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Family, Outdoor and Visual Arts

May 26 2012 to September 30 2012

New York, NY 10004

Governors Island offers a diverse array of arts, cultural and recreational activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy. A full list of programs are below.



Mark di Suvero at Governors Island: Presented by Storm King art Center, May 26-September 30
The exhibition is on view for another exciting season on Governors Island and includes a soaring new sculpture and programs for the public to enjoy. The exhibition is free and installed throughout the Island's public spaces.

What’s Happening on Governors Island: May 26-September 30 
Visit the interactive exhibit in Building 110 to learn more about the Governors Island Park and Public Space Plan and the 30 new acres of park and public space that are currently under construction. Visitors are invited to use Post It™ notes, markers and stamps to provide their feedback on the plan.

Process: 5th Annual Sculptors Guild Exhibition on Governors Island: May 26 – September 30 
Curated by Mikaela Sardo Lamarche and featuring work from members of the Guild and an invited guest artist, Faith Rinngold. For more information, including a schedule of hands-on free workshops and events visit

Empire Historic Arts Fund presents the fashion exhibit: "Tattered and Torn (On The Road To Deaccession): May 26-September 30
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 takes a different stance and offer them as an amazing resource to people interested in the design and construction of 19th century costume.

Transforming Function at Building 110: LMCC’s Art Center, 12 PM – 5 PM
The artists in this exhibition, by creating works that reimagine purpose, urge us to develop relationships to these environments that extend beyond passive consumption. Through adapting uses and subverting functions, the resulting work takes many forms and offers new perspectives and approaches to viewing, listening, experiencing, and interacting. Additional programming such as workshops, demonstrations, and talks to be announced.

Painting Governors Island: May 26-September 30
An exhibition of en-plein-air watercolor and oil paintings exploring the island’s unique setting. The harbor, the industrial Brooklyn waterfront, the New York City skyline and the bridges are all wonderful motifs from this inspiring location. The island, with its strange mixture of buildings, both utilitarian and historic, is in itself a fascinating subject. Each artist reinvents the island through their own eyes, finding surprising memorable images. While caring about the motifs, these paintings are not merely depictions, but rather personal, painterly truths about the island.

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council presents Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island 
Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island is a multi-disciplinary art space featuring a gallery and studios for visual and performing artists. Building 110 opens for 2012 with exhibitions, performances, open studio events, and tours, as well as programs that are part of the River To River Festival. Through LMCC's events at Building 110, audiences will gain access to the artistic process and innovative artwork. For more information, visit www.LMCC.netand

Children's Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost Program: May 27-September 30, 11 am to 3 pm
Join the Children's Museum of the Arts Teaching Artists for new themes and projects each weekend, including everything from painting and drawing to large-scale sculpture. Children and families can stop by for hands-on art for kids!  For more information visit

Earth Matter Compost Learning Center: May 26- September 30, 12 pm to 4 pm
Earth Matter Compost Learning Center, located at Picnic Point, is a place to discover composting, the art and science of turning food and yard waste into a healthy soil amendment, rich in the nutrients that plants need to grow. Come for a fun and free hands on experience and unravel the mysteries of "black gold" and pet our newest compost workers - 38 adorable chicks and two kid goats!

Street Math Investigations presents Mü-Math: The Mobile Unit to Promote Mathematical Thinking: May 26 - September 30 
Mü-Math Adults and children 5 and up are invited to immerse themselves in different styles of mathematical thinking in ways that are playful and engaging. The 15 New York City themed installations are designed to offer different levels of challenge for children and adults alike.

Weekday Park Ranger Programs: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays starting June 13
Join a National Park Ranger for a variety of programs offered during the week. These programs are the only way to see the island outside of the weekends! Check or call 212-825-3045 for a specific schedule of offerings.

Weekend Park Ranger Programs: Saturdays and Sundays throughout the day
Every weekend, National Park Rangers offer programs throughout the day.  Please visit or call 212-825-3045 Wednesday - Sunday for more information.

