The Fort Greene Park community mourns the loss of the Myrtle playground volunteer caretaker Jamie Ramirez, who passed away at the end of June. Jamie was recognized at the Conservancy’s Monumental celebration in May as one of six Community Heroes. Fort Greene Park Director David Barker reflects on Jamie’s 20 years of service to the playground.
The Fort Greene Park Conservancy is excited to announce our full lineup of free programming for the summer months. With a number of returning family-favorite programs, as well as the addition of a brand new summer movie series and dance program, summer in Fort Greene will have something for everyone! Read more below to learn about all the fun Fort Greene Park has to offer.
Continued growth and capacity-building has allowed us to offer more new and exciting programs in Fort Greene Park than ever before. New program support from the New York State Council for the Humanities and National Environmental Education Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Council, Whole Foods Market 365, Chelsea Piers Fitness, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as continued sponsorship from longtime partners in NYC Parks, Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, the Eloise Susanna Gale Foundation, and the Butler Family Foundation, has helped sustain existing programming (Kids Concerts, Wallabout Historic Walking Tours, Walt Whitman Walking Tours), and expand offerings (Myrtle Movies, Dance and Music with Cumbe Kidz, Yoga with Chelsea Piers Fitness).
See the full list of programs below! Want to make a gift to support summer in Fort Greene Park and FGPC's free programs? Check out our membership options here, or make a 100% tax deductible contribution!
Myrtle Movies with Rooftop Films
Thursdays, June 14, July 19, August 23, 7:00pm-11:00pm
FGPC is excited to announce a brand-new partnership with Rooftoop Films to bring you our first-ever FREE summer movie series! Join us and our friends at Rooftop on the lawn overlooking Myrtle Avenue for three nights of incredible open-air cinema, featuring neighborhood favorites and some of the best new independent films. Myrtle Movies are generously supported by the Brooklyn Hospital Center and Whole Foods Market 365. July and August screenings will include live music performances before films begin.
Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival
Two Days–July 21 and September 8, 3:00p-7:00p
For two days this summer, local jazz legend Eric Frazier will again bring in all-star lineup of some of the finest musicians in New York City to Fort Greene Park for its eighth year. Special features this year will include special performances from Hanka G, Stacey Haughton, Sivan Arbel, Rome Neal, and Eric Frazier, as well as performances from other special guests. There will also be free giveaways on both Saturdays. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.fortgreeneparkjazzfestival.com for more information.
Two Days, July 8 and August 12, 4:00p-8:00p
A true neighborhood institution, Soul Summit will bring two Sundays of house music and community to Fort Greene Park in their 15th year. Free and open to the public. Visit www.soulsummitmusic.com for more information.
Shakespeare in the Park with Hip to Hip Theatre Company
Two Fridays, July 27, and Friday August 3, 7:00pm
FGPC partners with Hip to Hip Theatre Company to bring a special performance of two Shakespeare classics to Fort Greene Park. Both performances will also feature a special Kids and the Classics workshop before the show starts. Free and open to the public. Learn more at www.hiptohip.org.
Dance and Music with Cumbe Kidz
Tuesdays, July 17, July 24, July 31, 10:00am-11:00am
Join FGPC and Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance as we take a fun journey through the African diaspora by way of Fort Greene Park! We invite families to visit Jamaica, Cuba and the U.S. through our interactive Caribbean, Hip Hop and Afro-Cuban classes. Watch master artists perform, then experience the joy and learn the movements through a class and a dance jam. This special workshop series is supported in part by a generous grant from the Eloise Susanna Gale Foundation.
Performances are free, suitable for children of all ages and require no prior formal instruction. Meet in the Monument Plaza’s western wing.
July 17: Art of Legohn (Afro-Caribbean w/ live percussion)
July 24: Art of Legohn (Hip Hop)
July 31: Afro Cuban with Tony Domenech
Music in the Grove: Kids Concerts
Wednesdays, June 20-August 8, 10:00am-11:00am
A perennial favorite among young families in the neighborhood, FGPC’s Music in the Grove: Kids Concerts series returns for its seventh season. These free hour-long concerts bring parents and children of all ages together with some of the finest talent in Brooklyn for a romping, stomping good time! Supported by a generous multi-year grant from the Butler Family Foundation in the name of Hugh and Karen Butler Connell, as well as NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo. Performances are free and open to children and caretakers of all ages.
June 20: Suzi Shelton
June 27: The Dad Beats
July 11: Flor Bromley
July 18: Mil’s Trills
July 25: Astrograss
August 1: Soul Science Lab
August 8: Baby in Tune
Music in the Grove: Sunday Kids Concerts
Sundays, July 15, July 29, August 5, 11:00am-12:00pm:
To meet the tremendous demand for more family programming in Fort Greene Park, FGPC is pleased to announce the expansion of Music In the Grove: Kids Concerts to include three special Sunday performances! Made possible by special funding from the Butler Family Foundation and NYC Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. July 15 will feature a special partnership with Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance!
