30 New York-Based Arts and Cultural Organizations to Host Free Programs Spanning Art, Culture and Environmental Science on Governors Island


March 7, 2019. The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust) announced today 30 New York-based organizations who will host free seasonal programs and exhibitions on Governors Island as part of its calendar of arts and cultural programs. Presented in the historic former military homes of Nolan Park and Colonels Row, programs announced today will engage visitors of all ages in the visual and performing arts, environmental science and culture. In 2019, Governors Island will be open to the public from May 1-October 31.

“Each season, the short ferry ride to Governors Island offers much more than just a visit to one of the city’s most beloved public spaces – New Yorkers have the opportunity to deeply engage, learn and delight in the visual arts, performances, cultural programs and environmental science, presented by organizations from across the city” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “This season’s calendar of programs represents the Island’s spirit as a diverse and historically important place. We are thrilled to continue our mission of expanding access to Governors Island as an unparalleled setting for the creation and discovery of arts, culture and learning.”

Highlighted new programs on Governors Island this year include a residency program that illuminates the histories and futures of the African diaspora presented by the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), the House of Poetics, a space for poetry and multidisciplinary production presented by The Cooper Union, an exhibition of work by Native artists from New York City with talks, performances and events by the American Indian Community House, and environmental education workshops co-presented by the Human Impacts Institute and Climate Reality Project. Additional new seasonal artist residencies were also announced today from academic institutions including the School of Visual Arts and School of Art at Syracuse University, as well as residencies, events and exhibitions from Brooklyn-based Pioneer Works and Triangle Arts Association.

An exciting range of organizations returning to Governors Island this season include The Climate Museum’s exhibition focusing on steps toward a climate-safe future, a newly expanded program from The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) inspired by Governors Island as a site for artistic expression, the 12th iteration of 4heads’ independent art fair featuring over 80 artists, and Swale’s indoor soil lab, an extension of artist Mary Mattingly’s groundbreaking floating food forest.

For kids, young artists will once again enjoy free hands-on art-making workshops with The Children’s Museum of the Arts, play:groundNYC will expand on New York City’s only adventure playground with a new education hub presented in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association, and Alfred University’s Art Force 5 program will present an exhibition exploring the history of comic books along with art-marking workshops celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. New for kids this year is STEM Kids NYC, who will host student-centered workshops on physics, kite-flying, coding and more.

Additional new and returning organizations hosting programs in Governors Island’s historic houses this year include the Billion Oyster Project, the City Volcano Lab, Harvestworks and the 2019 Electronic Art Festival, NYC Audubon, the Student Conservation Association, West Harlem Art Fund, Works on Water, Escaping Time: Art from US Prisons, Rare Air Exhibition Space, Rising Sun Performance Company, Dysfunctional Collective, Exquisite Corpse Company, Holocenter and Linked Dance Theater.

“Each season, the community of arts and cultural organizations on Governors Island grows and the programming grounds itself deeper in the history, landscape and ecology of this unique place,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Arts and Culture for the Trust for Governors Island. “We are thrilled to welcome such a distinguished group of new and returning organizations in 2019, presenting an unmatched variety of cultural experiences for New York City audiences.”

The Trust invites cultural organizations and non-profits to propose seasonal public programming on Governors Island every year, including exhibitions, workshops, performances, film screenings, talks and more. The Island’s platform for public programming positions Governors Island as a citywide resource for emerging arts, cultural and educational organizations to engage and share their work in front of a diverse and growing audience. As part of this platform, over 150,ooo square feet of indoor space within the Island’s historic houses is made available free of charge to organizations producing free public programming.

Programs presented in Governors Island’s Nolan Park will be open to the public on weekends throughout the entire season, from June 1-October 28, with additional public hours for some programs. Colonels Row programs will open May 4 and will rotate in August. All are free and open to the public.

In 2019, Governors Island will be open to the public daily from May 1 to October 31. A full calendar of special events, activities, Trust commissioned public art and programming presented at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center on Governors Island will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, visit www.govisland.org

Free indoor programs presented on Governors Island in 2019 include:


(Saturday, June 1-October 27, 11AM-5PM, unless otherwise noted)

American Indian Community House

The American Indian Community House will host art exhibitions and artists talks with three Native artists from New York City. In addition, AICH will host a Native story teller, a Native American Youth Council visual project about the history of Native Americans in New York City, Native American musical and theatrical performances and presentations by Native American artisans (jewelry makers, fashion designers and others).

Billion Oyster Project

The Billion Oyster Project (BOP) is an effort to restore a sustainable oyster population and to foster awareness, affinity and understanding of the Harbor by engaging New Yorkers directly in the work of restoring one billion oysters. The hands-on science of reef construction and monitoring is executed through in-school, restoration-based STEM learning opportunities, community science and research, restaurant shell collection and volunteer programs. In the BOP exhibit in Nolan Park, visitors will get up close and personal with everyone’s favorite bi-valve. Visitors can dive into the work of the Billion Oyster Project and the New York Harbor School, as well as learn about NYC oyster history and the many marine critters that call the Big Apple home.

Children’s Museum of the Arts

In CMA’s Free Arts Island Outpost, young artists travel to the historic Governors Island for free hands-on art-making workshops and art-viewing experiences! On weekends, the open outdoor space of Free Arts Island Outpost beckons families to become inspired and explore big projects utilizing found objects and traditional mediums. CMA’s Free Arts Island Outpost is a space to invent, adapt and transform relationships.