Orientation to the History of Governors Island: May 27-August 28, 11:25 am, 1:25 pm, and 3:25 pm
Join a National Park Ranger for this 45- to 60-minute walking experience to discover how the role of Governors Island evolved to meet the changing needs of New York City and the nation.

Bicycle Tours of the Island - 2:00 PM every Saturday and Sunday. See the island on wheels! Join a National Park Ranger or Volunteer for a 1.5-hour tour of the entire island, including the Monument, Historic District, and the South Island. NPS’ most comprehensive tour. Meet at the National Park Service ticketing center located outside of Castle Williams. No reservations are required. Bring your own bike!

Bike Governors Island: May 26-September 30
Bring your own bike or rent one from Bike and Roll™ to enjoy miles of car-free biking. 


Cooper-Hewitt Graphic DesignNow in Production, May 26-September 3
The exhibition  explores some of the most vibrant graphic design work produced since 2000, including posters, books, magazines, identity and branding, information graphics, typography and typefaces, and film and television title graphics. The exhibition is in Building 110.

FIGMENT 2012 Summer-Long Installations: June 9-September 23
This summer, FIGMENT’s acclaimed interactive Sculpture Garden and artist-designed Minigolf Course are returning to Governors Island, welcoming visitors to the Parade Grounds to play with, dance around, contemplate on, and experience these wonderfully imaginative installations. The centerpiece of FIGMENT's summer-long installations for 2012 is the Treehouse, expanded and returning to Governors Island for a second year. This year's Minigolf Course is based on the theme "Arcade." Visitors can whack-a-clown, rescue a princess, and save the world from inevitable asteroid destruction one putt at a time. FIGMENT's Summer-Long Installations are open and free for the public to play and enjoy, opening on FIGMENT weekend (June 9-10) and continuing to September 23. For more information, visit

Better Than Jam: handmade gifts shop: May 26-September 3 
Better Than Jam is bringing Governors Island the creations of New York City's most talented artists and crafters. Popping up in the Governors Galleries, the shop is filled with the work of local designers, artists, and crafts people. Better Than Jam’s gift shop allows visitors to take home a tangible memento from their visit—a souvenir that was designed and crafted with the island in mind. With the help of the Etsy New York Team, the shop will also host demonstrations and workshops on Saturdays 12-4.

Saturday, May 26: Gotham BBC of New York vs Resolute BBC of Elizabeth, New Jersey, 12 pm - 4 pm
Base ball as it was played almost 150 years ago! The Gotham BBC of New York inaugurates its home field Memorial Day weekend against its long-time rival the Resolute BBC of Elizabeth. Come out and enjoy the island, and the 19th century base ball. Games are on the Parade Ground.

Games will also be played on June 2, June 16, July 14, July 28 and August 25

May 26-June 17: Amelia, Thursday-Sunday (except the first weekend which is just Sat and Sun) 
AMELIA is an epic Civil War tale of one woman's search for her husband across the battlefields of America. The story culminates at the gates of the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Performances will be at Fort Jay on Governors Island, home to a former Civil War prison camp. For reservations and more information, see

GlassLab presented by The Corning Museum of Glass: Saturday June 30 – Sunday July 29, 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Watch dynamic hot glassmaking performances with top contemporary designersas they bring new ideas to life in collaboration with master glassmakers from The Corning Museum of Glass. Look for leading names from the Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibition Graphic Design—Now in Production. For information, visit

4 Heads Art Fair: All September weekends, 11 AM to 6 PM
Run by artists, for artists, The Governors Island Art Fair enters its 5th year this fall as 4heads rally an exciting and diverse selection of artists from around the world. Well over 100 independent artists are selected entirely on the merit of their work and, once chosen, each is given a room of their own in which to create an exhibition environment of their own design. A selection of galleries is exhibiting in the Fair as well. 4heads "Artist in Residency" program is also offering open studio viewing beginning in June.
For more information visit

Bike and Roll’s™ Free Bike Mondays, Memorial Day and Labor Day
Borrow a bike for free for up to one hour to enjoy miles of car free biking and some of the best views in New York City.



