PRELUDE IN THE PARKS Citywide Festival Of Environmental Art-Works Returns This June

A city-wide, three day pop-up festival of environmental art-works by artists addressing environmental & climate change issues.

By: May. 20, 2024
PRELUDE IN THE PARKS Citywide Festival Of Environmental Art-Works Returns This June
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From June 7 to 9, in parks and gardens throughout the five boroughs, The Segal Theatre Center of The Graduate Center CUNY will present "Prelude in the Parks: Performances for the Planet," a free, three-day, outdoor, city-wide pop-up festival of environmental art works co-curated by Frank Hentschker, Curator/Director of the Segal Theatre Center, and Robin Schatell, Founder/Director/Creative Producer of Mov!ngCulture Projects.  It is an initiative of the Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center CUNY.

The festival will offer 13 free presentations of Performance, Dance, Music and Theater throughout the five boroughs. The performances are at 6:00 PM Friday, June 7 and at 3:00 PM Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9. All offerings are between 25 minutes and one hour in duration and will be offered "off the grid" (i.e., without electricity) and rain-or-shine.

See below for a day-by-day listing of the events. More comprehensive info is available at the event's web page,

Participating locations:

BRONX - Barretto Point Park

BRONX - Bronx River Community Garden

BROOKLYN - Brower Park, Crown Heights

BROOKLYN - Fort Greene Park

BROOKLYN - Newtown Creek Nature Walk, Greenpoint

BROOKLYN - Prospect Park

MANHATTAN - Eastside Outside Community Garden

MANHATTAN - Inwood Hill Park, Gailic Field

MANHATTAN - Riverside Park

QUEENS - Hunters Point South Park, Long Island City

STATEN ISLAND - Tappen Park, Richmond Hill


Presenting Green Space Partners:

Bronx River Community Garden

Eastside Outside Community Garden, Manhattan

Hunters Point Park Alliance, Queens

ID Studio Theater, The Bronx

Newtown Creek Alliance, Brooklyn

Roc-A-Natural Cultural Foundation, Staten Island

Summer on the Hudson/Riverside Park Conservancy, Manhattan


Participating artists:

Anh Vo

Artichoke Dance Company

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem

Keith Josef Adkins

Kinesis Project dance theatre

Monica Dudárov Hunken & Leah Bachar

Pajarillo Pinta'o / ID Studio Theater

Rafael de Balanzo Joue / Daniel Pravit Fethke

Richard Move / MoveOpolis! 

Sidiki Conde and his Tokounou Ensemble

Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble

Tea, Arts & Culture

Thomas Fucaloro / Cyn / Manners And Respect / I-Am-I and Jah Jah Beats


Friday June 7 @ 6pm

BROOKLYN - Fort Greene Park, Fort Greene (Enter at North Portland Ave and Myrtle Ave.)

Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble in "Pliable Futures" (Performance / Music / Theater)

Experience a dynamic fusion of jazz, dance, and theater addressing the global plastic crisis in this unique, durational, site-specific performance. Strike Anywhere's talented ensemble of jazz musicians, dancers, and actors will lead audiences through the park using Soundpainting (live composing sign language) to guide their improvisations in real-time. The ensemble will weave music, movement, and narrative into a captivating exploration of our world's plastic plight. This performance deftly employs creativity and humor to spark dialogue about an urgent environmental issue.

Friday June 7 @ 6:00 PM and 6:30 PM

MANHATTAN - Riverside Park (Meet at Riverside Drive and 79th Street)

Richard Move / MoveOpolis! (Dance) in "Devrai (Sacred Grove)"  (Dance)

"Devrai (Sacred Grove)" calls attention to our local ecosystems and landscapes.  The Indian word "Devrai" is a compound of Dev meaning 'God' and 'Rai' meaning forest. A prehistoric tradition of nature conservation, sacred groves have long been revered as sacrosanct and imbued with the belief that no creature may be harmed within its boundaries.  This performance of "Devrai (Sacred Grove)" is a section Richard Move's "Herstory of the Universe" series commissioned by the Trust for Governors Island as part of "Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island."  It was cited in "Best Dance of 2021" by The New York Times. Performed by Aristotle Luna (of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Richard Move / MoveOpolis!) Presented in collaboration with Summer on the Hudson/Riverside Park Conservancy

Friday June 7 @ 6:00 PM

MANHATTAN - Inwood Hill Park, Gailic Field (Use the 218th entrance to the Park. We'll guide you from there.)