City Volcano Lab

City Volcano Lab’s New York Virtual Volcano Observatory brings the experience of exploring a volcano to Governors Island. Join volcanologists from CUNY and other NYC institutions to discover the complex life of magmas and volcanos – and the rich volcanic history of the New York region – through virtual reality experiences, a volcano sound gallery, guest speakers and kid-friendly activities.

The Climate Museum

The Climate Museum will present the first exhibition in the US to focus on steps young people can take--and are taking--toward a climate-safe future. At this family-friendly show, visitors will explore interactive installations to learn how clean energy, green design, strong decision-making on fossil fuels, and more can transition us to a carbon-free economy and culture. The show will celebrate youth leaders who are moving us forward, and invite all to get involved through a range of activities and commitments.

The Cooper Union

House of Poetics is a space for the practice of contemporary poetics via interdisciplinary artistic production. The project is a hybrid studio, publisher, lab, and gallery that explores the role of poetry in society. Presented by The Cooper Union, architecture students imagine installations inspired by the phenomenology of the house and its programming, which will include visiting poets, artists, architects and musicians.


Harvestworks will present a dynamic program of residencies, exhibitions and workshops centered on the intersection of art and technology including the 2019 New York Electronic Art Festival, a celebration of 21st-century art and experiences, as well as a participatory environment for artists, scientists and the public.

Human Impacts Institute + Climate Reality Project NYC

The Human Impacts Institute/Climate Reality house combines arts, culture and science-based learning to inspire environmental action. Programs will inspire visitors’ engagement and action on local environmental solutions through the ongoing exhibits, workshops and residency programs of the Human Impacts Institute, as well as the weekly presentations from metro-area Climate Reality leaders. Visitors will also be able to engage with diverse leaders from the arts, policy, science and beyond, while connecting with the ways they can make a difference.

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA)

Since 1999, MoCADA has been widely regarded as an incubator for emerging artists and curators of color, having greatly supported and furthered the artistic careers of over 100 groundbreaking artists across 20+ countries to date. To celebrate this longstanding history, specifically 20 years of rich, cultural programming and trailblazing initiatives, MoCADA will invite seven rising creators to participate in its newly expanded residency program in 2019. Selected artists and curators will work with celebrated industry leaders to create public programming that illuminates the histories and futures of the African diaspora and art, in connection to themes of social justice and the upliftment of marginalized communities.

NYC Audubon

Visit NYC Audubon’s seasonal nature center for family-friendly activities, information on the city’s birds and habitats, binoculars to borrow and opportunities to meet avian-inspired artists at work. Bird walks and nature-themed workshops will also be scheduled on weekends throughout the season.

Pioneer Works

Pioneer Works is a cultural center and artist residency based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, devoted to building community through the arts and sciences. Pioneer Works hosts a rotating selection of public programs and workshops across the disciplines of visual art, music, narrative arts, science and technology. On Governors Island, Pioneer Works residents will create exciting new work for the public to experience, along with an exhibition and events hosted in the historic house.

play:groundNYC (outdoor)

play:groundNYC is back for their fourth year on Governors Island, stewarding and operating The Yard – a 50,000 square-foot adventure playground stocked with loose parts, tools and space for you to play, imagine and dream big! This year, play:groundNYC will be offering an adventure club, school field trips, professional development for educators, a ten-week summer camp program and, of course, free play every weekend all season long.

play:groundNYC’s The Yard hours are 12-4PM and opens May 4.

play:groundNYC + Student Conservation Association

The SCA and play:groundNYC will co-program a house in Nolan Park for the 2019 season. This exciting collaboration will see the house transformed into an education hub, highlighting the work and shared values of both organizations – primarily environmental stewardship and awareness, youth participation and play advocacy. Programs will be suitable for young people age 5 to 18, with additional resources for adults.


Collaborating with organizations including the NYC Urban Field Station, Space HL and the Urban Soils Institute, Swale will present a variety of environmental arts programming exploring the intersections of soil, water and food. Visitors will be invited to participate in walk-in workshops for a New York Soil Library, an archive of soil samples from across NYC, and join free classes about local soils, international seas, as well as edible and medicinal plants. In addition, exhibitions and multimedia installations will explore processes of environmental decay and transformation, from everyday found objects to massive coral reefs and imagined dystopian landscapes.

Triangle Arts Association

Triangle Arts Association is an artist-founded non-profit art institution in New York City, working locally and globally since 1982, with programs that emphasize research, dialogue and experimentation through residencies and public programs. On Governors Island, Triangle will host ongoing residencies for artists across disciplines, including sculpture, painting, performance and video. An evolving exhibition will provide visitors with a first-hand view of in-process artwork.

West Harlem Art Fund

The West Harlem Art Fund returns to Governors Island in 2019 with a two-part exhibition, public programming and an educational tasting room for the season. Traces is a pan-Asian art show that opens our season in May featuring eight artists in partnership with the Eli Klein and Aicon Contemporary Galleries. In late July, West Harlem Art Fund will present Crossing the Sands, a contemporary art show with individual artists representing the Caribbean, Africa and the MENA region. Public programming will spotlight dance, music and cuisines from South Asia and Africa.

Works on Water

Works on Water will host a residency for artists, writers, designers and researchers working on, in and with water. Studios will be open to the public on the weekends with rotating interactive projects and exhibitions in the main space. The work exhibited aims to deepen the experience of visiting the Island by connecting visitors to the waterways that surround us.


