Governors Island is open seasonally for visitors and offers a diverse array of arts, cultural and recreational activities for all to enjoy.
This year, for the first time ever, Governors Island will be open 7 days a week, from May 24 through September 28.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
Saturday, August 9, Rite of Summer presents Pam Goldberg, Esther Noh, Caitlin Sullivan & Allison Charney, Colonels Row, 1 PM and 3 PM
American and Argentine Sounds from Ives to Piazzolla featuring ROS Co-Founder & pianist Pam Goldberg, violinist Esther Noh, cellist Caitlin Sullivan and soprano Allison Charney. http://www.riteofsummer.com
Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17, Jazz Age Lawn Party, Colonels Row, 11 AM to 5 PM
Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra invite you to the beloved Jazz Age Lawn Party — a dream of the 1920s nestled right in the heart of New York Harbor! Under a canopy of century trees, caressed by fresh sea air, a delightful array of offerings abound throughout the day including: live music and dance performances, dance instruction for the hottest dance steps of the time, games for all ages and a wide variety of 1920’s inspired refreshments and gourmet food for purchase. Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased at http://www.jazzagelawnparty.com/. If space is available, tickets will be sold at the door.
Saturday, August 23, RECESS Bocce, Colonels Row, 12 PM to 5 PM
Itchy for bocce anyone? Join RECESS for a day of outdoor fun in the sun as 32 creative organizations put their lawn skills to the test, rolling and knocking off each other’s bocce balls on the makeshift grass courts on Colonel’s Row. Festivities include free bike rides, food vendors, a beer/wine tent and guest deejays. A few courts will also be open to the public. Visit http://www.recessnewyork.com for more information.
Sunday, August 24, The NYC Volkswagen Traffic Jam, Colonels Row, 10 AM
The Traffic Jam is a spectator-judged vintage Volkswagen car show and picnic. With great views behind a vibrant line-up of nearly 100 Beetles, buses, dune buggies, Things, and other original VW’s circa 1950’s – 1970’s, this car show is a one-of-a-kind event for both the casual spectator and classic VW enthusiast. Because show cars ride a ferry to get to the event, registration is mandatory to secure a spot at the show. Registration opens June 30th. Registration will be first-come, first-served. Car Registration $20.00 and spectators attend for free. Visit http://www.vwtrafficjam.com .
Saturday and Sunday, August 30 and August 31, NYC Unicycle Festival, 12 PM
The New York City Unicycle Festival brings together recreational riders, world-class performers, mountain and off-road unicycle enthusiasts, mono-wheel vehicle inventors, along with circus enthusiasts, extreme sports viewers, and anyone seeking an unusual sight–even for NYC! You will witness unicycle basketball, hockey and sumo. Learn to unicycle in the learn-to-ride area. Produced by Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts. For more information visit nycunifest.com
Saturday, September 6, Rite of Summer presents Grand Band, Colonels Row, 1 PM and 3 PM
New York’s piano sextet Grand Band presents A Bigger Picture – performed by ROS Co-Founder & pianist Blair McMillen, Vicky Chow, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Lisa Moore and Isabelle O’Connell. The New York Times calls Grand Band “the Traveling Wilburys of the city’s new-music piano scene.” They will present a program of recent works by Philip Glass, Kate Moore, Steve Reich and two New York premieres by Michael Gordon and Paul Kerekes. www.riteofsummer.com
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PROGRAMS
Offered Wednesdays through Sundays all season (unless otherwise noted). For more information call 212-825-3045 or visit www.nps.gov/gois
Explore Castle Williams, 10 AM to 5:30 PM
Tours of the roof every half hour, 11 AM till 5 PM.. Get some history in the round at the best-preserved circular fortification in the nation. Fantastic views available from the roof. Free tickets required for tours. About 30 minutes long. Last roof tour on Thursday at 1:30 PM;
For Kids! From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island, Wednesday through Friday 10:20 AM and 11:20 AM, Soissons Landing
Take a step into the past and meet Island residents from hundreds of years ago. Kids and grown-ups will see first-hand the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets required, but large groups please call ahead – 212-825-3045.
Nolan Park: A Commanding Presence, 11 AM, Commanding Officers Quarters
Take a stroll through the genteel neighborhood that played home to generations of the highest-ranking officers stationed on Governors Island.
Visit the Arsenal, 1 PM, Soissons Landing
Did you know that for decades, Governors Island housed not one, but two military bases? Explore Governors Island’s very own “heat-packing district” where the US Army managed munitions and arms during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Hike through History, Wednesday and Friday – Saturday, 2 PM, Soissons Landing
See the whole history of the island in one go. Our most comprehensive program takes you to nearly every highlight in the historic district. Walking tour of 1.5 miles for a total of 90 minutes.
