Block Party to be Held on Gansevoort Street, in Front of the Museum
On Saturday, May 2, The Whitney Museum of American Art will offer free admission to the Museum from 10:30 am to 10 pm and host a block party on Gansevoort Street, sponsored by Macy’s. Created in the spirit of a neighborhood festival, the Whitney Block Party is open to visitors of all ages with free art and performance, including hands-on activities and participatory events. The festivities will encourage audiences to experience the new location and new architecture as part of the Museum’s active engagement with artists and the city. All the activities and performances are designed by artists and community organizations.
Throughout the day, booths designed by a diverse group of contemporary artists and community organizations will offer activities for a range of audiences, including karaoke, map making, and performance workshops. Large-scale acts on the main stage will include all-ages performances, including puppetry, dance, music, and poetry. These distinctive projects embody the Museum’s multidisciplinary and inclusive approach to contemporary art.
Booths and activities will be offered by Ei Arakawa and Shimon Minamikawa, Trisha Baga, Bed-Stuy Love Affair, Friends of the High Line, K8 Hardy and Ryan McNamara, J.T. Jobbagy Inc., the Meatpacking District Improvement Association, Lize Mogel, My Barbarian, Nari Ward, and the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network.
Performances will be presented by (DonChristian, Le1f, Rahel, Boody, and special guest), The Door – A Center of Alternatives: the performing arts program, The Eichelburglers (Jennifer Miller, Heather Green, and special guest), The Tracie Morris Band with special guests Mr. Jerome Harris and Jemman, Jacolby Satterwhite and La’fem Ladosha, and A Tribe Called Red.
Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building (at 99 Gansevoort Street) will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.
Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building will include approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions will be approximately 18,000 square feet in area, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Additional exhibition space includes a lobby gallery (accessible free of charge), two floors for the permanent collection, and a special exhibitions gallery on the top floor.
The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street will shelter an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. The building also will include an education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater with stunning views of the Hudson River; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room. The classrooms, theater, and study center are all firsts for the Whitney.
A retail shop on the ground-floor level will contribute to the busy street life of the area. A ground-floor restaurant and top-floor cafe will be conceived and operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group, which operated +Untitled+, the restaurant in the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side, until programming there concluded on October 19.
Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.
The Whitney Block Party is free and open to the public—no reservations are required for Block Party events and performances.
Advance Museum admission tickets for May 2 are no longer available. A limited number of free admission tickets will be available in person at the Museum on Saturday, May 2, on a first-come, first-served basis.