Gov Island Arts – The Open Orchard by Sam Van Aken – Photo by Julienne Schaer

A jam-packed lineup includes art exhibitions, educational workshops & interactive exhibits, outdoor films, artist residencies, and more—free and open to all

Governors Island Arts today announced a schedule of programming and exhibitions for the Island’s peak summer season, including a range of events for locals and visitors of all ages to enjoy. This season’s lineup includes art exhibits, educational workshops, the return of outdoor films on the Parade Ground, public art installations, and the annual Organizations in Residence program—where 24+ NYC-based nonprofits will highlight arts, culture, environmentalism, and education through exhibitions, talks, screenings, residencies, and workshops in the historic former military houses in Nolan Park and Colonels Row. 

“Governors Island has grown into one of our city’s premiere arts and culture destinations, and our 2023 Summer Season offerings showcase just how vital the arts community is to the ongoing success of our Island,” said Clare Newman, President & CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Some of the most compelling arts installations in the world make their home on Governors Island, and we encourage visitors to join us on the Island, enjoy the excellent weather and take in the amazing free arts and culture offerings we are proud to present this season.”

“This year we are thrilled to welcome a myriad of talented artists and creators to the Island for a season full of cultural programming unlike any other,” said Meredith Johnson, VP of Art and Culture at the Trust for Governors Island. “As we continue to expand public access to the Island, Governors Island Arts is proud to offer interactive and engaging educational programming that is free for all visitors to enjoy and to continue to grow the cultural community that has long thrived on GovernorsIsland.” 


The American Manifest Chapter Two: Moving Chains, by Charles Gaines will reopen in summer 2023. Governors Island Arts and Creative Time will host a free convening event in response to this work on Saturday, May 20, 2023. Moving Chains: Toward Abolition will bring together an interdisciplinary group of artists, scholars, and educators working on strategies for abolition within art, law, education, and political action. The event continues a critical dialogue examining the American origin story, initiated by Charles Gaines last summer with the launch of his multi-year, multi-site public art project anchored by Moving Chains, which will be activated during the event and reopens for regular public hours this summer on Governors Island.

Sam Van Aken’s monumental The Open Orchard, on view in the Island’s award-winning, climate-resilient park, welcomes visitors year-round to experience the changing seasons in this orchard comprised of 102 fruit trees that acts as a living archive for antique and heirloom varieties that were grown in and around New York City in the past 400 years but have mostly disappeared due to climate change and the industrialization of agriculture. Additional long-term public art installations—including Rachel Whiteread’s Cabin, Mark Handforth’s Yankee Hanger,Duke Riley’s Not for Nutten, and Mark Dion’s The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist—remain on view daily. 


Two dozen arts, culture, educational, and environmentalnonprofits utilize space inside the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row to present a robust calendar of free public programs, host artist residencies, and engage visitors in special activities for all ages throughout the summer months. Organizations in Residence are open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am to 5pmfrom May 5 through October 29. Governors Island Arts will hold a press preview with performances and house tours on Friday, May 5, from 11am to 1pm, RSVP to to attend. 

This year’s lineup features a wide array of programming spanning disciplines—including dance classes and other performance-based works, outdoor sculptures, environmental educational activities, youth programming, and film installations, and explores themes including definitions of home, the interconnectedness of soil ecosystem health, memory and family histories, the idea of the maternal within the African diaspora, the intersection of environmental justice and art, and much more. Programs from this year’s Organizations in Residence will include the following, with more to be announced:

American Indian Community House (AICH)Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 15

AICH has a long tradition of supporting indigenousperformers through its “Indian Summer” performing arts, visual arts, and written word programs. This summer, these artists will plan and enact arts programs for the public while using space on Governors Island to create new works. 

ArtCrawl Harlem Manhattan

Colonels Row Building 406B

ArtCrawl Harlem will usher in their fourth season on Governors Island with the annual Boundaries and Connections artist residency program, featuring DaquaneCherry, Courtney Minor, and Martyryce Roach, and their first-ever Literary Artist in Residence Missy Burton. 

ArtsConnection Manhattan*

Colonels Row Building 408B

ArtsConnection will kick off their Governors Island residency with a calendar of arts an cultural offerings including: free summer programing through Map Free City summer intensive, ArtsConnection’s Teens Program Finale Event on Saturday, May 20, a Teens Curate Teens Art Exhibition, and artist residencies inviting 15 professional artists from ArtsConnection’s teaching artist roster. 

BronxArtSpace The Bronx

Colonels Row Building 407A

BronxArtsSpace will host 12 Bronx-based artists in residence on Governors Island this summer with several free open studios and other events. Featured artistsinclude Eugene Bluford, Andrea Resendiz Gomez, Alexis Montoya, Dauris Martinez, Alexander Rubildo, Deborah Yasinsky, and more. 