Saturday, May 26: Governors Island Alliance presents the Family Festival, 12 PM – 4 PM
Join us for arts and crafts, storytelling, as well as musical and theatrical performances and harbor education activities for kids. Sponsored by the Governors Island Alliance. For more information, visit

Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27: 5 Boro PicNYC, 11:30pm -4:30 pm
The Governors Island season kicks off with a two day celebration of craft beer, gourmet eats, and live tunes. Visit more than 20 food stations, with chefs from the five boroughs, enjoy a grilled cheese cook off and start the summer off right! Tickets are available at


Saturday, June 9–Sunday, June 10: FIGMENT Festival, 10 AM – 6 PM 
 FIGMENT is an explosion of creative energy. It’s a free annual celebration of participatory art and culture, where everything is possible.

Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17: Open House at Building 110: LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island, 12PM–5PM
Join LMCC during Open House, when they celebrate the culmination of the 2012 Swing Space Spring Session featuring 20 visual artists-in-residence as well as performing artists-in-residents who will present works-in-progress.

Saturday, June 16: The New York Brain Tumor Walk, 7 AM - Noon
The 2nd Annual New York Brain Tumor Walk is a family-friendly walk and community day benefiting the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS). In 2011, 1,300 participants came together to raise more than $300,000 dollars! Funds raised through this event help drive strategic research to find a cure for brain tumors, and ensure the critical needs of the brain tumor community are met through public policy and patient information. The Walk starts at 9 AM. Register for the event or sign up to Volunteer!

Saturday, June 23: RECESS outdoor Badminton, noon 
A day of outdoor badminton team challenge featuring top creative organizations in NYC, as well as a few open courts for public play on Colonels Row. Don't miss free Playdate Bike Club test rides and evian will be there to keep you hydrated all day! Bring your blankets outs and check out RECESS 2012 for a day of fun in the sun. Special guest deejays. For more information visit

Saturday, June 23: DrawNow!: Stretch It Out!withJ Carpenter, 2 PM 
This program invites participants to produce a drawing by wrapping bungee cords and trail-marking tape around trees and through fence links on Governors Island. This tactile and active experience invite participants to think about the lines made by the interior tree rings, and the forms that emerge from the Manhattan skyline in the distance. Visitors are asked to consider their own relationship to surroundings, both near and far. Meet near Pier 101. Presented by River To River Festival and The Drawing Center.

Saturday-Sunday, June 16-17: Jazz Age Lawn Party 11 AM – 5 PM
Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra cast a magical spell of hot jazz and open-air merriment This Jazz-Age Lawn party brings you back in time to the 1920s for a rollicking and delightful afternoon rendezvous of live music and dance, instruction in period dances, picnicking, and games. This event requires tickets. They are $15 in advance. Children under 12 are free. For more information, visit

Saturday, June 23:  Army Heritage Day: Celebrating 200 Years of History at Castle Williams, 10 AM – 4 PM
Discover 200 years of Army history on Governors Island, including the newly re-opened Castle Williams. Featuring family-friendly programs, historic weapons demonstrations, and music. For more information, visit or call 212-825-3045 Wednesday through Sunday.

Saturday, June 23rd and 30th: Trisha Brown Dance Company: Astral Converted in Process at the LMCC Art Center in Building 110, 1 PM and 3 PM 
The Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) is in residence at LMCC’s Arts Center for three weeks in June leading up to performances of Astral Converted at the Park Avenue Armory. The Company hosts Saturday open rehearsals offering audiences a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process of this iconic artist’s company.

Sunday, June 24:DrawNow!: Drawing Circle with Valérie Hallier and Andy Deck
Beginners and old masters alike will join together to create a panoramic visualization of the historic site at Fort Jay. Participants will spend an afternoon outdoors collaborating, drawing, and learning about New York while using direct observational tools and techniques to create their drawings. Then, a final video collage that incorporates everyone's drawings will be made, and published on The Drawing Center and LMCC’s websites. Materials and drawing instruction will be provided. Presented by the River To River Festival and the Drawing Center.

