New York Restoration Project
Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Unlike traditional conservancies that care for a specific place, NYRP is the only New York City conservancy that works citywide, bringing private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support. NYRP is also the leading private partner of the City of New York in MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs by 2015. To learn more, please visit

About BAM
BAM’s mission is to be the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. America’s oldest performing arts institution, it is recognized internationally for innovative dance, music, and theater programming—including its renowned Next Wave Festival. BAM also features an acclaimed repertory film program, literary and visual art events, and extensive educational programs. The institution is led by President Karen Brooks Hopkins and Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo.

Anne Tan | PR Officer, NYRP
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | (212) 333-2552

Baha Ebrahimzadeh | Publicist, BAM
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | (718) 636-4129 x8