Artillery Thursday! Thursdays, 2 PM Eastern Entrance of Fort Jay
Ready for the big boom? Learn about the life of a 19th-century artillerist and the ammunition and weaponry they used. Loud, fiery cannon demonstration. Then travel to Fort Jay and look at the big 5 and 7 ton Civil War cannons.
Beachfront No More, Colonels Row, 3 PM
Get to know the island’s “dividing line” where officers meet enlisted men, natural turf meets artificial soil, and old meets new.
Experience Fort Jay: An Island Star! Weekends, 12 to 4 PM every hour, Eastern Entrance
Fortify your mind! Tour one of the best examples of classic star-shaped fort design anywhere in the country, including the oldest structure on the island.
National Park Service Special Programs
Army Heritage Day, Saturday, June 1, 11 AM to 6 PM
Living historians from all aspect of the U.S. Army’s past, along with small displays, bring back a sense of Governors Island’s 200 year long history as an Army post.
Civil War Heritage Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10, 11 AM to 6PM
Civil War living historians from the region offer a glimpse of Civil War life as a soldier with camp, musket and cannon firing demonstrations.
What’s Happening on Governors Island: May 24-September 28 (Every day), Building 110
Visit the interactive exhibit in Building 110 to learn more about Governors Island’s new park and public spaces and The Hills as they are under construction. Visitors are invited to use Post It™ notes, markers and stamps to provide their feedback about what’s happening on the Island.
Empire Historic Arts Fund presents: “Tattered and Torn (On The Road To Deaccession): May 24-September 28, Building 20A in Nolan Park (Weekends), Building 20A in Nolan Park
An installation of costume de-accessioned from various museums due to condition issues that make them undesirable for exhibit in the upper echelon museum world. Empire Historic Arts believes their inherent beauty and value is easily recognizable and that they are a great resource for those interested in the design and construction of late 18th and 19th century garments. http://www.empirehistoricarts.org.
Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost Program: May 24-September 28 (Weekends, 11 AM to 3 PM), outside of Building 14, Nolan Park
Join CMA’s Teaching Artists for free hands on art-making each weekend. Collaborate with other visitors on a variety of themed art workshops including painting, sound design, sculpture, animation, podcasting, and more!! For more information visit cmany.org.
Earth Matter Compost Learning Center: Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4 PM, Fridays by pre-registration, Enter at the Park Oval
Earth matter hosts visitor open hours every Saturday and Sunday. The Center’s schedule is: 12 – 1 pm- animals-in the-compost cycle and care for animals. 1- -1:30pm- instructional “how to” compost 2:00-2:30pm “featured” activity focus. 3-4 pm “what to compost”. Come for a tour of our variety of composting methods and devices. Families welcome. www.earthmatter.org
Sculptors Guild presents “Transformation”: May 24-September 28, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 AM to 5 PM, Building 19 in Nolan Park
This exhibition encompasses six separately themed shows as well as outdoor work.
Brooklyn Public Library presents The Uni Project: May 24-August 30, Weekends 12 – 5 PM, Library Lawn outside of Building 114
For the second year in a row, the Uni Project will partner with the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, and The New York Public Library to offer an open-air, public reading room on Governors Island. The Library Lawn will have shade and stunning views of New York Harbor. Visitors will be able to borrow books for use on the island, register for library cards, sign up for Summer Reading, and learn what’s happening in the three New York City public library systems. BPL has also planned a series of Saturday programs at 1pm that include storytelling, performances, and music workshops.
The Poetry Society of New York presents The Typewriter Project: May 24-September 28, Historic District
The Typewriter Project is a series of site-specific literary installations which encourage users to go analog. The project’s pilot vessel is New York City’s tiniest writing den–just big enough for a seat, a desk, a typewriter, and you! The typewriter booth allows both seasoned scribes and first time typists to come inside and join in a citywide lyrical conversation. Every written entry will be collected, stored, and posted online for users to read, share, and comment upon. Look for the rustic, wooden booth situated on Governors Island with a commanding view of the Statue of Liberty.
Civil War & NYC, presented by the New-York Historical Society, Saturdays and Sundays, June 15-September 2, 10 AM to 6:30 PM, Building 18 in Nolan Park
An exhibition about life during the Civil War in New York City.