Kinesis Project Dance Theatre in "Bridge Matter/The Reach (an excerpt)" (Dance Theater)

Kinesis Project brings new life into Inwood Hill Park with this excerpt of "Bridge Matter/The Reach," created specifically for the park and Kinesis Project's uptown community. Audiences will be led along pathways, waterways and bridge views with gorgeous dancing and the live music of Grammy Award winning musician Johnny Butler. "Bridge Matter/The Reach" is a second collaboration with the research of geoscientist Dr. Missy Eppes and her colleagues, studying how our shifting climate is affecting even the bedrock of our earth.

Friday, June 7 @ 6pm

QUEENS - Hunters Point South Park, Long Island City (Meet at Overhang. Enter the park at 56th Avenue and Center Blvd.)

Sidiki Conde and his Tokounou Ensemble in "Guinean Environmental Stewardship Traditions" (Music) Presented in collaboration with Hunters Point Park Alliance

NEA Heritage Fellow Sidiki Conde and his Tokounou Ensemble present Guinean environmental stewardship traditions to address the global climate crisis through song. Conde, best known for his remarkable drumming and dancing despite the loss of his legs to polio as a child, is a spiritual authority called a "Sundousou" for his ancestral village, Mancellia in Guinea, West Africa. He is one of this tradition's last keepers of stories who, to this day, is called upon by village community members to perform baby naming, funeral, and marriage ceremonies. As his mother speaks the language of birds, Conde's particular spirit familiar (a kind of "spirit animal") is the "dugah," or the vulture, whose funeral songs celebrate the passing of great leaders.

Saturday, June 8 @ 3pm

BROOKLYN - Newtown Creek Nature Walk, Kingsland Ave., Greenpoint

Meet at the southeast entrance to the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, across the street from 540 Kingsland Avenue

Artichoke Dance Company in "Water Rises" (Dance, Walk, Listen, Look) Presented in collaboration with Newtown Creek Alliance

Reflect on the nature of water and its importance as a life sustaining entity, while traversing through the Walk's varied landscape in this dynamic performance journey through the Newtown Creek Nature Walk.  Artichoke Dance Company is known for innovative and engaging performances paired with environmental activism, education, community building and civic engagement. Previous large scale projects have addressed plastic pollution mitigation on Coney Island, single use plastic bags in New York, river revitalization in Los Angeles, and water use and rights in the desert southwest. Founded in 1995, Artichoke Dance has held twenty New York seasons and toured nationally and internationally.

Saturday, June 8 @ 3pm

BRONX - Bronx River Community Garden (Meet at 1086 E 180th Street)

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem in "Land Connections: Reflections with Dennis" (Interactive Performance) Presented in collaboration with Bronx River Community Garden

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem invites the public to join him in an interactive observance to create a space filled with positive energy and reflections on our connections to the land. Participants will engage in Dennis' practices of reflection, manifestation, transformation, and holistic approaches. These practices are deeply rooted in his Black and Indigenous cultural heritage, honoring ancestors who are intertwined with the very land we live on.

By participating, the community will explore ancestral connections, learn about cultural traditions, and develop a greater understanding of how these influences shape our relationship with the land. The project aims to foster a sense of unity, respect, and reverence for the earth, while also celebrating the rich cultural history that Dennis brings to his work.

Saturday, June 8 @ 3pm

BRONX - Barretto Point Park, 1201 Viele Ave

Pajarillo Pinta'o in "Dance in Connection: Indigenous, Afro & Contemporary dances to bring us closer to Mother Earth," presented by  ID Studio Theater and Daniel Fetecua  Soto.  (Dance)

Pajarillo Pinta'o Dance Company will perform traditional and contemporary dance works based on Colombian dances and their connection to Mother Earth, exploring indigenous influences in today's culture and the reconstruction of the MUISCA language—Mysk Kubun, lost for over 400 years and now being revitalized. This language originates from the Andes Mountains. Additionally, the company will showcase dances influenced by the African diaspora along Colombia's Pacific coast.