(Weekends, May 4-August 4, 11AM-5PM unless otherwise noted)

4heads Artists in Residency Program

The 4heads Artists in Residency Program welcomes you inside a historic home on Colonels Row for Open Studio Weekends, select weekends when visitors are invited to step into working art studios where the artists-in-residence are creating new work and discussing their process.

Art Force 5

The Art Force 5 welcomes young and old superheroes-in-training to come make their own superhero action figure and customized cape. A huge comic book exhibit depicting the history of comic books alongside equal rights will delight both comic novices and enthusiasts. Visitors will be invited to paint a tile that, when joining forces with hundreds of others, will make some beautiful public art celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. All free, all fun, and open to all ages.

Escaping Time

Escaping Time: Art from U.S. Prisons displays and sells artwork created by currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. While visitors view the various paintings, ceramics and sculptures, they will be able to see the humanity and creativity that exists behind prison walls.

New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA)

NADA will host the second edition of its collaborative, public exhibition on Governors Island from May 1-August 4 2019. Spanning two historic buildings on Colonels Row, the exhibition is inspired by the Island as a site for artistic experimentation and will feature artists working with the organization’s international community of galleries and alternative spaces.

Rare Air Exhibition Space

Expanding upon its exhibitions of neon artwork in 2018, Rare Air will present a new series of exhibitions centered around Green Screen practices. By utilizing color, lighting and digital video techniques, Rare Air will investigate the vastness inside of the Green Screen to amplify the physical space of our shared New York footprint.

Rising Sun Performance Company

Returning to Governors Island for their third year, Rising Sun Performance Company will continue their curated Theatrical Residency and Laboratory program offering free works on a weekly basis. The selected works will be representative of the diverse nature of the company and network of guest artists from the New York City, national and international theatre communities. Their house promises to be a hub for new work development and artistic creation, allowing audiences and creators to meet, merge and share ideas and dialogue.

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

SVA’s globally recognized Fine Arts MFA program works with emerging artists from across the U.S. and the world. This perspective provides rare glimpses into a vast archipelago of art worlds, unique socio-cultural influences and divergent aesthetic and art histories. SVA’s program on Governors Island will engage the diverse body of SVA alumni, current students, faculty and partner art schools to make site-specific work through a series of short-term residencies related to the theme of “life on an island,” and share this work with the public.


Let off some STEAM with STEM Kids NYC! Through fun, engaging, student-centered sessions, engineers (this means YOU) from age 5 to 105 will learn the fun physics of making kites and flying them, harness changing states of matter to make polymers (street name: SLIME), code an app and more. STEM Kinds NYC invites you to tap into your natural abilities for success in the wonderful world of STEM.

Syracuse University

Graduate students in the MFA program at Syracuse University’s School of Art will move beyond the academic setting as they create work in response to the history, environment, and architecture of Governors Island. With the mission of developing new modes of engaging diverse audiences, the residency on the Island will take the form of an evolving exhibition, workshops emerging from individual research, performances and screenings – all while initiating experimental means of production and opening up these creative practices to the public.


(Weekends, August 31-October 27 11AM-5PM unless otherwise noted)

4heads Presents Portal: Governors Island

Portal: Governors Island is the free, large-scale, independent art fair you have known and loved for the past 11 years as Governors Island Art Fair. Now with a fresh moniker and even more exciting exhibitions than ever, 4heads brings you over 80 full solo exhibits, side-by-side throughout the historic buildings and green spaces of Colonels Row, every weekend in September. Don’t miss the best, newly discovered emerging artists in what the New York Times has dubbed, “The Art Fair for the 99%.”

Portal: Governors Island will be open from August 31-September 29.

Dysfunctional Collective

The Dysfunctional Collective turns a historic house on Colonels Row into a grab box of art, theater, music and dance. Stop by to hear a song, write a poem, see a play, learn to dance, solve a mystery and make something new – or just come and explore the house.

Exquisite Corpse Company

In Exquisite Corpse Company’s performative exhibition Water, Water, Everywhere, the lampshade remembers lullabies, and the teacup can tell you a secret. It is up to you to listen. Four overlapping storylines unfold in an immersive, interdisciplinary experience inspired by Governors Island’s history inside a historic house that was once a home. The show invites visitors to explore the exhumation of memory, what makes a home and how water connects us all.


How do we represent our bodies in holographic space, and how are we embodying the virtual? Holographic Embodiment is an exhibition of art holograms and holographic media that explore physicality at the confluence of the real and virtual. Perceptions and sensations are augmented as our bodies extend into and enfold virtual engagement. Explore installations and artworks and create in the mixed reality studio for collaborative drawing.

Linked Dance Theatre

Remembrance is the story of a woman who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Part free, educational art installation and part ticketed, immersive show, the program will explore the fracturing memories of Margaret. Come discover her mind on your own time or help celebrate Margaret’s 65th birthday as one of her close friends or family members – either way, visitors will unearth things forgotten and witness what happens when our minds are no longer our own.

For a full list of exhibitions and for more information, please visit www.govisland.org.

About The Trust for Governors Island

The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust's mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities.

For more information, visit www.govisland.org

Presenting: Governors Island 2018 Year in Review


From May to October, Governors Island is where New Yorkers get away. In 2018, visitors like you saw later nights, more sunsets and celebrations, more ferry trips and harbor breezes, more art and recreation, and more to discover.

Thank you for making memories with us on Governors Island in 2018!

Read our 2018 Year in Review

Look Back at Some of Our Favorite Memories

...and don’t forget we’re only three months away from opening day!

Welcoming Visitors to a Shared Part of the City

Over 750,000 people visited during the 2018 season – more than twice the visitation from just 5 years ago. 75% of our visitors are from New York City!