July 15: Kotchgna Dance Company
July 29: Rolie Polie Guacamole
August 5: Hopalong Andrew
Historic Walking Tour Series
Select Saturdays, June 9-October 20, 11:00am-12:30pm
FGPC is excited to announce another full season of neighborhood walking tours for 2018. The ever-popular Wallabout Historic Walking Tour series returns, produced in partnership with the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project, as well as our well-loved Walt Whitman Walking Tours of Fort Greene, which concentrate on the park, Walt Whitman’s life and work, as well as early Brooklyn History. All tours include special musical performances, produced in collaboration with the Walt Whitman Project and American Opera Projects. Walt Whitman Walking Tours are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, as well as The Corcoran Group.
June 9: Walt Whitman Walking Tour
June 16: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
July 14: Walt Whitman Walking Tour
July 21: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
August 11: Walt Whitman Walking Tour
August 18: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
September 15: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
October 20: Wallabout Historic Walking Tour
Free, but registration required via Eventbrite. Sign up through the links above.
New for 2018: Free Yoga with Chelsea Piers Fitness
Saturdays, June 9-October 20, 11:00am
Chelsea Piers Fitness & The Fort Greene Park Conservancy have teamed up for an incredible Summer Yoga Series. Connect with the Earth and its energy at the Monument Greene Lawns in Fort Greene Park. Chelsea Piers Fitness Evolve Yoga instructors will lead an all level one-hour Vinyasa class every Saturday morning at 11:00am from June through mid-October, weather permitting.
Free Tai Chi Group
Sundays, June 3-September 30 10:00am-11:15pm
Together with local Tai Chi leaders Leon Chung and Marilyn Fleming, FGPC will bring a full summer of free Tai Chi practice to Fort Greene Park. Group will meet on the Monument Plaza adjacent to the Visitor Center. There is a brief introduction and movement mostly in silence following the leaders’ movements. Practitioners of all levels welcome. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and sneakers. Class will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather or rain.
Learn more at www.taichibklyn.com.
As the busy summer season kicks off, read about exciting changes to how the NYC Parks team cares for Fort Greene Park. The "Zone Management" program brings an infusion of city-funded maintenance and enforcement staff and equipment to keep our park cleaner and greener year-round.
As the temperatures drops, activity around the park seems to slow down just enough to give us a moment to reflect on the past year and all that we accomplished. 2017 was a tremendous year for FGPC— we hired an additional full-time staff person, took on a team of two fantastic interns to support our summer programming, and welcomed two NYC Service Civic Corps Members in the fall to lead and grow our volunteer efforts during their ten-month term of service. In our final stretch of the year, we are planning for a monumental 2018 and cannot wait to share all we have planned for the year ahead. Before we get there, we want to reflect on five things that made 2017 incredible:
One of the greatest joys of my position as Director of Fort Greene Park involves the support I get from the community to fulfill the essential elements of my job description: keeping the park clean, green, and safe. There’s a lot of love for this park—harnessing that passion in constructive ways is far easier with an incredible partner in the Fort Greene Park Conservancy. In 2017, the partnership between NYC Parks and the Conservancy yielded a variety of successful collaborations, from extended summer hours at the Visitor Center to helping ensure broad and extensive public input on the design of Parks without Borders (PWB).
As I conducted my final round of interviews, I felt bittersweet—torn between the anticipation of finally being able to share my project with the public and the disappointment of missing out on so many potential insightful interactions. No longer equipped with an excuse to initiate conversation with perfect strangers, I now find myself seeking out interesting park users and then remembering with a wave of disappointment that I no longer have a use for their stories. Not only has this project taught me about the wide variety of unique qualities of Fort Greene Park but also about the value in getting to know people I might not typically encounter in my day-to-day life. I hope you enjoy this final addition to Humans of Fort Greene Park and find yourself having learned something over the course of the series.
I’m beginning to see a potential link between what Fort Greene Park means to park users and promoting environmentalism. The connection between spending time in nature and learning to appreciate both nature as its own entity in addition to the mental and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors is key to caring about the environment. However, other values less concretely linked to the environment such as family, community, and coexistence have been surfacing in these interviews. These findings have led me to believe that a potentially successful method of encouraging environmentalism could be framing environmental issues in terms of these seemingly unrelated values
As I get deeper into this project I’ve heard some thoughts that are consistent with expectations I had in developing the idea for this blog. As an environmental studies and psychology major, I’m very passionate about finding the intersection between how people feel about the “environment” as tangible, local green spaces along with more overarching views on protecting the planet and fighting climate change. I’ve found the common themes of individuals holding value in public spaces and urban green spaces exciting and as I move forward I hope to begin to see ways to connect other seemingly unrelated but equally prevalent park values like culture and community to environmentalism.