ID Studio Theater, based in the South Bronx, advances the artistic and social development of immigrant communities through innovative work in the performing arts. The troupe unites artistic excellence with social justice, developing new artistic works through a deeply collaborative workshop process with diverse Latine community members, utilizing the performing arts as a foundation for catalyzing community awareness, collective action and inter-community dialogue. In the past 20 years, IDS has developed over 25 bilingual theater and music productions within immigrant communities throughout NYC and beyond.

Daniel Fetecua Soto is a New York-based Colombian dancer, choreographer, educator and producer. A soloist member of the Limón Dance Company for ten years and has appeared as guest artist in Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring and Tannhäuser.  He is the founder and artistic director of two dance companies: Pajarillo Pinta'o, a dance company that preserves and promotes the Colombian traditional dances through dance performance, workshops and classes, and D-Moves, a contemporary dance project that combines Colombian traditions, Modern Dance and German Tanz-Theater. 

Saturday, June 8 @ 3pm

MANHATTAN - Riverside Park (72nd Street and Riverside Drive, near Eleanor Roosevelt Statue)

"The Heat Will Kill Everything" by Keith Josef Adkins (Theater) Presented in collaboration with Summer on the Hudson/Riverside Park Conservancy

A Black father's daughter disappears during an extreme heat event. Excerpts will be performed by Francois Battiste and directed by Russell G. Jones.

Playwright Keith Josef Adkins is a writer and artistic director. His plays have been produced around the U.S., and include The People Before The Park, about the 19th-century black community Seneca Village that was razed to create Central Park. Keith received Samuel French's inaugural Award for Impact and Activism in the Theater Community and a Helen Merrill Playwright Award. He is the co-founder and artistic director of The New Black Fest, dedicated to new and provocative playwriting and discussion from the African Diaspora. He has written for CBS' "The Good Fight," ABC's "For The People" and "P-Valley" on STARZ.


MANHATTAN - Eastside Outside Community Garden, 415 East 11th Street

"Community Poetry & Tea" with Tea, Arts & Culture (Interactive Ceremony, Poetry) Presented in collaboration with Eastside Outside Community Garden

Through the Odes to Common Things, we will share tea and explore poetry from Pablo Neruda and Keorapetse Kgositsile, uncovering our deep bond with nature and the interconnectedness between ourselves. Tuning into nature's myriad stories could offer us profound insights into navigating our collective journey on our shared planet. Tea, Arts & Culture began as a gathering of friends and tea lovers to enjoy nature and tea in the park starting in 2019. Compelled to respond to the rapidly shifting world during the start of the pandemic, they are committed to using tea arts and culture to nurture community and belonging in the face of isolation and to cultivate mindfulness and inspiration in the face of our daily challenges. They believe that they can support communities in need through fostering an appreciation of tea, arts, nature, oneself, and one another.

Saturday, June 8 @ 3pm

STATEN ISLAND -- Tappen Park (intersection of Canal, Water, and Bay streets)

Various artists in "Mixed Use" (Poetry, Music)

With Manners and Respect, Thomas Fucaloro and Cynthia Rodriguez. Presented in collaboration with Roc-A-Natural Cultural Foundation

Staten Island Artists explore their relationship to Tappen Park and the effects of climate change on their beloved island.  The park is among the oldest public parks on Staten Island and is a former village center that predates the borough's annexation by the City of New York.  It is named after WWI veteran James Tappen. Various artists based in and around the Staten Island borough will come together for this event, including:

Manners and Respect, a rap-reggae fusion duo that's been bringing the vibes since the early days of the millennium.  It is formed by brothers Imanuel I-AM-I Stennett and Jahfree Jah Jah Beats Stennett. Their sound is a melting pot of their experiences growing up on the East Coast, heavily influenced by the golden age of hip-hop and the infectious rhythms of reggae blasting from local Caribbean shops.

Poet Thomas Fucaloro, winner of numerous grants from the Staten Island Council of the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes and NYC Commission of Human Rights to name a few He has been on six national slam teams. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School and is a co-founding editor of Great Weather for Media and NYSAI press.

Cynthia Rodriguez is a multi-talented artist who expresses herself through words and paint, often using both hands ambidextrously in her creations. Driven by a desire to inspire others, she seeks to encourage individuals to share their stories and embrace their authenticity, living life fully in their truth.

Sunday June 9, 3pm

BROOKLYN - Newtown Creek Nature Walk, Greenpoint (Meet at the entry near 59 Paidge Ave.)