Expanding Access to New York City’s Escape

Governors Island came alive at night during extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays from May to September – from outdoor films and new waterfront dining options to spending the night under the stars.

Caring for the Park

Five new full-time gardeners and 2,500 volunteers contributed more than 14,000 hours of landscaping (plus a squad of adorable working dogs) to help us care for the 120 acre park – from the shady lawns of the Historic District to the southern end’s new, award-winning park.

Commissioning Jacob Hashimoto on Governors Island

In his first-ever public installation in New York City, artist Jacob Hashimoto delighted visitors with a new commission of two immersive works inspired by the Island’s historic architecture exploring time, architecture and cosmology.

Fostering a Vibrant, Citywide Destination for the Arts

Over 60 organizations across NYC – including 4heads, the Climate Museum, the New-York Historical Society and more – hosted nearly 70 exhibitions, festivals, youth programs, residencies, open studio events and other learning opportunities – all free and open to the public!

A Living Lab for Environmental Stewardship

From its position at the heart of New York Harbor – and partnerships with the New York Harbor School, Billion Oyster Project, Earth Matter NY, GrowNYC and more – the Island continues to inspire conversation and exploration of our changing climate and how we all can be a part of the solution.

Thank you to all our visitors for making Governors Island great in 2018!

Call for food and drink on Governors Island in 2019


Governors Island invites creative purveyors of food and beverage to submit proposals to operate on the Island for the 2019 season. There are several flexible, high-traffic stationary sites as well as opportunities for mobile food carts. The Trust for Governors Island will select multiple food operators or a single food service provider for the 2019 season with potential options to renew, multi-year proposals will be considered.

Governors Island is one of New York City’s most beloved seasonal attractions. Today, between the months of May and October visitors from across the city and around the world discover a mix of history and new open, breathtaking landscapes in the center of New York Harbor. Just 8 minutes by ferry from Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront, the Island is a backyard for New Yorkers, with hundreds of thousands visiting each year to enjoy public art, car-free biking, festivals, exhibitions and a park with unrivaled views of the city skyline, harbor, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

Ideal partners that would provide food and beverage are businesses that:

  • provide high-quality, affordable, delicious food for our diverse visitors;
  • have successful prior experiences running outdoor concessions;
  • are enthusiastic about partnering with the Trust for the best possible menu, design and service;
  • share the Trust’s goals of promoting a sustainable and zero-waste environment (we encourage the use of compostable service ware and ban straws, single use plastics and Styrofoam).

This is a unique opportunity to be part of one of New York City’s most beloved public spaces with a fast-growing audience. Find out more.

Proposals are due no later than February 15, 2019.

Governors Island’s pack of working dogs grows to four!


Welcome, Aspen! The newest and youngest member of the pack, Aspen is a nine-month-old miniature Aussie. Like all of our working dogs, Aspen joined us from the Mid-Atlantic Border Collie Rescue.

Wondering why we need a team of dogs working on Governors Island? These four pups do more than just look cute. It’s their job to keep Governors Island free of Canada geese. In addition to leaving a mess all over our sprawling green lawns, geese waste can also lead to the spread of invasive species and they can be aggressive toward people while they’re nesting. After trying many methods of geese-control, the working dogs proved to be the most sustainable and humane (the dogs never harm them) solution.

Aspen joins Chip (who just turned one!) as the resident puppies learning basic obedience training, while Max and Quinn work to keep the Island geese-free. Soon, Aspen and Chip will receive official geese training. Once they’re up to speed the pack will work as a unit, covering more ground with more frequent patrols.

Want to support them in their efforts to keep Governors Island’s landscapes healthy, clean and geese-free? Give a working dog as a gift for the holidays! The working dog gift comes with your very own Max stuffed animal and a personalized adoption certificate. Order your gift by Monday, December 17 to ensure delivery by Christmas.

Interested in seeing how Max, Quinn, Chip and Aspen spend their dog days on the Island? Follow them on Instagram: @giworkingdogs


Shandaken Projects Names Artists for Inaugural Residency Program on New York’s Governors Island


Five NYC-based cultural practitioners will create site-responsive work over the next year

Shandaken Projects and The Trust for Governors Island are pleased to announce its first residents in the inaugural session of Shandaken: Governors Island. Five NYC-based artists producing work in the fields of poetry, video, critical theory, sculpture, performance and more have been awarded free studio space on Governors Island. As part of their residency, the cultural practitioners will have the opportunity to explore and learn about Governors Island and create work responding to its rich history, unique ecological framework and unparalleled vistas.

Residents announced include Candystore, a poet, artist and performer who has recently presented work at LaMama, Dixon Place, and in Paper magazine; Alicia Grullón, whose performance, video, and photography work is inspired by citizen action movements, and has been shown at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Performa 11, BRIC, and the Creative Time Summit; Kavita Kulkarni, a writer, researcher, and educator who is completing a PhD at NYU on race, affect, culture, and space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and was a recent Rubinstein Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program; Marie Lorenz, whose project Tide and Current Taxi takes participants through New York City using only the tide, in boats that she designs and builds, and whose work has been shown at MoMA PS1 and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Tourmaline (FKA Reina Gossett), an artist and filmmaker whose work highlights the capacity of black queer/trans social life to impact the world and has been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, The Whitney Museum, MOCA LA, Brooklyn Museum, BAM Cinematek, and the New Museum.