As I’ve continued to conduct interviews, the value of this experience has become increasingly apparent. I’ve been finding myself anxious for each workday to begin so that I can learn from the people with whom I might never have crossed paths were it not for this project. The lens through which I view the park has been shifting as well, with memories of conversations directing my eye to previously overlooked qualities. I hope your views on Fort Greene Park have been similarly affected, and if not, keep reading!
My second round of interviews did not disappoint. I never fail to be pleasantly surprised by how open and willing to chat Fort Greene Park users are. The passion they have for this space clearly comes across in a desire to share thoughts on the park with me, a perfect stranger. Some common threads are beginning to emerge regarding values that resonate with Fort Greene Park and parks in general, so consider whether these ring true with yourself as you read my next blog post.
One of most notable qualities of Fort Greene Park is the diverse and inclusive community of park users. The individuals who spend time here, both frequenters and newbies, truly paint the character of this space. With the hopes of getting a glimpse into the relationships visitors across all walks of life have with Fort Greene Park, I’ve set out on a "Humans of New York"-esque mission to interview randomly selected park goers. My objective is to encourage readers to discover meaningful connections with Fort Greene Park through the inspiring anecdotes of park community members that will in-turn improve environmentally friendly behavior and community engagement. I hope you as a reader find these blog posts both engaging and revealing about the values held by community members who all share an appreciation for Fort Greene Park.
All that glitters is not gold — sometimes it’s glass! One Map of Many Moments, the newly-completed glass mosaic map of the park, celebrates volunteerism and stewardship in Fort Greene Park. With the help of many neighborhood hands and minds, we worked together with local artist Amanda Patenaude to transform park trash into our community’s newest treasure.
We’ve got a lot to be thankful for in 2016—new partnerships with great neighbors like Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Kickstarter, and The Brooklyn Hospital; our biggest programming season ever, with over 60 free events; and the completion of our first capital project on Washington Park. All of this, in what was just our first year as a staffed organization. As a new year approaches, we know that we will still need to provide critical resources for the work that needs to be done in Fort Greene Park in 2017. So at our Third Annual Tree Lighting this weekend with the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, we asked Santa for a few things below that we would really, really love to find under the tree this year.
Our community has a lot to celebrate as the year draws to a close. Before we jump into 2017, here’s a reflection on a year of landscape changes at Fort Greene Park.
Installed in late May 2016, Outer Seed Shadow (OSS) #02 serves as a green space to discuss issues of coexistence, immigration, and cultural identity. It is the second of five gardens to be installed in each of the boroughs of New York City. The term “outer seed shadow” relates to plant migration, and is the region where there exists an influx of seeds from a species’ reproductive core, but where—due to adverse conditions—seed germination and seedling reproduction are complicated, causing a decrease of those species’ representatives in this region.
On June 30th, the Fort Greene Park Conservancy and the Brooklyn Hospital partnered to beautify the corridor between Dekalb Avenue and Fort Greene Place, connecting the hospital campus to the park both aesthetically and physically. Staff members at the Brooklyn Hospital—as part of their annual community day of service—generously volunteered their time and worked with the FGPC to create a beautiful mural for the fence. The hospital worked on the mural as part of its Good Neighbors campaign, designed to support community-focused programs—and to celebrate a joint artistic endeavor with its park neighbors.
The many jubilant children, parents, and caretakers who attended Fort Greene Park's weekly Kids Concert on June 29th were treated to the musical stylings of one of Brooklyn's most popular children's artists, Mil's Trills. Over 500 people filled into the grove of London Planes by the Monument Plaza, creating a palpable energy that permeated through all who were present and only increased as the performance went on.
Fort Greene Park’s garden beds need your help. We are launching the Fort Greene Park Volunteer Gardener program today to give area residents the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of horticulture while playing an active role in developing and nurturing the more than 35 gardens spread across the park.
Many of you may be familiar with Fort Greene Park’s remarkable place in American history. Formerly a strategic outpost in the American Revolution and War of 1812, our park played a critical role in the founding of our nation. On February 20th—with the help of the NYC Parks and Boy Scout Troop 237—Fort Greene Park was transformed once again into an early American stronghold, regalia and all.
Fort Greene Park faces an existential crisis; with each rainstorm, a little bit of the park washes away. Our park’s hill has been eroding ever since it was formed by glacial deposits of silt and debris some 20,000 years ago. The erosion accelerated on Feb. 16 when an inch of rain fell, including an unusually heavy amount in the late afternoon.