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Bronx Gardens to Feature Hip-Hop, Films and More This Summer

By Eddie Small | May 24, 2014 10:36am
 Children enjoy themselves at last year's Arts in the Garden festival.
Children enjoy themselves at last year's Arts in the Garden festival.
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Anne Tan/NYRP

BRONX — Gardens in the Bronx will be filled with hip-hop performances and films this summer thanks to a partnership between the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the New York Restoration Project, a conservancy in the city.

The events are scheduled to run from June through August at the Bathgate Community Garden on 1818-1836 Bathgate Ave. in Tremont, the Willis Avenue Community Garden on 401 East 143rd St. in Melrose and the Target Bronx Community Garden on 1025 Anderson Ave. in Highbridge as part of the NYRP's Arts in the Gardens program.

The group has held the program before, but is expanding this year to include a Bronx documentary series, a "Bronx Raised" hip-hop series and multimedia performances by the artist Art Jones that will include sounds and videos associated with the borough.

"Those are three series that are brand new that we're particularly excited about," said Jordan Dyniewski, director of public events at NYRP.

Lynn Pono, associate director of programs at the Bronx Museum, hopes the events will remind people that the borough has a strong history and culture.

"They don’t necessarily need to leave the Bronx in order to have this kind of great programming, whether it’s at the museum or in the garden," she said.

The series will launch in the Bronx on Saturday, June 7 at noon in the Bathgate Garden, marking the first time it will be open to the public. Events include a poetry workshop and a performance from the theatre company Parallel Exit.

Jones' multimedia performances will take place on Saturday, July 26 at 8:30 p.m. in the Target Garden, Saturday, Aug. 2 at 8:30 p.m. in the Willis Garden and Wednesday, Aug. 6 around 9 p.m. in the Bathgate Garden.

The documentary series will take place each Wednesday from Aug. 6 - 27 at sunset between 7 and 8 p.m., first in the Bathgate Garden, then in the Willis Garden, then in the Target Garden and then back in the Willis Garden.

The Bronx Documentary Center curated the films, which include "Style Wars," about New York's street culture and graffiti in the early 80s, and "Bronx Princess," about a teenager who leaves her mother in New York City to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana.

Hip-hop performances will occur on Thursday, July 10 and Saturday, July 26 at 6 p.m. in the Target Garden and on Thursday, July 17 and Sat., Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Willis Garden. They will open with a DJ and continue with sets by local hip-hop artists like RDAC BX and Circa '95.

Circa '95, consisting of Patty Dukes and Reph Star, is also curating the hip-hop series.

"What you’ll take away is that the Bronx is a wellspring of artists, and we need more spaces for the arts to be expressed," Star said. "We need more art programs for young people."

Dukes compared the artistic community in the Bronx to those in Williamsburg and Bushwick, albeit with less of a reputation.

"It's not being highlighted in the same way," she said. "There’s still a bit of a fear factor when it comes to the Bronx, and it doesn’t help when every night on the news there’s a shooting."