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>It’s Happening! Celebrating 50 Years of Public Art in NYC Parks

Saturday, October 21, 2017

11:00 a.m.3:00 p.m.

Please note: This event has already taken place. Please use the Search options on the right to find upcoming events.

This year NYC Parks is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Art in the Parks program. Since its creation in 1967, Art in the Parks has featured over 2,000 works of art. On Saturday, October 21, NYC Parks is transforming Central Park into a stage, museum, and art studio for a free day of public art to celebrate this milestone. Art lovers, families, and park-goers will be delighted by free art exhibits, performances, and hands-on art workshops in Central Park’s beautiful East Pinetum field.

More than 100 artworks, workshops, and performances will take place throughout the day. Some activities include: 

  • Bronx Museum: Button-making based on Bronx public artworks
  • Materials for the Arts: Reuse Sculpture Station
  • Blythe Cain: Painting public artworks with natural pigments
  • Kim Holleman: Trailer Park-let
  • Sing for Hope: the city’s favorite pianos
  • Amanda Long and Historic House Trust: Paper marbling workshop Change to Amanda Long and Historic House Trust: Paper marbling wishes
  • Groundswell: Sketchbook Making
  • United Photo Industries: Create a zine
  • Urban Field Station: Write with a tree alphabet
  • LMCC/Dances for a Variable Population: Dance workshop for all
  • Art Built: What it means to be a global citizen
  • City Arts, Inc: Pieces for Peace
  • Dream Yard: Mosaic workshop with recyclable material
  • Juanli Carrion: Spice portraits
  • Art Students League: Origami and collage workshop
  • Public Art Fund: Art-making workshop based on works of Ai Weiwei
  • Limon Dance Company/ Bryant Park Corp: Modern dance workshop
  • Daniele Frazier: Life-drawing class of a model in a polar bear costume
  • Poetry Society of NY: One-on-One Poetry Experiences
  • Art Production Fund: Art Sundae! Create a public art project with Elise Peterson
  • Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance: Wind Chimes Made from Recyclables with Evelyn Suero
  • Katya Grokhovsky: Slow Dance with Me
  • Taiwanese American Arts Council: Taiwan Tribal Spirits Updated
  • Broadway Mall Association: Collaborative Clay Mural Making with Joy Brown
  • The Moving Company performance with Tina Wang, Scynge Xing, Tamar Ettun


As NYC Parks’ public art program took shape in the 1960s, artistic events called “happenings” popped up in parks across the city. Blurring the line between art and everyday life, these fleeting performances combined sculpture, music, theater, dance, and poetry. They varied in size and sophistication, but always relied on audience participation.

NYC Parks’ 50th anniversary celebration "It’s Happening!" captures the same creative spirit with dynamic public artworks, hands-on workshops, and performances.

Presented by TD Bank


Location Details:
Enter at the East 84th Street entrance at the East Drive, behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Event Organizer

Art & Antiquities

Contact Number

(212) 360-8163

Contact Email


Accessible, Arts & Crafts, Concerts, Dance, Art, Festivals, Games, Best for Kids, Food, Seniors

Directions to Central Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 3 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

ParkCentral Park

Raccoons in Central Park have tested positive for canine distemper virus. Although the virus cannot be transmitted to humans, it may be transmitted to dogs. Keep your pets safe in the park.

Please avoid wildlife and make sure your pets have up-to-date distemper and rabies vaccines. Keep your pet on a leash, especially during dawn and dusk.

Please call 311 or notify an on-site Parks employee if you see a sick or injured animal.

If you are bitten, wash the wound with soap and water immediately. Call your doctor to see if you need tetanus or rabies shots, and call 311 to report the bite.

The Health Department will continue to monitor this condition.

Anticipated Completion: Summer 2018

Nature CentersBelvedere Castle Visitor Center

Beginning Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle will be closed for restoration. The castle will reopen to the public in 2019. To reach our Urban Park Rangers at Central Park, please call (212) 360-1444.

ParkCentral Park

Beginning Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle will be closed for restoration. The surrounding plaza and terrace remain open, but will also close in the coming weeks. The Belvedere will reopen to the public in 2019. For more information on the restoration of Belvedere Castle, please visit Central Park Conservancy's website.

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