The five residents were selected from an open call. Beginning this fall, residents will work on Governors Island throughout the winter and spring, deepening their practices and developing new work to be presented during Governors Island’s 2019 public season. These, projects, a new addition to Governors Island’s growing art and culture program, will be offered to the island’s hundreds of thousands of visitors for free. The works presented will respond to the context of the island, as experienced by the residents during the course of the program.

“We’re very proud to have created crucially-needed free studio space for New York City–based cultural practitioners in partnership with the Trust,” said Shandaken Projects director Nicholas Weist. “New Yorkers come to Governors Island from every zip code of the city, and we’re excited to bring our residents’ reflections on a local site with a such a unique and important history to these neighbors as well as guests from farther afield.”
“Over the last decade, Governors Island has been a hub for artistic research and experimentation. We are excited to have this amazing group of artists and scholars join our community, expanding the Island’s role as a site for artistic production and further rooting our commitment to providing the time and space that is so pivotal for artists in furthering their practice,” said Meredith Johnson, The Trust for Governors Island’s VP of Arts & Culture.

A full schedule of resident-led public programming, as well as a full calendar of arts and cultural programming on Governors Island for next summer, will be released in spring 2019.

About the residents:

Candystore is a non-binary, multidisciplinary artist, poet, and performer from San Jose, CA. Shimher latest writing project, titled CRAY OO LA, is a series of poems each named after a color from a popular North American crayon manufacturer. Candystore’s writing and art have been published in Paper Magazine, Riot of Perfume, Precog, Phile Magazine, RFD, Mesmer, Hand Job Zine, and others. She-he has performed around New York City at Club Cumming, The AC Institute, LaMama Galleria, Dixon Place, Picasso Machinery, POWRPLNT and every time she-he uses a public restroom. She-he is also a 2018-2019 Queer | Art fellow. Candystore lives in Brooklyn, NY in a pink room.

Alicia Grullón's works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions including The 8th Floor, Columbia University, Center for Book Arts, Franklin Furnace, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, BRIC, School of Visual Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Smack Mellon, Art in Odd Places, Jamaica Flux, and Performa 11. She has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, Bronx Council on the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, and Franklin Furnace Archis and commissioned for the Old Storm Hose and Bronx River Art Center's Immigrant Culture Initiative. Grullón has participated in artists residencies for El Museo del Barrio, Bronx Museum's AIM program, and Korea Arts Council. She has presented at the Creative Time Summit 2015, The Royal College of Art, United States Association for Art Educators, and the Whitney Biennial for Occupy Museum's Debt Fair exhibit. Grullón's project PERCENT FOR GREEN, a functioning green bill created as art with Bronx residents, contributed to her acting as co-lead organizer in the Bronx for the People's Climate March. She is currently an artist in residency at The Center for Book Arts in New York and fellow with the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Hyperallergic, Creative Time Reports, Blown Art Blog, Art F City, and Art News. She is a contributing author for the forthcoming publication from Palgrave Macmillian "Rhetoric, Social Value and the Arts: But How Does it Work?" and co-author of City Limits article The Intrinstic Value in Neighborhoods Targeted for Gentrification" with Housing Activist and ED of Mothers on the Move Wanda Salaman. She holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Kavita Kulkarni is a writer, researcher, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently a PhD candidate and adjunct professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, where she is completing a dissertation on race, affect, culture, and the production of space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn from 1945 to 2010. Kavita is also a recent alumnus of the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art as a 2017–2018 Critical Studies participant. Kulkarni holds a BA in Sociology from Emory University and an MA in Individualized Study from New York University. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Kulkarni was a community organizer working on various economic and housing justice issues in Atlanta, Georgia and Brooklyn, New York.

New York-based artist Marie Lorenz has been exploring and documenting urban waterfronts for many years. In 2005 she started her Tide and Current Taxi, taking participants through New York City using only the tide, in boats that she designs and builds. Her artwork has been shown nationally and internationally, from Red Cat Gallery in Los Angeles, California, to MoMA PS1, in New York City. She has completed solo projects at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England, Jack Hanley Gallery, in New York City, and the Albright Knox in Buffalo, New York, among others. In 2008 she was awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize for the American Academy in Rome.

Tourmaline (FKA Reina Gossett) is an artist and filmmaker whose work includes Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, The Personal Things, Lost in the Music, and Happy Birthday, Marsha! She is also an editor of TRAP DOOR, an anthology on trans cultural production published by the New Museum & MIT Press. Tourmaline makes film and installed video that highlights the capacity of black queer/trans social life to impact the world while living what is simultaneously an invisible—and hypervisible—existence. The throughline of her filmmaking focuses on everyday people and their mundane creative acts that blur the lines and liens of what constitutes public. She received a BA from Columbia University and is the recipient of the 2018 Publishing Triangle Award, Special Mention at 2018 Outfest Film Festival, 2017 HBO & Queer/Art Prize and 2016 Art Matters Foundation Grant. She is a 2016-2017 participant in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program, and a 2012-2013 Queer/Art/Mentorship fellow. From 2014-2018 she was an activist in residence at the Barnard Center for Research on Women. Her work has been presented across the world including at the Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, The Whitney Museum, MOCA LA, Brooklyn Museum, BAM Cinematek and the New Museum.

Shandaken Projects supports cultural advancement through public programs and artist services. These opportunities are focused on process, experimentation, and dialogue, and are aimed particularly at important but under-served individuals. Through our free residency programs Shandaken: Governors Island and Shandaken: Storm King, our free educational initiative Paint School, and our commissions, public programs, and exhibitions, we create possibilities for cultural practitioners to forge new pathways in their work and in the world. We believe that research, experimentation, and the pursuit of new ideas are vital steps in the progress of culture, and that the creative community must safeguard space for them. We provide an alternative organizational model and significant opportunities for this community in an independent environment. Shandaken Projects is intentionally small-scale.

