Rebecca Oviatt performed with other dancers from Dancewave, a Brooklyn-based dance education organization. Dancewave was one of 17 performing arts organizations that were selected last October as recipients of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s Rehearsal Residency Initiative. Photo by Ariana Hellerman
There can be no surer harbingers of recovery from COVID than live performances and outdoor events. And this past weekend, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership kicked off the return of its annual events series, “Downtown Brooklyn Presents.”
“After a modified 2020 season and a year of uncertainty, the spring launch is only the start of a season that looks forward to Downtown Brooklyn and all of NYC coming together as a community and collectively moving toward recovery,” a statement from the organization said.
The programming, also known as DTBK Presents, kicked off Saturday, March 20, with live music by the New Orleans-inspired all-women brass band, the Brass Queens, at Albee Square in honor of Women’s History Month.
“After a long, hard winter, we are excited to announce a spring lineup that will give Brooklynites something to look forward to,” said Regina Myer, president of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “DTBK Presents finds creative ways to put one of our most important assets to good use: the parks and plazas that make up Downtown Brooklyn.”
Also opening the season will be a weekly series of solo musical performances composed in response to immersive public art installation Breathing Pavilion by artist Ekene Ijeoma, on show at The Plaza at 300 Ashland from until May 11.
Breathing Pavilion: A Weekly Solo Music Series brings an impressive lineup of musicians whose performances evoke the broader themes conveyed in in Ijeoma’s work, including interconnectedness and self-reflection. Featured musicians include renowned trumpeter Keyon Harrold, Melanie Charles on flute, Joel Ross on vibraphone, and Baba Don Babatunde of the Last Poets, among others.
New additions to the Spring DTBK Presents slate include a weekly happy hour music series at Al B’s beer garden at Albee Square and Pratt Institute’s end-of-semester Live Look-Book experience for fashion design students, both at Albee Square.
Meanwhile, crowd favorites will make a comeback, from the popular Zumba classes presented in partnership with Dodge YMCA, to the kid-friendly Ping Pong Happy Hours at the MetroTech Commons, to the annual Earth Day celebration on April 24.
The Downtown Brooklyn Rehearsal Residency Initiative is set to return at MetroTech Commons, offering free outdoor rehearsal space to artists and the opportunity for the public to watch renowned companies in their creative process.
Other popular features that are slated to return to Downtown Brooklyn include an “Indoor/Outdoor Block Party” on May 22, presented by City Point and Brooklyn Bridge Parents; Distanced Disco with Mobile Mondays, starting on June 3; Movement Mondays with Chelsea Piers Fitness, starting on June 7; the Mark Morris Dance Group on the Plaza, from June 11-13; a Juneteenth celebration on the weekend of June 18; Willoughby Walks on Monday, June 21; and “Funky Fridays: Pride,” a celebratory party on Friday, June 25.