2015 Calendar of Events on Governors Island


Sunday, May 24, Opening Day Festival, 1 PM-4 PM
Kick-off another amazing Governors Island season with free, family-friendly performances, games, and activities at the Governors Island Alliance Family Festival! Family Festival will include arts and crafts, musical and theatrical performances, and harbor-education activities for kids. For more information, visit www.governorsislandalliance.org

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Open Studios with Artists in Residence, LMCC Arts Center in Building 110, Saturday, May 23-Sunday May 24, 12 PM to 5 PM
Visit with visual and performing artists and writers who have been working in the Arts Center at Governors Island since March. The weekend will feature behind-the-scenes access to 20 multi-disciplinary artists’ studios. On Sunday, May 24 at 3pm there will be readings by writers-in-residence in a special portion of the event called, Open Texts..

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Open Studios with A Canary Torsi, LMCC Arts Center in Building 110, Sunday, May 24 3PM
Court/Garden is a three-act dance performance that is inspired by the imperial ballets of Louis XIV’s French Court, the spectatorship of the proscenium stage and the presentation of video feeds as cultural, social and political frames of experience. The audience’s relationship to the performance is in constant flux, investigating the structures behind the act of watching and being seen. a canary torsi (directed by choreographer Yanira Castro) invites audiences to an open rehearsal of Court/Garden with a reimagined third-act. The piece will be performed in its entirety in the River To River Festival.

OutdoorFest Adventures Day, Saturday, May 30, Nolan Park
OutdoorFest is bringing FREE outdoor adventure to Governors Island. We’ll start the day with yoga followed by outdoor fitness classes, field day games and wilderness skills demos. OutdoorFest is a 10-day outdoor adventure festival from May 29 - June 7th 2015 in all five boroughs of NYC. .
Schedule for full day of events: www.bit.ly/1EJ9zHC

Rite of Summer presents John Brancy and Peter Dugan, Saturday, May 30, 1 PM and 3 PM, Nolan Park
Baritone John Brancy (First prize winner of the 2013 Marilyn Home Song Competition and piantist Peter Dugan present an afternoon of vocal music by Gershwsin, Dvorak, Bernstein, Chopin and the Beatles.
For more information, visit: www.riteofsummer.com


FIGMENT NYC, Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 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!

Jazz Age Lawn Party, Colonels Row, Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14 and Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16, 11 AM to 5 PM
The 10th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party will take place twice this season. This beloved summer event attracts thousands of fans each weekend, who come together to discover authentic music 3 from the 1920s and 1930s, learn the hottest dance steps of the time, frolic in their flapper dresses and glad rags and enjoy sophisticated bites and vintage-inspired cocktails in a romantic yet playful setting. Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased at www.jazzagelawnparty.com

PEN presents Worker Writers’ School: Summer Semester, Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14
Features poetry workshops, political dialogues, pop-up bookstores, & proletarianization. Collaborators include the PEN American Center, Austrian cultural collective Urban Subjects, Domestic Workers United, Taxi Workers Alliance, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, & more.

Hedgepig Presents 15 Minute Hamlet, Saturdays, June 20 and June 27 Lawn outside of Our Lady Star of the Sea, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 PM
Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre presents The World's Fastest Hamlet. Join us for this 15 minute romp through one of Shakespeare's greatest plays June 20 & June 27. Performances will occur every hour on the hour from 11 AM-5 PM. #SpeedDateWithShakespeare #PigsDoItIn15orLess

Rite of Summer presents House of Waters, Saturday, June 20 1 PM and 3 PM, Nolan Park
This innovative three-person ensemble embraces the multi-layered sounds of the world, ignoring limiting definitions and restrictive genres. All virtuosos in their own right, with impressive credentials, the band consists of Max ZT (hammered dulcimer), Moto Fukushima (six-string electric bass), and Shane Shanahan (percussion). Their unique style is a product of intense collaboration between expert musicians who take risks, cross boundaries, and never cease to amaze. These are shape-shifting artists, whose love of music and its power is infectious. They are taking their instruments to places unimagined, and bringing their audience along with them. For more information: www.riteofsummer.com

RECESS Badminton, Saturday, June 20, Colonels Row, 12 PM to 5 PM
Dust off those badminton rackets and birdies as RECESS returns to Colonel's 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 guest deejays, food vendors and a beer/wine tent. A few public courts will also be available. For more information: www.recessnewyork.com

Make Music New York’s Porch Stomp, Sunday, June 21, Island Wide, 1 PM -5 PM
Come on down to Governors Island and holler up a storm at the second annual MMNY Porch Stomp! With over 30 performances, jams and workshops by artists ranging from bluegrass and old-time to folk and roots, this is a hootenanny you won’t want to miss. For more information: www.makemusicny.org

River to River Festival, Thursday, June 18 - Sunday, June 28 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. For more information: www.rivertorivernyc.com

Catherine Galasso’s Fall of the Rebel Angels: X, Friday June 26 at 1 PM, Saturday and Sunday June 27 and 28 at 5 PM, Building 19A in Nolan Park Open rehearsals also offered Friday-Sunday between May 23 andJune 25, Noon to 5 PM
Fall of the Rebel Angels: X is an evening-length interdisciplinary work for five performers loosely inspired by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Using Rubens’ paintings as thematic scaffolding, the project investigates visceral physicality, sensuality and the spectacular. Begun in 2012, Fall of the Rebel Angels is an ongoing series of performance “studies,” with each chapter created for different casts and different sites. This approach mirrors Rubens’ own process: for every painting he would sketch several “studies” in pen and ink or charcoal. X is the tenth iteration of Fall of the Rebel Angels, and will combine content generated for previous studies with new scenes inspired by the Nolan Park former military housing units on Governors Island.