Governors Island Seeks Proposals for Long-Term Athletic Use of Fields in 2019 and Beyond


The Trust for Governors Island invites non-profit organizations, schools, organized sports leagues and any other interested parties to respond to this Request for Proposals to utilize two possible locations on Governors Island for athletic uses.

Schools, organized youth leagues, adult leagues and non-profit organizations are invited to propose use of our athletic fields for practices, scrimmages, games, tournaments and other recreational activities. Governors Island’s turf fields are able to accommodate a wide range of sports, from baseball and softball to soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse and more. The Trust anticipates multiple organizations using the fields throughout Governors Island’s annual public season, from May 1-October 31 and beyond. Public schools and non-profit organizations are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.

For the RFP and more information, please click here. Proposals are due on December 21, 2018.

Halloween in the Harbor: Governors Island Pumpkin Patch and Trick-or-Treating Returns this October


Our much-anticipated Halloween programming line-up is here!

Pumpkin Point, one of New York City’s only pumpkin patches, will return for its second year during the last two weekends of October with free fall-themed, family-friendly fun! Children and families are also invited to come in costume for free Trick-or-Treating at the historic houses in Nolan Park on Saturday, October 27, from 1-3PM.

“This October, Governors Island is the easiest way to enjoy an affordable fall getaway for visitors of all ages,” said Michael Samuelian, President of the Trust for Governors Island. “From the colorful changing leaves throughout the Island’s sprawling new park spaces to a sea of orange pumpkins in historic Nolan Park, fall is in the air on Governors Island and all New Yorkers are invited to take a short ferry ride to delight in Halloween in the Harbor.”

Returning for its second year, this time in historic Nolan Park, Pumpkin Point will bring thousands of ripe fall pumpkins to Governors Island. The patch is free to visit, and small and medium-sized pumpkins can be handpicked and purchased for a small donation that benefits the Friends of Governors Island. Surrounded by beautiful fall foliage and the village-like atmosphere of former officer’s homes, this free fall spectacular will include free live music, and pumpkin painting with the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Visitors can enjoy a fall beer garden and tasty treats including warm cider, mini pumpkin pies, “ghoulash” by Island vendor Little Eva’s, Blue Marble ice cream and more. Pumpkin Point will be open from 11AM-5PM the last two weekends of the 2018 season, Saturday, October 20 through Sunday, October 21 and Saturday, October 27 through Sunday, October 28.

In addition to Pumpkin Point, Governors Island will host its second annual free Trick-or-Treating on Saturday, October 27. Families are encouraged to dress up in costume and wander from porch to porch of the historic former officers’ homes of Nolan Park, where the Island’s arts and cultural organizations, staff and volunteers will hand out free candy and other treats. Trick-or-Treating will take place Saturday, October 27 only from 1PM-3PM.

“We’re offering all New Yorkers the chance to experience a true ‘small town Halloween’ feeling without leaving the City,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “Everyone is invited to our car-free oasis to crunch through the autumn leaves, trick-or-treat at real wooden porches, and pick the perfect pumpkin to take home.”

In 2017, Governors Island extended its season through October 31 for the first time. Last October, nearly 50,000 visitors enjoyed the Island’s spectacular park spaces, fall foliage and Halloween programming. This year, Governors Island is open to the public seven days a week through October 31 from 10 AM to 6 PM weekdays and from 10 AM to 7 PM weekends.

This year’s Pumpkin Point and Trick-or-Treating events are presented by the Trust for Governors Island and the Friends of Governors Island. Generous support for the events is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Any pumpkins left over from Pumpkin Point will be baked into pumpkin pies and donated to The Bowery Mission, which serves homeless and hungry New Yorkers, or composted on Governors Island by Earth Matter, which runs the Island’s Compost Learning Center.

Climate Signals, five-borough public art installation on Governors Island


Throughout September and October, prominent, unexpected messages about climate change dot the New York City landscape, sparking curiosity and raising awareness. The Climate Museum, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office - Climate Policy and Programs, will present Climate Signals, a multi-site outdoor installation by Justin Brice Guariglia.

The exhibition on Governors Island consists of two large (11’ x 7’), solar-powered highway signs with phrases that draw passers-by into the climate conversation.

Eight more signs will appear in parks across the city in a range of neighborhoods, including some of those most vulnerable to climate change, and will flash translations into several of the many languages of NYC.

The two signs on Governors Island are located at Castle Williams and Yankee Pier.

For a list of all ten locations, visit www.climate-signals.org

Governors Island Art Fair Returns for 11th Edition With Installations Presented Across Colonels Row


On September 1, 4heads will open the Governors Island Art Fair (GIAF), featuring a diverse range of artists from across the U.S. and abroad. Installations, which span the spectrum of artistic genre and media, will be presented across eight of the historic homes on Colonels Row, with each artist installing in an individual room or connective space. Now in its 11th year, GIAF heralds the start of the fall visual arts season in New York, with a spirited atmosphere that encourages conversation between artists and visitors and challenges the established fair paradigm as one exclusively for art connoisseurs. GIAF will be open every Saturday and Sunday through September 30.

