Open Culture Program Brings Live Events to Brooklyn Streets

Open Culture Program Brings Live Events to Brooklyn Streets
Performers at Dock Street between Front Street and Water Street, Brooklyn. Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

This Spring, over 50 Brooklyn streets may be used as entertainment venues, thanks to the new Open Culture program.

Open Culture will shut down selected streets (see at the end of the story) to drivers and turn them into ticketed socially distanced performances, workshops, and classes. The events can include museums, concert venues, dance classes, theater performances and comedy shows. Each event can have up to 200 people present and can run for as long as 12 hours.

Open Culture was formed by a partnership between Citywide Events Coordination and Management/ Street Activity Permit Office, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).

Each event will require a permit from the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office and may apply for up to four events per location per month. Those who wish to apply for a permit must meet the COVID-19 event guidelines, which include one block or less event radius, the local community board and precincts approval, and a COVID Safety Plan Affirmation that must be signed and uploaded. The events cannot interfere with Open Streets or Open Restaurants locations, however, permits will be considered on Open Streets if it takes up less than 50% of the street for less than six hours.

“Brooklyn’s dynamic artistic community has been eagerly awaiting opportunities to participate in the revitalization of our creative economy by presenting their work to the public in ways that are safe and engaging,” said Charlotte A. Cohen, Executive Director of Brooklyn Arts Council in the announcement.

“We are so delighted to see the City innovating the Open Culture Program as part of a collective effort to bring creativity back to our streets and our lives – we need the arts to reflect our shared humanity now more than ever, after a period of so much suffering and loss,” she added.

Two Brooklyn groups have been approved for Open Culture venues in the upcoming days.

This Saturday, March 27, Tiny Crowds Concert Series, produced by the Brooklyn venue, Purgatory, will host its first concert in East Williamsburg, on Manhattan Ave between Grand and Maujer St.

The concert will include two New York-based musicians, Bad Turner and Despina. The sold out show will open at 5:30 pm and the performance will begin at 6 pm.

Tiny Crowds Concerts’ second show flyer. via Tiny Crowds

Tiny Crowds Concert Series’ second show “A Railroad Hart Showcase” will be on April at 6:30 pm. The show will feature two New York-based artists, J. Hoard and Kamilah. Tickets for the show can be found here.

On April 9, 16, and 23, Movement Speaks, a class from Dances For A Variable Population (DVP), will host classes in Downtown Brooklyn on Hoyt St between Schermerhorn and State St.

DVP chose Downtown Brooklyn as the location for their classes because the studio has a lot of students in Brooklyn, said Naomi Goldberg Haas, Artistic Director for the group. DVP intends to keep using the location for as long as Open Cultures is open.

Staying in the same location each month will give DVP the ability to build a relationship with their students, said Goldberg Haas.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this program, promoting dance and creative movement on the streets, seeing people in person, and inspiring each other,” said Goldberg Haas.

“It’s about other people connecting face-to-face with people and allowing people to experience culture in relationship to someone else,” she added.

Here are the currently approved Open Culture locations in Brooklyn:

  • Ashland Place BETWEEN Fulton Street AND Lafayette Avenue
  • East 18th Street BETWEEN Church Avenue AND Caton Avenue
  • Hanson Place BETWEEN South Portland Avenue AND South Elliott place
  • Hanson Place BETWEEN South Oxford Street AND South Portland Avenue
  • Main Street BETWEEN Water Street AND Front Street
  • Manhattan Avenue BETWEEN Grand Street AND Maujer Street
  • Moore Street BETWEEN Graham Avenue AND Humboldt Street
  • South Oxford Street BETWEEN Lafayette Avenue AND Fulton Street
  • South Oxford Street BETWEEN Atlantic Commons AND Hanson Place
  • St. Felix Street BETWEEN Fulton Street AND Lafayette Avenue
  • St. Felix Street BETWEEN Hanson Place AND Lafayette Avenue
  • Hegeman Avenue BETWEEN Christopher Avenue AND Mother Gaston Boulevard
  • Carlton Avenue BETWEEN Flatbush Avenue AND Park Place
  • Fort Greene Place BETWEEN Lafayette Avenue AND Hanson Place
  • Rockwell Place BETWEEN Fulton Street AND DeKalb Avenue
  • Rockwell Place BETWEEN Fulton Street AND Lafayette Avenue
  • South Portland Avenue BETWEEN Hanson Place AND Atlantic Avenue
  • St. Marks Avenue BETWEEN 6th Avenue AND Flatbush Avenue
  • Bragg Street BETWEEN Avenue W AND Avenue X
  • Whitwell Place BETWEEN 1st Street AND Carroll Street
  • 6th Street BETWEEN 3rd Avenue AND 2nd Avenue
  • 7th Street BETWEEN 3rd Avenue AND 2nd Avenue
  • Beverly Road BETWEEN Church Avenue AND East 2nd Street
  • Degraw Street BETWEEN Nevins Street AND 3rd Avenue
  • Sackett Street BETWEEN 3rd Avenue AND 4th Avenue
  • Sackett Street BETWEEN Nevins Street AND 3rd Avenue
  • Douglass Street BETWEEN Bond Street AND Hoyt Street
  • Adams Street BETWEEN Sands Street AND Prospect Street
  • Bond Street BETWEEN Livingston Street AND Fulton Street
  • Division Avenue BETWEEN Kent Avenue AND Dead End
  • Dock Street BETWEEN Front Street AND Water Street
  • Gallatin Place BETWEEN Livingston Street AND Fulton Street
  • Greenpoint Avenue BETWEEN West Street AND Dead End
  • Hoyt Street BETWEEN Schermerhorn Street AND State Street
  • North 6th Street BETWEEN Berry Street AND Bedford Avenue
  • North 6th Street BETWEEN Kent Avenue AND North 6th Place
  • 56th Street BETWEEN 4th Avenue AND 5th Avenue
  • 59th Street BETWEEN 5th Avenue AND 6th Avenue
  • Richards Street BETWEEN Verona Street AND Visitation Place
  • Richards Street BETWEEN Visitation Place AND Pioneer Street
  • Richards Street BETWEEN Pioneer Street AND King Street
  • West 10th Street BETWEEN Surf Avenue AND Riegelmann Boardwalk
  • West 12th Street BETWEEN Avenue V AND 86th Street
  • West 22nd Street BETWEEN Neptune Avenue AND Dead End
  • West 23rd Street BETWEEN Neptune Avenue AND Dead End
  • 4th Street BETWEEN 5th Avenue AND Mid-block
  • Manhattan Avenue BETWEEN Jackson Street AND Withers Street
  • President Street BETWEEN 4th Avenue AND 3rd Avenue
  • Union Street BETWEEN Hoyt Street AND Bond Street
  • Commercial Street BETWEEN Box Street AND Clay Street
  • Garfield Place BETWEEN 8th Avenue  AND Prospect Park West
  • Lincoln Place BETWEEN 6th Avenue AND 7th Avenue
  • Park Place BETWEEN 7th Avenue AND Flatbush Avenue

You can find upcoming events near you at the NYC Event Permit site.