John Kelly’s Love of a Poet, Friday June 26 at 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday June 27 and 28 at 2 PM, Lower Level of Building 110 Open rehearsal offered June 25 at 4 PM
John Kelly’s Love of a Poet received accolades and an Obie Award for its premiere in 1990 at Lower Manhattan’s Battery Maritime Building, the current terminal for ferries to and from Governors Island. For River To River 2015 Kelly is re-constructing the work for the Arts Center at Governors Island. The site-specific work incorporates Robert Schumann’s 1840 Dichterliebe song cycle, sung by Kelly in the countertenor register, and includes the original black-and-white 16mm film sequences by Anthony Chase as well as a completely new set/installation by artist Jarrod Beck.

Emmanuelle Huynh-Company Mua Cribles/Wild Governors, Friday June 26 at 3 PM, Saturday and Sunday June 27 and 28 at 3:30 PM, Parade Ground
Cribles/Wild, originally premiered outdoors in 2010, is a “May Pole” dance with ten local choreographed dancers exploring the round—a simple, archaic form that so often serves as a vehicle for celebrations, rites and rituals. Performed to Iannis Xenakis’ Persephassa for six percussionists, the piece makes powerful use of the composers’ spatial architectures and ultimately wonders whether we can see music and hear dance.


Rite of Summer presents Don Byron New Gospel Quintet, Saturday, July 11, 1 PM and 3 PM, Nolan Park
The Don Byron New Gospel Quintet was launched in the spring of 2009 and had its world premiere at the Jazz Standard in New York. The band has since then toured in Europe and the US and been received enthusiastically by audiences and critics alike. For more information, visit www.riteofsummer.com

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance presents The City of Water Day Festival, Saturday, July 18, 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 www.cityofwaterday.org

Come Out & Play Field Day and Family Day at the Parade Ground, Saturday, July 18, 11 AM to 5 PM
Come Out & Play is a free festival for players of all ages. Each year Field Day showcases spectacular new field games & sports for adults to play. Family Day provides a day of field games for the whole family to play together. For more information, visit www.comeoutandplay.org

It’s Your Tern Festival, Sunday, July 19, Yankee PierM
Come celebrate Governors Island’s treasures: Common terns and oysters! Common terns have recently colonized several decommissioned piers on the Governors Island waterfront; in 2013, researchers from NYC Audubon and Cornell University counted 181 nests and banded 100 chicks. The Tern Festival will take place from noon until 4pm and will feature speakers, a bird tour of Governors Island, a botany and natural history tour of the Island, a common tern viewing station, and short guided boat trips to view the nesting terns from the water.

New York City Poetry Festival, Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26, 11 AM to 5:30 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.


RECESS Bocce, Colonels Row, Saturday, August 22, 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 guest deejays, food vendors and a beer/wine tent. A few public courts will also be available. Visit: www.recessnewyork.com

NYC Unicycle Festival, Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6, 12 PM
NYC's Unicycle Festival rolls across New York City this September. Activities include races, competitions, exhibitions, and a variety of unicycle sports including basketball, hockey and sumo. For fans of extreme riding, the Hell on Wheel trials course challenges riders throughout the day. World-famous riders display their skills, and members of the public have the opportunity to try one-wheel riding. DJ Sky King keeps the one-wheel tempo rocking. The NYC Unicycle Festival is a Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. production. For more information: www.nycunifest.com

Open Studios with Artists in Residence, LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island in Building 110, Saturday and Sunday September 26 and 27, Noon 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 in the Arts Center at Governors Island since August. The weekend will feature behind-the-scenes access to 20 multi-disciplinary artists’ studios.

TENTATIVE: August 23, 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. Visit: www.vwtrafficjam.com


Governors Island Art Fair, weekends in September, 11 AM – 6 PM
“Gems Among the Ruins”, says NY Times about the painting, photography, sculpture, installation, video and sound at Governors Island Art Fair - NYC’s largest independent exhibition. 4heads, a group of NY artists, awards exhibition space to 100 artists of exceptional talent for the 8th annual GIAF!


Castle Williams and Fort Jay will be open daily all season. Times and programs will vary during the season. For more information visit: www.nps.gov/gois

Explore Castle Williams, 10 AM to 4:30 PM
Tours every hour from 11:30 AM till 3:30 PM. About 30 minutes. Get some history in the round at the best-preserved circular fortification in the nation. On weekends the Castle is open until 5:30 PM with an additional tour at 4:30 PM

Experience Fort Jay: An Island Star!
Courtyard open daily 10 AM until 4:00 PM. Weekends tours every hour from 11:30 AM till 3:30 PM. About 30 minutes, meet at the Fort Jay bridge. 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.

Hike through History: Weekends. 2:30 PM at Soissons Dock
About 90 minutes. See the whole history of the island in one go. Our most comprehensive program takes you to nearly every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles.


Free Bike Mornings: May 25-September 25 (Every weekday)
Borrow a bike for free for up to one hour from Blazing Saddles on Colonels Row. Free bikes are offered every weekday morning from 10 AM to noon.