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Staff Picks: Arts, Culture & Fun

New York City's parks are renowned for offering unforgettable experiences and celebrations of our city's rich culture and talent. Through our Arts, Culture & Fun program along with partners and friends, we bring free concerts, movie screenings, art workshops, theater, and dance classes to parks citywide, and now we're bringing it to you, so you can enjoy Parks@Home.

Enjoy these staff selections from the best of our Arts, Culture & Fun partners and friends' virtual and online programs: 

Music

  • Relive summers upon summers of concerts in our parks! Watch or listen to throwback SummerStage concerts with CityParks Foundation.
  • Catch some great jazz from the coolest cats around courtesy of #thenewgig on the Jazz Foundation's Facebook page.
  • Kick off your weekend with free live-streamed and archived concerts and performances at Joe's Pub Live every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights
  • Check out this virtual performance of "Still I Will Love" from the Public Theater's production of As You Like It. The performance is a collaboration of more than 150 Public Works members, including Park's Brownsville Recreation Center!
  • Join Make Music NY's global song swap! Learn a tune by another artist, and share one of yours to be covered in return. Sign up by May 21 to participate in #MySongIsYourSong.
A crowd of people gather in front of a stage in a park for a concert.

SummerStage brings dozens of concerts to our parks each summer, now you can relive them from home! (Image courtesy of CityParks Foundation)

 

Theater

  • The Public Theater's Mobile Unit has brought live theater to our recreation centers twice a year for six years. The Public Theater is now inviting the world to use Shakespeare’s words to connect with friends, family, and communities, all from their homes. Every week, across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they'll focus on a different passage or scene from Shakespeare and invite everyone to join in and create! Check out the Brave New Shakespeare Challenge and be sure to check out Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet translated into Spanish! 
The crowd in the rec center looks on in awe as an actress playing Juliet leans in from the steps on a ladder to give Romeo a kiss upside down.

Through our Arts, Culture & Fun program, the Public Theater 's Mobile Unit has brought this captivating performance of Romeo and Juliet at Faber Park Recreation Center.  (photo credit: Erik Pearson, courtesy of The Public Theater)

Dance

  • Join Virtually BAAD!  for live dance performances, plus live chats about art and community-building, and more! 
  • If you missed our free Ailey Extension dance classes in the park, you can now take their classes online!  
  • Watch the 2020 Queensboro Dance Festival from home! From May 16 - Oct. 4, you can tune in each week for live performances, classes, and more. Check out the lineup and watch previous shows in Forest Park and Rockaway Beach on YouTube
  • Join El Museo del Barrio for upcoming online events, from the Coqui Club for the little ones in your casita, to Jueves Social and Sabado Familiar to baila with El Museo.
A group of women in traditional African wear dance on stage at a park the beat of the drums played by three men at the back of the stage.

Last summer, our Arts, Culture & Fun program hosted unforgettable performances by talented dancers in Forest Park! (photo credit: Reiko Yanagi, courtesy of the Queensboro Dance Festival)

Books

  • Looking for a new book to read? Ask the New York Public Library for book recommendations on Twitter! Share what you've been reading lately or which genres and authors you love and @NYPLRecommends will tell you what to read next. Follow @NYPLRecommends; the Reader Services Team offers recommendations on Mondays from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

 

Art

You can visit the city's museums and cultural institutions online to explore amazing art from home, stay connected, and find activities for children. Check out:

Kids in Summer Illustration Art Academy tshirts pose for pictures while wearing masks that they crafted.

Every summer, our rec center kids, through our Arts, Culture & Fun program learn all about illustration at the Summer Illustration Art Academy in partnership with the Society of Illustrators! (Image courtesy of the Society of Illustrators)

Fun Workout Tips From a Pro Athlete

Join Olympian, marathoner, author, and actor Alexi Pappas on Instagram at @AlexiPappas for daily inspirational tips on running, working out, and life. This year, Alexi Pappas along with Director/husband Jeremy Teicher spoke at Tony Dapolito Recreation Center about their film, Olympic Dreams. Alexi Pappas is a 2016 Olympian and an award-winning actor and writer and has been profiled on the cover of numerous magazines, including recently on Sports Illustrated where she spoke about running during the pandemic. 

More from Parks@Home

While you stay home, we're bringing the Parks experience to you with Parks@Home! For more virtual/online programs, including live tours, art tutorials, and fitness, visit our Parks@Home page

A girl sitting at a table in a cafe nervously reaches out to touch her arm as she lovingly stares at her companion off screen and brushes his hands

Staff Picks: Movies in Parks At Home

Make movie night Parks-themed with our staff picks! From classics to rom-coms to new faves, watch our selection of films set in our near our parks. View our movie picks

A painting of various strokes of colors including hands than stretch out to face with two yellow circles on the sides.

Art Tutorials with the Art Students League

The Art Students League Seeds of the League brings quality art instruction to our recreation centers and outdoor parks, and now you can enjoy classes from home! Check out Art as Meditation with Max & Jacob Cohen and DIY Origami Tulips with Sonomi Kobayashi.

Cartoon graphic of a tree singing into a microphone on a sunny day in the park.

Music Playlists

Tune in to the soundtrack of our parks with our specially-curated music playlists! Enjoy while you work from home, commute to your essential job, or host a party online. Listen to our music playlists

Leaves, barks, and other found objects transformed into art are pinned on a board in the gallery.

The Arsenal Gallery Goes Online

Check out our latest exhibition, Alice Momm's The Gleaner's Song, a love song to Central Park that pays tribute to the ragged beauty of found objects in nature. View this exhibition online

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