Billion Oyster Project Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 16

Billion Oyster Project’s house will hold an oyster display, inviting visitors to learn more about these ecosystems and engineers, their importance to New York Harbor, and how everyone can get involved.  

Escaping Time: Art from U.S. Prisons Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 8B 

Escaping Time showcases artwork created by individuals who have experienced or are currently experiencing incarceration in the United States. In addition to weekly exhibitions, Escaping Time will also hold several events and workshops—including a workshop on creating art in prison and a discussion exploring the evolution of plantations into prisons across the United States. 

Flux Factory Queens

Colonels Row Building 404A

Flux Factory will host Flux Saturdays on the last Saturday each month from May through October. Organized by different artists each month, the program will take many forms including pop-up exhibitions, performances, workshops, screenings, artist presentations and more.

KODA Brooklyn

Colonels Row Building 404B

KODA will present a solo exhibition and three-month residency with Queens-born multimedia artist Sa’diaRehman. Rehman’s solo show, titled Desire Linies, will feature a video, works on paper, and an evolving installation.

Fountain House Gallery Manhattan*

Colonels Row Building 410A

Fountain House Gallery will hold monthly artist residencies with participating artists Michal Behar, Guiomar Giraldo-Baron, Rene Santiago, Roger Jones, Ray Lopez, Mary Minty, Eva Tortora, Nancy Caton, Je’JaeMizrahi (aka mx.enigma), vermilion, Guiomar Giraldo-Baron, Aracelis Rivera, Boo Lynn Walsh, Kerry Kennedy, and Valerie Kerr. 

Harvestworks Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 10A

Harvestworks and social group/artist collective LiveCode_NYC will co-present Regen Circuit, an arts and tech exhibition that will also feature performances, workshops and presentations, and other installations.

The Lower Eastside Girls Club Manhattan*

Colonels Row Building 408A

The LowerEastSide Girls Club will bring Memory Lab to Governors Island. Showcasing a culmination of student work along with interactive rooms, this exhibit explores the inner workings of nostalgia and celebrates family histories through storytelling while seeking to evoke collective memory through story sharing, photography, sound, childhood games, archival textiles, and media.

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADABrooklyn

Nolan Park Building 7A

MoCADA will present The M’Dear Project, a multimedia exhibition featuring rising women-identified artists that honors the power of the ever-present feminine principle centered prominently throughout the African diaspora, and the Bandung Residency, a residency program presented by the Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) in collaboration with MoCADA designed to uplift the work of organizers, artists, and educators whose practice is intended to foster solidarity between Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Black communities.

New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 18

The New Art Dealers Alliance will present the fifth edition of NADA House, a collaborative public exhibition featuring galleries, non-profits, and artist-run spaces presenting artists in the historic spaces in Nolan Park.

New York Latin American Art Triennial (NYLAAT)Manhattan

Colonels Row Building 405B

NYLAAT will present The Earth is Blue, an exhibition of recent drawings by Nelson Avarez that explores the interconnectedness of our planet’s ecosystems and the fragile balance that exists within them, along with an artist residency program featuring Carlos Llobet, Maria Elena Pombo, Miguel Braceli Sierra, Mildor Chevalier and Yohanna Roa. 

NYC Audubon Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 17

NYC Audubon will hold weekly birding workshops and events along with an Artist in Residence (AiR) program that offers three local artists an opportunity to investigate birds and wildlife conservation in the context of urban natural space and public engagement. The 2023 AiRcohort, made up of Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Dario Mohr, and Carolyn Monstra, will exhibit works developed during the residency period throughout August to the end of October.

Oye Group Brooklyn*

Nolan Park Building 18

Dive into the Mercedes story, inspired by Modesto “Flako” Jimenez’s grandmother and the legacy of Latineindividuals she helped migrate to the country and gain their footing in Brooklyn. Integrating interactive augmented reality, video, audio, photography, and family heirlooms, learn about Mercedes’ journey to the United States and her battle with dementia. Visitors may also participate in the Mercedes Healing Room Workshop Series—free, 2-hour art workshops for community members with dementia and their caregivers. Led by various artists, this program will provide a relaxed atmosphere to engage in self-care and creative self-expression.

Pratt School of Architecture Brooklyn

Nolan Park Building 14

Project Bring It Home/The Stars of Tomorrow Project, Inc. Manhattan*

Nolan Park Building 8B

Project Bring It Home/The Stars of Tomorrow Project, Inc. will hold youth development programs and activities that use the performing arts  to help young people discover the world and how to navigate it. 