Better Than Jam Handmade Gift Shop, May 24-September 28, Mondays, Fridays, Weekends, Building 16 in Nolan Park
The Brooklyn shop of all locally handmade products will be taking the ferry ride over, and bringing with it the creations of New York City’s most talented designers, artists and crafters. The cute yellow house will be filled with the work of talented people, who have created some amazing and original products, just for the island shop. With the help of the Etsy New York Street Team, the shop will also host family-friendly demonstrations and workshops on Saturdays 2-4, to show and teach visitors some of their skills. For more information visit www.betterthanjamnyc.com/governorsisland
Mü-Math: The Mobile Unit to Promote Mathematical Thinking, Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day and Labor Day, 1 PM to 6 PM, Building 20, Nolan Park
Mü-Math, the Mobile Unit to promote Mathematical Thinking, returns to Governors Island for its third year in a row. Featuring a dozen different mathematics investigations ranging from algebra to topology, the exhibit is appropriate for the math curious beginning with age 7 and ending with those who consider themselves “ageless.” We’ll be open Saturday, Sundays and holiday Mondays from 1 – 6 pm in Building 20, Nolan Park. You can read more about Mü-Math, as well as our weekday “Street Math Investigations” programs at www.smi-ny.com.
FIGMENT 2014 Summer-Long Installations, June 7-September 21, Every day, Parade Ground
This summer, FIGMENT’s acclaimed interactive Sculpture Garden, artist-designed Minigolf Course and City of Dreams Pavilion, welcomes visitors to the Parade Ground to play with, dance around, contemplate on, and experience these wonderfully imaginative installations.
This year’s Minigolf Course is based on the theme “New New York City.” For more information, visit http://newyork.figmentproject.org/
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Presents LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island, 11 AM-6 PM, Building 110
LCMM’s Arts Center inspires visitors to the Island by connecting them to artists, new ideas and perspectives, and other art-lovers to demonstrate the role that artists play in creating vibrant, sustainable communities. Building 110, located on the Northern coast of Governors Island, is home to LMCC’s Arts Center where key concepts and topics of the moment are explored, year round, in studios during artist residencies, and through curated gallery exhibits during the public access season for visitors to the Island. For events see below:
Trisha Brown Dance Company Presents Embodied Practice and Site Specificity Gallery Exhibition, Fridays and Sundays 12 PM to 5 PM, Saturdays 10 AM to 5 PM and holiday Mondays 12 PM to 5 PM, LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island
Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity looks closely at Trisha Brown’s early work, collaborative practice and relationship to New York City, showing the transformative effect of her performances on audiences and her significant influence on a new generation of artists. The exhibition will also be open June 20–29: Monday–Friday 12–5pm, Saturdays 10am–5pm, Sundays 12–5pm for the River to River Festival.
LMCC Presents Open Studios with Process Space Artists-in-Residence, May 24 and 25, and June 28 and 29, 12:00 PM to 5 PM LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island
Visit the LMCC artist in residence in their studio during the opening weekend of Governors Island.
Build a City of Poems: An Interactive Exhibition of Poetry and Art, July 19- August 3, Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm
Visitors of all ages are invited to view “Ode to New York City,” an exhibition of art and poetry created by NYC elementary school students, and contribute their own drawings and poetry, filling in the outline of a gigantic mural cityscape. Write haiku and prompt-based poems to add to the mural, helping to create a city of poems. Visitors are encouraged to Tweet photos of their poems or make a Vine video and share @poetshouse. Open Saturday and Sunday (July 19-20, July 26-27, and August 2-3) from 11am-3pm. www.poetshouse.org or 212-431-7920 for more information.
The Makery, August 10-17, Every day, 11am-6pm, Nolan Park 6A
The Makery, a Pop Up Makerspace, is transforming a house on Nolan Park into a digital playground. 3D Printing, geodesic domes, fortune-telling rug, Harry Potter-like pixel portrait selfies, persistence of vision wands, electronics workshops and interactive exhibits to explore. Visit The Makery house or take a workshop Aug 10-17, everyday 11AM to 6PM. More info: www.nycmakery.com. List of events and workshops: http://nycmakery.eventbrite.com
Surprise House, August 16 – September 14, Building 6B
Imagine strolling through the green hills of Governors Island and coming to a stop before a mysterious house. What lies within? The Surprise House is designed by Surprise Industries, a company that uses the science of surprise to help individuals and organizations embrace the uncertain and engineer the unexpected. Guests will have an opportunity to play, connect, stretch their comfort zones, and get inspired to explore the unknown in everyday life.