Sunday June 24: Artists Respond: Mark di Suvero, 3 PM (also held July 1, 8 and 15) in Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island 
River To River and Storm King Art Center present four imaginative walking tours created in response to, and inspired by, Storm King’s exhibition, Mark di Suvero at Governors Island. Created by past artists-in-residence from LMCC’s Swing Space program at Building 110, the walking tours are performative lectures intertwining the artists’ personal experiences and creative process with responses to di Suvero’s monumental works. Presented by River To River Festival and Storm King Art Center.

Sunday, June 24: Make Music New York's Punk Island, 11 AM – 5 PM
Make Music New York transforms Governors Island into Punk Island with dozens of performances throughout the day. For more information visit

Sunday, June 24 and July 1: Trisha Brown Dance Company Children’s Workshops, 1 PM
Join two teaching artists from the Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA) and two artists from the TBDC collaborate to produce two dance/art programs. Inspired by TBDC’s Astral Converted dance piece and using CMA’s process and tactile oriented approach to art-making, teaching artists collaborate with children to design new movement and art pieces in their own exploration of light, color, and change.

Sunday, June 24: The North Face Get Outside on Governors Island 10K presented by Paragon Sports
Fun for the whole family so come join us for the only 10K run on Governors Island and Free Kids scrambles - 1K & 100 yard dash. This course weaves you throughout the island show casing incredible views and participants race for the Pagganck Ax Head Award! Race information can be found here. Register here.

Saturday, June 30: DrawNow!: Windfall Alphabet by Gretchen Bennett, 2 PM
Windfall Alphabet, a collective activity that highlights different species of trees, encourages participants to connect to the unique natural landscape and history of Governors Island. Artist Gretchen Bennett leads participants on a walking tour to note patterning of branch formations in the trees and on the ground. Visitors will gather “letters,” or twigs whose shapes remind them of English alphabet letters. 20 people can participate in this program and it is on a first come, first served basis. Presented by the River To River Festival and The Drawing Center.


Sunday, July 1: DrawNow!: Red, Yellow, Blue with The Equus Projects/JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Ryan Hartley, 2 PM in Fort Jay
Red, Yellow, Blue is a kinetic installation featuring a cast of 12 dancers and 4 visual artists that use moving bodies to create visual design in 3-dimensional space. Red, Yellow, Blue will be performed in several cycles, each resulting in a set of sketches that audience members are invited to complete. As both the choreographing and sketching are being performed in “real time,” the content will be completely different with each performance. Presented by the River To River Festival and The Drawing Center.

Saturday, July 7: Rite of Summer Classical Music Festival featuring Ljova and the Kontraband, 1 PM and 3 PM
The Rite of Summer Music Festival is back for its second season with a series of exhilarating fun and FREE outdoor concerts. Co-Directors and /NYC-based pianists Pam Goldberg & Blair McMillen are thrilled to present Ljova and the Kontraband. For more information visit

Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8: Cook Out NYC, Noon
NYC's most original country fair! Chefs and bbq'ers will grill outdoors. Burger cook off and kimchi eating contest as well as my other attractions. Custom beers by local craft breweries to celebrate "NYC July Good Beer Month" as well. Kids 12 and under are free with parents. Tickets are available at

Saturday, July 14: Tamimiami Pixilation Project, 11 AM – 3 PM in Nolan Park
Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA) and Storm King Art Center partner on the family fun Tamimiami Pixilation Project on Governors Island. Drawing inspiration from the sculpture Tamimiami by Mark di Suvero, located in Nolan Park, join CMA teaching artists to explore the art of pixilation, animate your own body, and create your own choreography to bring the sculpture to life. PresentedbyRiver To River Festival andChildren's Museum of the Arts, in association with Storm King Art Center.

Saturday, July 14: Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance presents The City of Water Day Festival, 10am-4pm
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

Saturday, July 14: Come Out & Play Field Day, 12 PM – 6 PM on the Parade Ground
Come Out & Play Field Day returns for another day of wild new field games. Field Day will feature a range of new games from open field dodgeball battles to small social games to new sports. Some games make use of new technology like smart phones and some rely on old fashioned tech like rubber balls. But each offers new ways to play and have fun. Each year Come Out & Play brings together designers and players for a chance to play a host of new real-world games. Presented by Come Out & Play.