Residency Unlimited (RU) Brooklyn

Colonels Row Building 404B

RU resident artists will present exhibitions and performances throughout the summer, beginning in May with work by Ahmet Civelek, Agrina Vllasaliu, Alma Gacanin, Glorija Lizde, Veronika Molnar, and Sha. 

Staten Island Urban Center Staten Island*

Nolan Park Building 5B

Staten Island Urban Center will showcase Environmental Justice Art and Action, a public multimedia art experience that centers on Staten Island’s waterfront as a place in pursuit of social change and environmental justice. Theexhibit presents art, music, and opportunities for visitors to examine the struggle, potential, creativity, and beauty of waterfront neighborhoods when community voices are at the center, fighting for environmental and social justice. 

Swale Brooklyn

Nolan Park Building 11

Swale, Urban Solis Institute, and Creature Conserve are partnering to present Re-imagining Conservation: From the Ground Up, and exhibition that includes works from 23 artists and 10 writers from five different countries and focuses on the role healthy soil plays in supporting a healthy ecosystem. The artworks included in this exhibition present multiple lenses of viewing relationships with soils, and prompt viewers to ask: What if people imagine human-animal-soil interactions in ways that support healthier lives for all species?

Syracuse University Studio Art M.F.A. Syracuse, NY

Colonels Row Building 403

Syracuse will hold a graduate student artist residency, featuring Jared leClaire, Declan Yert, and Markus Denil.

Taiwanese American Arts Council Queens*

Nolan Park Building 7B

Taiwanese American Arts Council will present exhibitions, host artist residencies, and hold several outdoor performances and public programs during their residency on Governors Island. Featured artists will include Ming-Jer Kuo, Sarah Walko, Poyen Wang, Huan-yu Pan, Lulu Meng, Chenyi Wu, and Julia Hsia.

TransBorder Art Queens*

Colonels Row Building 405A

Transborder Art will host 23 artists and five curators, creating works inspired by New York City’s natural ecosystems. The residency’s mission is a twofold learning experience: engaging the public visiting the Island through enjoyment and participation in artist workshops along with allowing the artists to interact with the community and enrich their work. 

West Harlem Art Fund Manhattan

Nolan Park Building 10B

The West Harlem Art Fund will present quilt artists, work by an array of international students from City College, historical narratives and public art that speaks to the heart and honors Black alchemy, legacy, and folklore.

In addition to those listed above, several organizations will produce outdoor works and other events throughout the summer. These include: 

NYU Gallatin WetLab Manhattan

Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance Brooklyn*

Outside Colonels Row Building 405

Cumbe will offer free dance and drum classes on select Saturdays and other dates throughout the season. Classes include Congolese, Samba, Haitian, ASA Fitness, Hula, Moroccan Chaabi, Afro-Fusion, and more, reflecting their vision to bring ashé—the West African principle recognizing the power and authority of all living things to produce profound change—into our everyday lives.

caribBEING Brooklyn*

Colonels Row

caribBEING brings their unique and inspired solar-powered mobile art + cultural + market space reflecting the cultural heritage of Brooklyn’s Caribbean Diaspora to Colonels Row on Governors Island this summer. Exhibitions include Life with Basquiat, a collection of photos by Alexis Adler, the Works from Grenada Art Residency (presented in partnership with Calabar Gallery), and Curren$ea, an artist residency program exploring the full scope of Caribbean cultural, geopolitical, and economical identity from the time of pre-colonization to the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the present. 

* Denotes a first-time member of the Organizations in Residence program


Free events and programs will continue to be announced throughout the season, including the return of outdoor films on the Parade Ground in partnership with Film at Lincoln Center and Rooftop Films on June 9, July 7, August 11, 2023, with films to be announced, the second annual House Fest—a three-day celebration of the Organizations in Residence in Nolan Park and Colonels Row—in late summer, and more.

This summer, Bloomberg Connects—a free app focused on arts and culture—will also include an extensive guide for the public art on view and other key aspects of the Governors Island experience. The guide will provide information for visitors onsite and will be accessible from anywhere in the world.

Governors Island Arts was a key commitment in New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery, with today’s announcement marks the second set of new initiatives. 

About Governors Island Arts

Governors Island Arts, the public arts and cultural program presented by the Trust for Governors Island, creates transformative encounters with art for all New Yorkers, inviting artists and researchers to engage with the issues of our time in the context of the Island’s layered histories, environments, and architecture. Governors Island Arts achieves this mission through temporary and long-term public art commissions, an annual Organization in Residence program in the Island’s historic houses, and free public programs and events in partnership with a wide range of cross-disciplinary NYC cultural organizations. For more information, visit  

About the Trust for Governors Island

The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to realize the full potential of Governors Island for the inspiration and enjoyment of all New Yorkers, demonstrating a bold vision for public space. For more information, visit