With generous support from Citizens, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is thrilled to announce “Backpacks and Blockbusters”, a FREE movie series throughout New York City from August 11, 2023 through October 13, 2023. Select movie nights will also include FREE backpacks and school supply giveaways organized by local garden groups.

NYRP is a 28-year-old nonprofit nature conservancy founded by Bette Midler. The organization owns and operates 52 community gardens throughout all five boroughs, which includes supporting FREE public programming in these spaces.

Movies scheduled to be shown in NYRP gardens include Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverThe Wiz, and Friday the 13th (which will screen on Friday, October 13) among others. Further details will be announced, and all events are listed in the NYRP calendar at nyrp.org/free

NYRP thanks Citizens for its generous support of our work to provide FREE programming in our community gardens throughout New York City.

New details may be announced closer to the event dates—go to nyrp.org/free for updates. As of August 2, 2023 dates, locations, movies, and giveaways include:


“New York Restoration Project is thrilled to partner with Citizens to bring ‘Backpacks and Blockbusters’ to our community gardens,” said New York Restoration Project Executive Director Lynn Bodnar Kelly. “The gardens are the best place to be on a summer night, and with Citizens’ support, we are proud to help students around the city prepare for the new school year.”

“Citizens takes pride in supporting the neighborhoods we serve, and we’re thankful for the terrific partnership we’ve built with NYRP to bring together this fun and creative movie night series for families across the city to enjoy,” said Rebecca O’Connell, NYC Metro Region Executive, Citizens. “Plus, young people in our community will receive backpacks and school supplies to help them thrive this coming schoolyear, which is what really makes this initiative special.”


New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve access to high-quality public green space. Since our founding in 1995 by Bette Midler, NYRP has worked collaboratively with residents in communities across the five boroughs to renovate gardens, restore parks, plant trees, promote urban agriculture, and build partnerships that transform the city’s landscape. We are committed to creating a greener, more resilient city for all.

NYRP cares for 52 community gardens and 80 acres of parkland citywide. We support communities in activating these green spaces year-round through urban agriculture and public programs including live performances, food distributions, and other neighborhood-centered activities. Each year, we also refurbish and create over 20 entirely new gardens in some of the city’s least green neighborhoods at schools, community-based organizations, and senior centers. More information is available at nyrp.org or visit us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Facebook.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions,
with $223.1 billion in assets as of June 30, 2023. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,400 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 14 states and
the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.