GIAF, which first launched in 2008, was among the first major art events to take place on Governors Island. As interest in the Island as a cultural destination has grown, in particular over the last several years, 4heads has remained steadfast in maintaining its presence, continuing to provide working artists with a place to show new and recent work and to build their network of support—both among peers and the public. Each year, GIAF presents the work of up to 100 artists, selected through an open call and jurying process. For the 2018 edition, as with previous iterations, each artist will be given a full room—free of charge—to create an immersive installation or micro-exhibition, allowing the artists more space to highlight their distinct approaches and techniques.

GIAF, which first launched in 2008, was among the first major art events to take place on Governors Island. As interest in the Island as a cultural destination has grown, in particular over the last several years, 4heads has remained steadfast in maintaining its presence, continuing to provide working artists with a place to show new and recent work and to build their network of support—both among peers and the public. Each year, GIAF presents the work of up to 100 artists, selected through an open call and jurying process. For the 2018 edition, as with previous iterations, each artist will be given a full room—free of charge—to create an immersive installation or micro-exhibition, allowing the artists more space to highlight their distinct approaches and techniques.

“As more and more alternative spaces and galleries dedicated to emerging artists are forced to close in the current market climate, we see GIAF is ever more essential. As a group of artists ourselves, we know firsthand how difficult it can be to find opportunities to show work and have meaningful engagement with a range of audiences. GIAF has come to be known as a space to discover, where each year the diversity of artists surprises, inspires, engages, and challenges. We are excited to enter our 11th year, as an artist-for-artist organization, and one that maintains its DIY ethos, offers working artists a dynamic platform, and fosters conversations between artists and the public,” said Laemmle.

“When we first started showing on Governors Island, we were one of the only arts organizations to see the value and interest of occupying the many historic spaces on the Island—breaking out of the white cube and showing our artists in rooms that were frayed, and a little unwieldy, and yet offered a compelling and unexpected context and platform. We are excited to see the growing interest in the Island as an arts locale and look forward to building new partnerships and opportunities for our participating artists and for the public, so that we can continue to bring new artistic voices and concepts to the fore—evening the playing field and giving primacy to emerging, mid-career, and little-known artists,” added Zito.

Participating artists for the 2018 edition of GIAF were selected by 4heads co-founders Laemmle, Robinson, and Zito from more than 800 proposals submitted through the nonprofit’s open call. The selection includes artists new to the 4heads community, as well as those that have shown previously at the group’s art fairs. GIAF continues to offer fair participation to artists free of charge, with 70% of sales also going directly to the artists.

Among the featured artists are:

● Pennsylvania-based artist Samuelle Green. Green constructs her environments from thousands of hand-rolled paper cones, which when combined reference the complex but often overlooked forms found in nature, such as beehives, birds’ nests, and spider webs. Her installations bring these delicate and evocative formations to human scale, encouraging close looking and engagement with the natural world we so often take for granted.

● Irish artist Emma Louise Moore, who will present her most recent body of work exploring the ways in which we push aside ethical consciousness in our everyday choices, and the impact those decisions have on the environment and human interactions. For GIAF, Moore will create a false wall, into which she will carve recognizable forms and texts. These voids will then be filled with figurative sculptures, made in silicone and morphed to fit the open spaces.

● Connecticut-based artist Benjamin Quesnel, whose recent works are inspired by an abandoned mail truck found in the woods of northern Connecticut. The vehicle revealed a box full of mail from 1982, which had never made it to its destination. The discovery led Quesnel to explore ideas around the messages that we send or choose not to share, and ones that we want to express but that are never received or understood by their intended recipients. The truck will be installed on the lawn in front of Colonels Row, with some of the original letters available for the public to read. The installation will encourage visitors to find connections with the authors and leave letters of their own.

● Brooklyn-based painter Jake Scharbach, whose works have been shaped by his childhood in a small town in Washington state. For GIAF, Scharbach will present several new paintings, which explore the creation and materialization of symbols as a means of analyzing contemporary cultural values. The paintings create contradictions and conflicts between history and contemporaneity, as well as our personal ideals and perspectives and the reality of social constructs.

● Iranian artist Moeinedin Shashaei, who will create an installation constructed from casts of the mouths of the people with whom he’s had in-person conversations since moving to New York City in 2014. The work explores and critiques contemporary forms of communication highlighting how despite the technological advances made in connecting people we seem ever more distant from each other, incapable of speaking and forming community.

● New York-based artist Pasakorn Nontananandh, who will creative an interactive digital installation, titled Collective of Time Being. The installation joins pieces of the artist’s personal history and memories with the actions and movements of the visiting public, captured in real-time through the use of Kinect sensor devices. Together, the images from the artist’s memory and the movements of the audience bend and confuse time. The presentation of Nontananandh’s work is part of an ongoing partnership between 4heads and the School of the Visual Arts, providing young artists with an opportunity to engage with other working artists and showcase their work outside of the context of student exhibitions. Graduating SVA students are able to apply with their thesis projects, and go through the same jurying process as the other fair participants.

A comprehensive list of featured artists is available upon request.

About 4heads:

4heads is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization run by artists for artists. It was launched in New York in 2008, when Nicole Laemmle, Jack Robinson, and Antony Zito, who are working artists themselves, saw an opportunity to create a platform that would serve emerging artists and the local community through exhibitions, education programs, and artistic collaborations. The organization’s DIY spirit helps catalyze the ongoing dialogue between artists and people from all walks of life. Its diverse slate of initiatives includes the Governors Island Art Fair, Portal art fair, arts-education initiatives for underserved communities, and a summer Artists in Residence program on Governors Island. 4heads is committed to shedding new light on hidden culture and bringing new life to unexpected and unique spaces across the city.

