please note: our last late friday and film screening of the last dragon is this friday, sept 21

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

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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

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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

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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

Announcing: Call for Ideas for Haunted Houses and Halloween Experiences on Governors Island

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Proposal deadline extended to September 7, 2018

The Trust for Governors Island invites entertainment companies, producers of live attractions and organizations specializing in immersive, theatrical experiences to submit proposals for one or a series of haunted houses or other Halloween experiences on Governors Island for Halloween 2018. This is an exciting opportunity to transform the Island’s historic mansions on Colonels Row into a thrilling seasonal attraction in one of New York City’s most unique and beloved public spaces and recreational destinations with a diverse, fast-growing audience. Thousands of visitors attended Halloween events on Governors Island in 2017, the first year the Island was open to the public in October.

Building on this success, the Trust seeks proposals for a haunted house experience in October, 2018 that amplifies the existing character and spooky atmosphere of these stately, nineteenth-century mansions to create an unforgettable Halloween adventure. Proposals will complement additional Halloween programming on Governors Island, including a pumpkin patch and trick or treating.

Read the full call for ideas.

Two years of the Hills on Governors Island

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We're celebrating our anniversary - of the Hills, that is! Two years ago this week, on July 19, 2016, Governors Island opened 10 brand new acres of park space to New Yorkers for climbing, sliding, exploring and taking in some of the best views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan skyline. Since then, hundreds of thousands of visitors have explored the unique landscape of the Hills, enjoying a brand new relationship with the Harbor.

In honor of the Hills, we're looking back at the park in your pictures over the past two years.

Thanks to these 6 women who built the park!

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Now enjoyed by hundreds of thousands who have wandered, climbed, biked, discovered and even slid down these new landscapes, Governors Island’s 10 acres of new park were designed to thrive for centuries. The Hills give visitors a new relationship with the sea and sky while offering breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. The transformation of Governors Island would not have been possible without the combined efforts of six pioneering leaders.

Thanks to Patti Harris (Former First Deputy Mayor), Ronay Menschel (Past Board Chair of the Trust for Governors Island), Leslie Koch (Past Trust President), Wendy Schmidt (Past Trust Board Member), Ellen Cavanagh (Past Trust Vice President for Planning Design and Construction) and Betty Chen (Past Trust Vice President for Planning and Design) for building this park!

Resident Goats Nameless No Longer!

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After a long and thoughtful deliberation, the names of our two female kid goats (one of two shown above) have been decided! Welcome Salt 'n Peppa, who will be making themselves at home on Governors Island's Urban Farm this summer! Originally from Goodale Farms in Riverhead, Long Island, they will be cared for by our friends at Earth Matter until the end of the season.

Besides the fact that our fury friends are adorable and super soft, they have joined the NYC Compost Learning Center in the Urban Farm to help the composting process. Their diet will consist of NY resident vegetable scraps in addition to leaves, weeds, and branches. This will allow them to produce lots of manure. In fact, goat manure has a 2.4% nitrogen content- that's higher than cow (0.6%) and horse manure (0.7%)! The high level of nitrogen makes goat droppings a great addition to the compost.

The Compost Learning Center is located in Governors Island’s Urban Farm, near the Oval and by the entrance to the Hills. It's open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM-4PM during the season with special activities at 2:30PM.

Visit https://earthmatter.org/ for a full calendar of events and volunteer opportunities.

We’re giving New Yorkers even more chances to have an unforgettable summer night on Governors Island!

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Governors Island is now open on Saturday nights, brought to you by Grey Goose.

Visitors can now enjoy stunning sunsets overlooking New York Harbor, take leisurely bike rides around the Hills and visit Island Oyster for a Grey Goose Fair Winds Fizz specialty cocktail.

Late Saturdays starts July 7 and will run through September 1. All ferries to Governors Island will be free after 6 PM for Late Saturdays. The last ferry from Governors Island is 11 PM.

Ferry Schedule

Additional vendors at Liggett Terrace and Soissons Landing East will be open during late Saturdays.

Free Hi-Speed Public Wifi Coming to Governors Island in July

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The Trust for Governors Island and the Mayors Office of the Chief Technology Officer announced today the launch of free, high-speed public Wi-Fi on Governors Island. The next generation, 5G-enabled service will be provided by Fiberless Networks, also announced today as the winner of the Governors Island Connectivity Challenge, the first citywide ‘Moonshot Challenge’ through the NYCx program. Public Wi-Fi service will be available on Governors Island beginning July 1.

Fiberless Networks’s winning solution will bring an important amenity to Governors Island’s growing audience of hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors, vendors, arts and cultural programming partners and tenants. The technology delivered on Governors Island, the first of its kind in any New York City open space, will serve as a test case for advancing broadband, Wi-Fi and 5G cellular service throughout the City.

