Summer Festival Turns Brooklyn Community Gardens Into Art Venues

By Paul DeBenedetto on June 4, 2014 9:34am 

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 The Arts in the Gardens series features arts programming in four Brooklyn gardens this summer.
Brooklyn Arts in the Garden Series
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BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn arts series featuring live music, dancing, film screenings and kids events will turn community gardens into performance venues this summer.

The Arts in the Gardens series, which kicks off on June 14 in Bed-Stuy, is a summer-long festival designed to showcase gardens and arts programming in underserved areas.

By featuring art in the gardens, organizers said they hope to show that community green spaces can also be used as public gathering spots.

"Yes, 'community garden' sounds very specific," said Jordan Dyniewski, public events director at the New York Restoration Project, which operates the gardens. "But they're actually much more than that."

NYRP operates 52 gardens across the city, many of which have operated as interactive arts spaces for the last four years, Dyniewski said.

This year, the group was able to expand its programming with 40 additional performances in Brooklyn and the Bronx thanks to an anonymous donor, he said.

In Brooklyn, NYRP partnered with the Brooklyn Academy of Music to showcase music, art and film through September, starting with a daylong music festival in Bed-Stuy's Jane Bailey Memorial Garden, at 327 Greene Ave.

Other gardens in Brooklyn hosting events will be the Garden of Hope and Target community gardens in Bed-Stuy and the Gil Hodges Community Garden in Gowanus.

In each case, NYRP said it wanted to highlight local artists and expose people in the community to work they may not have seen before, Dyniewski said.

"It's going to add some brand new events, things we've never done before, things that people have probably never experienced in the community," he said.

"We're really trying to highlight what's already there that people might not know about."

The Brooklyn Arts in the Gardens Series starts on June 14 in the Jane Bailey Memorial Garden at 1 p.m. For a full calendar of events, visit the New York Restoration Project.

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