Getting to GIAF:

Governors Island is less than 10 minutes away from Manhattan and Brooklyn by ferry. Ferries run from Lower Manhattan every day from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street with service from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day. All weekday and weekend afternoon ferries from Brooklyn and Manhattan are $3 round trip for adults. Children under 12, NYCID holders, Military personnel and Governors Island members ride for free at all times and senior citizens’ fares are $1. Morning ferries (10 AM and 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Manhattan and 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Brooklyn) on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. There is no surcharge for bicycles. For schedule and more information, visit http://govisland.com .

NYC Ferry also stops at Governors Island via a shuttle from Wall Street/Pier 11 to Yankee Pier (redirected from Pier 102) on Saturdays and Sundays. For more tickets, schedule and more information visit http://www.ferry.nyc/.

Every Saturday and Sunday from September 1 – September 30, 2018.

11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission is free.

For further information contact info@4heads.org or visit www.4heads.org.

Photo from Hyperallergic

De Blasio Administration Announces Next Step in Transformation of Governors Island into Year-Round Hub for Education, Innovation and Recreation


NEW YORK —Today, the de Blasio Administration officially initiated the public review process for a rezoning of the southern half of Governors Island. This effort has the potential to unlock up to 4.5 million square feet of commercial, academic, cultural and institutional development that would complement and financially sustain the Island’s popular park, public programming, and cultural amenities. This rezoning will draw on the City’s work to repurpose historic buildings with a focus on new development areas to support the job producing industries that represent the future of the City.

“Governors Island’s 43-acre park has made it the jewel of New York Harbor,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The Island is now set to dramatically expand its role in our city’s economy as we turn its southern half into a center of innovation and education.”

"Thanks to almost a decade’s worth of substantial city and philanthropic investment, Governors Island is already a destination for recreation, relaxation and culture for nearly a million visitors annually. This rezoning represents the next step in marrying the Island’s rich history with its future role as a global hub for convening, the arts, tech, and education," said Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.

The proposed rezoning covers 33 acres on the southern half of Governors Island, across two zones previously established for new development as part of a 2010 Park and Public Space Master Plan. The sites include a 7 acre parcel on the western side of the Island with sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty and an expansive 26 acre parcel on the Island’s eastern shore that together have 4.5 million square feet of development potential.

The process outlined today paves the way for new development to be integrated into the southern half of Governors Island that is targeted to support the City’s efforts to further diversify its growing economy. Each development has the potential to allow unique and flexible floorplates to support new industries that represent the City’s future, such as life sciences, media and technology companies. New structures will be predominantly low and mid-rise.

While a federal deed restriction established as part of the 2003 transfer of the Island to New York precludes any full-time residential uses on the Island, this plan will make way for more academic and institutional uses that will complement the Island’s existing character as a popular recreational and cultural destination. All revenue streams from future development will support park operations, maintenance and expanded access to the Island’s open spaces.

Governors Island has grown in popularity among New Yorkers, with a 65% increase in visitorship since 2014. Since the new park was completed in 2016, the Island has expanded from a four month season to a six month season, and late nights on Friday and Saturdays were introduced this year. With over 50 historic buildings on the northern section of Governors Island, the Island currently is home to two year-round tenants: the New York Harbor School and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Art Center. Several new tenants are also preparing to move into buildings on the Island year-round, including Spaceworks and the Billion Oyster Project.

With input from Manhattan Community Board 1 and the Governors Island Community Advisory Committee, guiding principles for future development were established:

Complement and enhance the park and public spaces and respond to environmental conditions

Connect and establish a harmonious relationship with the park, esplanade and Historic District

Retain and frame views within the Island, and towards New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront

Activate building edges along public spaces

Promote innovative design approaches to achieve a high level of resiliency and environmental sustainability

Encourage flexibility to accommodate a wide range of building types and a mix of uses

"This is a great project with important goals, and it's another exciting step on the road toward making Governors Island accessible to the public year-round," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Projects like this one are worth getting right, with a thorough process that takes everything and everyone into account. All New Yorkers interested in the future of Governor's Island should follow this process, come to the hearing, and offer their ideas."

“This announcement represents an opportunity to unlock the full potential of an urban oasis that is quickly becoming an indispensable resource for a growing number of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I look forward to working with the Community Board and others throughout Lower Manhattan to ensure that every opportunity is explored and that all concerns are heard throughout this process. Together, I believe we can create a Governors Island with even more cultural and educational activities, idyllic park spaces and playgrounds for all to experience and enjoy.”

“Governors Island is a rare and precious resource for the entire city and region that inspires creativity and innovation,” said Michael Samuelian, President of the Trust for Governors Island. “This next chapter presents an unparalleled opportunity to activate the Island with new educational and research facilities in a destination unlike anywhere else. We look forward to continuing our transformation with a collaborative planning process that will help ensure that this extraordinary open space is accessible and sustainable not just today, but for generations to come.”

“Manhattan Community Board 1 has long supported the work of the Trust and our mutual goal to unleash the potential of Governors Island. Offering a unique combination of more open space along with economic and cultural drivers, all New York will benefit from this development. We look forward to working with there Trust to maximize the uses and benefits,” said Anthony Notaro, Jr., Chair, Manhattan Community Board 1.

Environmental review and scoping for the South Island rezoning will begin this September. A public hearing will be held on September 26, 2018 at 6:00 PM at the Battery Maritime Building located at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan.

CONTACT: pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov, (212) 788-2958

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