Monica Dudárov Hunken and Leah Bachar in "Brooklyn is Not a Sacrifice Zone" (Interactive Theater) Presented in collaboration with Newtown Creek Alliance

Walk along the banks of the Newtown Creek Nature Walk with this live theater community-engaged performance, while hearing the stories and visions of local residents and activists who dream to topple their neighbor, a giant fracked gas depot, and imagine what the landscape could be if National Grid's site was decommissioned and the land rehabilitated.  With text from interviews with Margot Spindelman, Katherine Thompson, Kier Blake, Anna Tsomo, EW Fye, GiGi Niesen, Kevin LaCherra, William Vega, Kim Fraczek, Willis Elkins, Eric Kun.

Leah Bachar combines a passion for guerrilla theatre, different cultures, the written word, surreal stagings, entering trance states, dancing, radical artistic collaboration and social experiments, curating happenings where performance art and human healing intertwine.

Monica Dudárov Hunken is an activist, storyteller, and teacher who creates docu-adventure plays inspired by her international bicycle voyages.

Sunday June 9, 3pm

BROOKLYN - Brower Park, Prospect Place. (Meet at the Shirley Chisholm Circle)

"Weather" by Anh Vo (Dance)

As an ongoing offering to the unknowability of the weather, the work attempts to sit with what it means to be a small living being—a smallness so intolerable that it must be projected outwards, bottling the weather into the stuff of small talk.

Anh Vo is a Vietnamese dancer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. They create dances and texts about pornography and queer relations, about being and form, about identity and abstraction, about history and its colonial reality. They receive their degrees in Performance Studies from Brown University (BA) and New York University (MA). Vo is currently a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Described by the New York Times as "risky, erotic, enigmatic and boldly humorous," their choreographic works have been presented nationally and internationally by Target Margin Theater, The Kitchen, Performance Space New York, Brown University, Production Workshop, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Madrid), greenroom (Seoul), Montréal arts interculturels (Montréal), among others.

Sunday, June 9 at 3pm

BROOKLYN - Prospect Park (Meet at Endale Arch, Grand Army Plaza entrance)

Rafael de Balanzo Joue and Daniel Pravit Fethke in "Resilience Thinking Walkscape" (Interactive Performance)

A meditative group-walk through the northern end of Prospect Park that is designed around thinking through ecologies of resilience. Following an infinity-loop pathway, participants will begin making quiet observations about sites in the park both spectacular and mundane. As the walk continues, the group will focus more on radical collaboration and the creation of new liberatory communities. Touchpoints will include utopian urban planning, histories of queer cruising, and ways of seeing Prospect Park as a radically resilient public sphere. Presented in collaboration with Social Practice CUNY.

Rafael de Balanzo is the founder of the Urban Resilience Thinking Design Studio. His research in Sustainability science used the resilience thinking design approach by understanding the social-technological-ecological systems dynamics and cycles of change in linked complex adaptive systems such as cities, communities, and buildings.

Daniel Pravit Fethke is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator from New York's Hudson Valley. He has exhibited work internationally in Bangkok, Berlin, Barcelona, and domestically at the Yale School of Art, Recess Art Space, and the Knockdown Center. Daniel was a resident at the Wassaic Project (2024), and will be a Culinary Resident at the Ox-Bow School of Art (2024-25).


Robin Schatell is a creative producer who works with artists, arts groups, cultural and community organizations and city agencies to organize creative visions for activating public spaces with arts and cultural programming. She is Co-Founder of Mov!ng Culture Projects, Director of Museum Mile Festival for 20 years, Founder and Artistic Director of Riverside Park's Summer on the Hudson Festival, Executive Director of River To River Festival, Director of Programming for Madison Square Parks' Mad Sq Art program, Curator of Public Programs for the Van Alen Institute, Managing Director of Performance Space 122, and Ralph Lemon Company, Founder of The Puffin Room and a member of Manhattan Community Board 3.

Dr. Frank Hentschker (Executive Director, The Segal Center) holds a PhD in theater from the now legendary Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany. He came to the Graduate Center in 2001 as program director for the Graduate Center's Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and was appointed to the central doctoral faculty in theater in 2009.


The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC), The Graduate Center, CUNY, is a non-profit Center for theater, affiliated with CUNY's Ph.D. Program in Theater. The Center's primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts.


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