Saturday & Sunday, July 21 & 22: Second Annual New York Poetry Festival, 11 AM – 5:30 PM, Colonels Row
Come out for this $5 poetry festival for readings and performances by The Poetry Brothel, Cave Canem, Poets House, EARSHOT!, The Inspired Word and much more. For more information visit

Saturday, July 28: Governors Island Swim, 11:30 AM 
Cheer on swimmers—or sign up ahead of time at to join them—as they jump off a ferry boat and swim a challenging two-mile race around Governors Island. The course allows great views of Lower Manhattan, Jersey City, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and, of course, Governors Island itself, from the unique, water-level perspective.


Saturday, August 4: Rite of Summer Classical Music Festival featuring the Jack Quartet, 1 PM and 3 PM
The Rite of Summer Music Festival is back for its second season with a series of exhilarating fun and FREE outdoor concerts. Co-Directors and /NYC-based pianists Pam Goldberg & Blair McMillen are thrilled to present the JACK Quartet. For more information visit

Saturday, August 11: Columbia Summer Winds (CSW) Concert at Colonel's Row, 2PM
Join us for a free performance of some of the finest musical literature available. We have a supremely talented collection of amateur musicians and have been committed to playing free concerts of the best wind music in the parks of NYC since 2002. Visit for more information.

Saturday and Sunday August 11-12 :  Civil War Weekend, 10 AM  - 4 PM 
Commemorate Civil War weekend by joining the National Park Service and living historians who will provide family-friendly activities, historic weapons demonstrations, music and other programs.  Meet the Civil War soldiers and women of Governors Island from the summer of 1863.  For more information, visit or call 212-825-3045 Wednesday - Sunday.

Saturday-Sunday, August 18-19: Jazz Age Lawn Party 11 AM – 5 PM
Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra cast a magical spell of hot jazz and open-air merriment This Jazz-Age Lawn party brings you back in time to the 1920s for a rollicking and delightful afternoon rendezvous of live music and dance, instruction in period dances, picnicking, and games. This event requires tickets. They are $15 in advance. Children under 12 are free. For more information, visit

Saturday, August 25: RECESS Outdoor Bocce, noon
A day of outdoor bocce team challenge featuring top creative organizations in NYC, as well as a few open courts for public play on Colonels Row. Don't miss free Linus Bikes test rides and Evian will be there to keep you hydrated all day! Bring your blankets out and come get your fill of all the fun at RECESS 2012. Special guest deejays. For more information visit


Saturday, September 1: Pig Island III, 11:30 AM – 4 PM
Once again Governors Island becomes a major food destination: Pig Island is a celebration of local pork, seasonal foods, craft beer and New York State wine. Tickets are available at

Saturday and Sunday, September 1 and 2: NYC Unicycle Festival, Noon 
A day of unicycle races, games, shows, and the largest group of one-wheeled enthusiasts to gather in the five boroughs. Learn more about the Unicycle Festival at

Monday, September 3: Rite of Summer Classical Music Festival featuring Todd Reynolds, 1 PM and 3 PM
The Rite of Summer Music Festival is back for its second season with a series of exhilarating fun and FREE outdoor concerts. Co-Directors and /NYC-based pianists Pam Goldberg & Blair McMillen are thrilled to present Todd Reynolds. For more information visit

Sunday, September 23: The Ethiopian School Readiness Initiative (ESRI) Walk/Bike for ESRI, 11 AM
The mission of the Ethiopian School Readiness Initiative (ESRI) is to create for the children of Ethiopia a high quality, culturally appropriate preschool program that will prepare the children to succeed in school. ESRI works with educational, governmental, and non-governmental organizations in Ethiopia to implement the program within the existing schools in Ethiopia. This walk/bike event starts at 11am and will raise money for the children being served byESRI. Register here.


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