“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 04/24
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  • BPC People
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Highlights Include Free Community Celebrations Marking Authority’s 50th Anniversary

Largest-Ever Calendar – Including New & Traditional Programming Favorites – Offers More than 600 Events in All

The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) today released its Summer Parks Programming Calendar, detailing well over 600 public programs and events for the whole family planned across Battery Park City from May through August. The full calendar of mostly-free, indoor and outdoor programs is the largest-ever event listing offered by BPCA, and is centered around the 50th Anniversary of the Battery Park City Authority Act, signed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller in May of 1968. Available via the BPCA website, hardcopies have been sent to all BPC Parks mailing list subscribers and are arriving in mailboxes this week.

“With summer fast approaching, our passionate Parks Programming team has worked hard on this calendar of events that affirms our commitment to community programming,” said BPCA President and Chief Operating Officer B.J. Jones. “This season, we invite you to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Battery Park City’s inception through the wide array of music, dance, art classes, nature walks, games, and festivals we have planned.”

The Summer 2018 Parks Programming Calendar features nearly 30 pages of illustrated program offerings happening throughout Battery Park City, organized by those of interest to guests of all ages, to teens and adults, seniors, school-aged children, and preschoolers. Programming will take place across a wide array of Battery Park City’s 92-acres, from Rockefeller, Teardrop, and Wagner parks to the BPC Ball Fields and Pier A Plaza; from Esplanade, Belvedere and Irish Hunger Memorial plazas to 6 River Terrace; and from South Cove to the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School, and more. The calendar also includes a map of key Battery Park City locations, restrooms, and art installations as well as information about how the public may reserve space at various BPC event facilities.

Highlights of the 2018 Summer Calendar include:

BPC Golden Jubilee – Thursday, May 31, 5:30pm, Rockefeller Park

On May 31, 1968, Governor Rockefeller signed the Battery Park City Authority Act. Bring a picnic dinner and celebrate on the lawns of Rockefeller Park with neighbors and special guests. Enjoy music by Bang on a Can’s Asphalt Orchestra and the funky reggae beats of Brown Rice Family. The first 150 to register at registration@bpcparks.org will receive a free commemorative 50th Anniversary picnic blanket.

The 50-Year Greening of BPC: From Landfill to Gardens – Sunday, June 3, 2pm, South Cove

Join a walk and talk and explore the remarkable evolution of BPC in its use of sustainable horticulture practices and innovative design. Guided by Anne O’Neill, BPCA Director of Horticulture, and James dePadua and Manuel Rivera, Senior Horticulturalists with over 50 years of combined experience, these tours will tell the story of transforming landfill to an international model of urban parks and gardens.

• Juneteenth Celebration – Saturday, June 16, 2-5pm, Pier A Plaza

Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, originated in Texas and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States originated in Texas. Artists Autumn Ewalt and Dharmesh Patel, creators of the adjacent public art installation Sunrise, Sunset (Revolution), share tales of celebrating in Texas. Make your own light-catcher inspired by the art. The Federation of Black Cowboys returns to BPC with their horses and share stories. Music by Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens and spoken word by Zell Miller III.

• Swedish Midsummer Festival & Dance – Friday, June 22, 5-8pm, Wagner Park

Enjoy this unique celebration of the summer solstice. Learn traditional Swedish folk dances from Barnklubben Elsa Rix and join in lively dance around the Midsummer pole. Make wreaths from beautiful flowers representing those in bloom on the solstice in Sweden. Enjoy a parade, children’s games, and Swedish delicacies.

• Battery Park City Community Field Day – Wednesday, June 27, 10am-1pm, Rockefeller Park

School’s out for summer! Learn to Double-Dutch, kick back with some ice cream, and listen to beats by the one and only DJ D–Official. Play classic field day games like potato-sack races, relays and tug-of-war. Don’t miss out on face painting, lawn and water games and spinning the BPC big wheel for prizes.