Brooklyn Artery, All Season, Nolan Park Building 1oB
Brooklyn ARTery offers one-of-a kind, affordable and fine quality handmade gifts from artisans from throughout the world. Stop by for beautiful handbags, jewelry, artisanal food, housewares, scarves, beauty products and more! Each Saturday from 2-4pm they offer a free DIY arts drop-in class. Sundays from 2-4 stop by for delectable tastings of local artisanal cookies, candies and other sweet and savory snacks. www.brooklynartery.net or 347-425-7770
Third Rail Artist Residency, Open Studios, Outdoor Rehearsals, Performances and Workshops, select weekends and times, Building 17
Third Rail Projects invites the public to have a window into their creative process of their touring project Roadside Attraction, a mobile site-specific dance/theater work for 6 performers and a 1970’s Coleman pop-up camper. Third Rail Projects will host open outdoor rehearsals, open studios, public workshops, and performances throughout the summer. Open studios on 6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/29, 12-5pm; Open Studios: 7/5, 8/2, 8/22, 9/13, 1-5pm; 9/16, 9/17, 10 – noon; Workshops: 7/23, 8/2, 1-5pm; Performances: 7/6, 2pm & 4pm; Invited Showing: 9/18 through 9/21, noon – 6pm. For more information visit www.thirdrailprojects.com
Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, May 24-September 28, Colonels Row Building 403
Spontaneous Interventions is an award-winning exhibition that celebrates innovative citizen-initiated actions to improve the public realm. The show originated as the official U.S. representation at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale (2012). This summer S.I. takes up residency on Governors Island, presenting a condensed version of the original exhibition, an “outdoor living room” designed by the Rockwell Group, and free programs all summer. Visitspontaneousinterventions.org for more information.
4 Heads Art Fair, weekends in September, 11 AM – 6 PM
The 4 Heads Art Fair will take over dozens of rooms in historic buildings on Governors Island. For more information, visit 4heads.org.
ArtShare for HeartShare, Weekends in September, 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM
This exhibition showcases the talents and creative abilities of artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and neurological impairment.
PAST EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
Saturday, May 24, Opening Day Family Festival, Colonels Row and Liggett Terrace, 1 PM-4 PM
Join the Governors Island Alliance in Nolan Park for arts and crafts, musical and theatrical performances, and harbor-education activities for kids. Sponsored by the Governors Island Alliance. For more information, visit governorsislandalliance.org.
Saturday, May 24, LMCC’s Open Studios, Building 110, 12 PM to 5 PM
LMCC is proud to be a part of the Season of Cambodia Festival, a city-wide initiative of Cambodian Living Arts celebrating the arts and culture of Cambodia. Join LMCC in the Gallery at Building 110 and meet the six Cambodian artists who have been in residence since April 2013.
Saturday, May 31, Rite of Summer presents Dawn of Midi, Colonels Row, 1 PM and 3 PM
Dawn of Midi, an electronica influenced all acoustic trio, will perform original music under the shade of Colonels Row. It is the first Rite of Summer concert on the Island this season. www.riteofsummer.com.
Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8, FIGMENT NYC, Island-wide, 10 AM to 6 PM
FIGMENT is a free, inclusive, participatory arts event held in multiple cities and drawing tens of thousands of participants each year. At FIGMENT visitors will find works in every imaginable medium including sculpture, installation, performance, music, workshops, games, social experiments, and heart-stopping technological innovations that change the way we see the world… and visitors are invited to bring something, too!
Friday, June 20, Baila Baila, Colonels Row, 1 PM
Site specific dance comes to Colonels Row. htttp://www.bailabaila.com
Friday, June 20 and Sunday, June 22, Eiko presents Two Women, LMCC’s Art Center on Governors Island, 2 PM
Eiko experiments to create and present a duet with Japanese dancer Tomoe Aihara. Two Women is an experimental performance that focuses on their age difference and explores how two bodies sometimes mirror each other in parts or collide into one.
Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, Vanessa Anspaugh presents What Was Wasn’t Here, Building 10a, Nolan Park, 20 at 3 PM, 21 at 1 & 3 PM
Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s The Far Away Nearby and the process of developing this work on Governors Island, Vanessa Anspaugh explores the illusions of separation, relationships and space, and asks how bodies share and lose one another.