“Governors Island is an increasingly important place for creativity and innovation in New York City,” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “As a unique destination with expansive open space, unparalleled flexibility and an engaged audience, there is no better place to test, deploy and accelerate innovative technologies in the city than Governors Island. We’re excited to deliver ultra-fast and affordable Wi-Fi to the diverse set of New Yorkers who visit us each year, and for our current and future tenants who are part of our growing community.”

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of the Governors Island Connectivity Challenge announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in October 2017. The first of several ‘Moonshot Challenges’ unveiled by the city’s NYCx program, the Connectivity Challenge showcased Governors Island as an ideal testbed for the latest in connectivity solutions. Global entrepreneurs were invited to propose and deliver bold solutions to deliver hi-speed broadband and 5G cellular service on Governors Island, providing a platform for the City to acquire new insights to advance connectivity for all New Yorkers.

“The NYCx program was anchored in the Connectivty Moonshot Challenge, and we’re thrilled to see the launch of pervasive Wi-Fi across a cherished New York City destination,” said Jeremy M. Goldberg, Deputy CTO, NYCx, Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. “Wi-Fi is an essential part of participating in today’s world, and we hope that the positive outcomes of this challenge will roll-out to other locations in the City and benefit all New Yorkers.”

Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Technology Committee, stated, “We’re kicking off the summer season on Governors Island in the best way possible by bringing free Wi-Fi service to its visitors. This effort shows that no matter how spread out our landscapes may be, New York City is dedicated to ensuring our communities are connected to high-speed networks. Thank you to the Mayor’s Office of the CTO, the Trust for Governors Island and Fiberless Networks for making this project a reality.”

"I am thrilled that free, high speed connectivity will finally make its way to Governors Island," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. "With its lush greenspace and breathtaking views of New York harbor, Governors Island has long been recognized as an organic oasis, a center for culture and recreation and - thanks to the Moonshot challenge - a hub of tech innovation. I look forward to future partnerships and opportunities that will bring even more resources to the thousands of visitors, workers and vendors that utilize the Island every year."

Over the past six months, finalists for the Governors Island Connectivty Challenge worked with the Trust and the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer to build and test solutions on Governors Island. Fiberless Networks, based in Quincy, MA will deliver the service on Governors Island for the public season and for the next several years.

“We are both honored and excited to have been chosen by the Trust of Governors Island to participate in providing next generation ultrafast and affordable wireless communications to the island,” said Louis Slaughter, CEO of Fiberless Networks Corporation. “Through history the Island has been an important part of New York City’s heritage having witnessed the first public flight in the United States by Wilbur Wright around the island.Wireless communications of the flight was personally telegraphed from the Island by Guglielmo Marconi, Inventor of the wireless telegraph.We are pleased to be yet another milestone for Governors Island albeit not as momentous as the flight of Wilbur Wright but significantly faster than the communications provided by Signore Marconi”.

NYCX seeks to further Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of ensuring every New York City resident and business will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service by 2025.

A popular seasonal destination for recreation, arts, culture and education, Governors Island is undergoing a transformation into a year-round community with new commercial, cultural and educational activity. The Island is open to the public seven days a week from May 1 through October 31 from 10 AM to 6 PM weekdays, from 10AM-10 PM on Fridays between May 25-September 14 and from 10 AM to 7 PM weekends.

About NYCx

Launched in October, 2017, NYCx is the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development. New York City’s diverse population, economy and landscape offer a unique opportunity for technology companies to develop tools that improve the world. NYCx is a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. Learn more at www.nyc.gov/nycx

Announcing Shandaken: Governors Island, a new artist residency

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One year of free studio space on Governors Island for five cultural practitioners: application open through July 30.

Shandaken Projects and the Trust for Governors Island are proud to announce Shandaken: Governors Island, a new, free, interdisciplinary residency program. We invite cultural practitioners working in any media—including the visual arts, writing, dance, and more—and currently living in New York City to apply now through July 30.

Shandaken: Governors Island will award one year of free studio space on Governors Island to five residents at a time. Studios for the upcoming season are available October 15, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

Although the main focus of this collaboration is residents' studio practice, participants will also be invited to explore, study, and learn about the island. These on-site experiences will result in public programming that residents will present to the island’s hundreds of thousands of visitors in summer 2019.

Located in the heart of New York Harbor between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront, Governors Island is an unparalleled place for cultural practitioners to work. An eight-minute ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan, the island boasts 172 acres of public parkland, historic architecture, and wide-open views. It holds a uniquely important place in the history of New York, and is currently home to a robust cultural program.

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