• Fiddle Celebration – Thursdays in June, 5pm, Irish Hunger Memorial Plaza

Enjoy traditional fiddle music from around the globe with the following artists in a newly-activated concert space:

o June 7 // Tony Demarco: New York Trad Fest – Lively dance tunes like jigs, reels, and hornpipes will be performed by renowned New York Irish fiddle players, led by New York Trad Fest’s creator Tony Demarco and featuring the fabulous footwork of Megan Downes.

o June 14 // Brian Conway & Friends – The all-Ireland fiddle champion, an American-born musical descendant of the great Sligo players who immigrated to New York in the 1900s, will be joined in a celebration of fiddle music by his sister, Rose Flanagan, and some of his prize-winning students along with piano master Brendan Dolan.

o June 21 // Dalarnas Spelmansförbund – From the Dalarna region of Sweden, with hundreds of years of folk music tradition, the Dalarna Fiddle Association plays festive dance music, such as waltzes, polkas and schottisches, often featured at celebrations in their homeland.

• River & Blues Concert Series – Select Thursdays, 7pm, Wagner Park

While the sun sets on New York Harbor come enjoy blues music from around the world:

o July 5 // Songhoy Blues – This guitar-driven quartet has burst onto the world stage with attacking guitar riffs, Afro-Funk grooves and hypnotizing desert blues. Through their music these young stars share stories of exile, resilience and strength.

o July 12 // Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely – New York music scene staple Toshi Reagon crafts progressive, soulful blues and creates an intimate, uplifting spiritual connection to the audience with the help of her renowned band BIGLovely. Don’t miss this joyous celebration by a unique talent!

o July 19 // John Hammond – A River & Blues favorite, legendary bluesman, Grammy winner and Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Hammond has shared the stage with a who’s who of blues greats, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters and more. Witness this master conjure the Delta Blues and transform his guitar and harmonica into an orchestra steaming forward with the power of a runaway train.

o July 26 // Hurray for the Riff Raff – Born and raised in the Bronx, Alynda Lee Segarra ran away to New Orleans, emerging with the folk-inspired, bluesy-Americana sound of Hurray for the Riff Raff. Their latest release, The Navigator, explores her Caribbean roots, informing a powerful Nuyorican voice that addresses displacement, injustice, resilience and cultural pride.

o August 2 // Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – This Seattle-based soul collective brings a jazzy, soulful blues sound to New York City. Hammond B-3–led jams, mixed with shredding guitar licks and inspired drum fills are destined to get the Wagner Park crowd movin’ and groovin’!

• Strings-on-Hudson – Thursdays in August, 5:30pm, Belvedere Plaza

Back for a second summer after its smashing debut in 2017, Strings-on-Hudson is Battery Park City’s al fresco classical music series on the Hudson River waterfront:

o August 9 // Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra – Downtown’s own KCO performs Sweet Sounds of Summer!, a stylish selection of classical melodies for your dancing pleasure, including foxtrots, tangos and waltzes.

o August 23 // Leadlights – Rising young stars on the local string music scene, Leadlights brings contemporary and classical music to new audiences. Program to include a 2017 piece by New York-based composer Kyle Werner as well as selections by Beethoven, Brahms, and Mendelssohn.

o August 30 // Harlem Quartet – Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet graces Belvedere Plaza in a program that reflects the group’s mission to advance diversity in classical music. This string quartet performance pairs works of Debussy and Schubert with Brazilian, Cuban, jazz and ragtime repertoire.

“From neighborhood festivals to worldwide fiddle celebrations, the summer programming by Battery Park City Authority is packed with community events for everyone to enjoy,” said Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “I encourage families and lower Manhattan residents of all ages to take advantage of these great events as we mark fifty years since the creation of BPCA. Hope to see you in the neighborhood!”

“As we usher in brighter, warmer weather, I’m thrilled to join the Lower Manhattan community to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Battery Park City Authority,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “What better way to celebrate the arrival of the summer season than to experience all that Battery Park City has to offer? Thanks to the leadership of President and COO B.J. Jones, and the commitment of all the BPCA staff and volunteers, families across the city will have access to affordable, diverse community programming this summer.”

Interested individuals can subscribe to the BPC Parks mailing list by visiting bpcparks.org, by phone at (212) 267-9700, or at any BPC Parks program or event.

Concluded BPCA President & COO Jones: “These family-friendly activities are designed to bring people together and help make Battery Park City’s world-class parks and public spaces welcoming to all, especially the residents who year after year join in on the fun. That’s why we’ve invested more in free and affordable programming than ever before – and why we can’t wait to see you here!

View the BPCA Summer Events Calendar


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