Saturday, June 21 and Saturday June 28, Hedgepig Presents 15 Minute Hamlet, Lawn outside South Battery, 1 PM
The Hedgepig Ensemble Theater will perform a 15 minute version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet every hour on the hour on the Our Lady Star of the Sea Lawn outside South Battery. http://www.hedgepigensembletheatre.org/
Thursday, June 19 – Sunday, June 29, River to River Festival, LMCC’s Art Center on Governors Island
The annual arts festival of Lower Manhattan, River to River, has several performances on Governors Island scheduled this year. See the River to River events below. http://www.rivertorivernyc.com/
Wednesday and Thursday, June 25 and June 26, Reggie Wilson presents …Moses(es), St. Cornelius Chapel, 25 at 2:45 PM, 26 at 1:45 and 3:45 PM
In …Moses(es) Wilson asks: how do we lead and why do we follow? He examines the multiple iterations of Moses as represented in religious texts, and his place in the mythical, canonical and ethnographic imaginations, exploring questions and expectations in our relationship to leaders and leadership
Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and June 29, Okwui Okpokwasili presents Bronx Gothic: The Oval, LMCC’s Arts Center on Governors Island, 3 PM
Bronx Gothic reveals an impassioned story of coming of age as notes are surreptitiously passed between two school girls at the tender age of 11. Enacted as a solo, Okpokwasili casts a gripping performance that sheds light on harrowing issues of self-esteem, body image and sex amid a susceptible moment in a young girl’s life.
Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and June 29, Open Studios with LMCC’s Artists in Residence, LMCC’s Arts Center on Governors Island, 12 PM to 5 PM
Join LMCC for Open Studios with Process Space artists-in-residence at Governors Island! Visit with visual and performing artists and writers who have been working at LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island since March. The weekend will feature behind-the-scenes access to 20 multi-disciplinary artists’ studios.
Saturday, June 28, RECESS Badminton, Colonels Row, 12 PM to 5 PM
Dust off those badminton rackets and birdies as RECESS returns to Colonels Row for their infamous outdoor badminton challenge featuring 32 creative organizations battling for the title of New York City’s supreme shuttle cockers! Festivities include free bike rides, food vendors, a beer/wine tent and guest deejays, plus a few public courts. Visit http://www.recessnewyork.com for more information.
Sunday, June 29, On Video: New York Close-Up, LMCC’s Arts Center on Governors Island, 4:30 PM
A screening of videos, featuring current participants and alumni from LMCC’s artist residency programs, from Art21’s New York Close Up series which is devoted to artists in the first decade of their professional career, living and working in New York City. Feautured artists are Martha Colburn, LaToya Ruby Fraizer, Liz Magic Laser, Mary Mattingly, Shana Moulton, and Jacolby Satterwhite.
Sunday, June 22, In Conversation: Susan Rosenberg on Trisha Brown, LMCC’s Arts Center on Governors Island, 4:30 PM
Trisha Brown’s principles of choreograpy and movement are discussed by art historian Susan Rosenberg, in a talk that illuminates parallels between Brown’s dance ideas and visual art of her time, focusing on major works of the 1970s and 1980s.
Saturday, July 12, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance presents The City of Water Day Festival, 10 AM to 4 PM
A day of entertainment, education and adventure celebrating our waterfront and its potential. Enjoy free boat tours, children’s activities, fishing, the Waterfront Activity Fair, and more! For more information, visit http://www.cityofwaterday.org/.
Sunday, July 13, Rite of Summer presents New York Harbor to the World, Colonels Row, 1 PM and 3 PM
Rite of Summer collaborates with New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, in presenting an exhilarating afternoon of world premieres inspired by New York City and its multicultural, multifarious history. Featuring renowned ensembles ETHEL and Iktus Percussion performing seven brand new compositions by children from the Philharmonic’s VYC program, two world premieres by NY Philharmonic teaching artist-composers Justin Hines and Angélica Negrón, and a few other musical surprises along the way.
Saturday, July 19, Come Out & Play Field Day and Family Day at the Parade Ground as part of the River To River Festival, 11 AM to 5 PM
City-sized fun for kids and adults, Field Day and Family Day events turn Governors Island into a giant playground for all. New games, new experiences, and new takes on old favorites, Field Day and Family Day give participants the opportunity to rediscover each other and the city they call home through joyful interactive play.
Saturday and Sunday, July 19-20, 26-27, projectLIMB, Colonels Row
projectLIMB is a non-profit site specific dance company dedicated to bringing dance to public spaces. They are intent on embodying the potential that is alive in every space by reinventing our relationships with people, animals, plants, stones, water – with the world as a whole. (www.projectlimb.net)
Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27, New York City Poetry Festival, 11 AM to 5 PM
The Poetry Society of New York will once again invite New Yorkers to come together for this two day festival to celebrate NYC’s vibrant poetry community. The event will include over 60 poetry organizations and 250 poets on its three stages; a Vendor’s Village where local booksellers, artists and craft makers will sell their wares; a beer garden sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery; healthy and delicious food options; poetic installation art throughout, the Ring of Daisies open mic; and last but not least, the Children’s Poetry Festival, complete with writing games and its own fourth, all-kids stage.