32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11106
Description: Come help visiting artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles transform the Park into a puppetscape evoking the history of New York's forgotten islands through the lens of Homeric myth. Odysseus at Hell Gate will be created during the drop-in workshops and performed entirely by volunteers. Kahn and Michahelles, whose large-scale puppet works lead the renowned NY Village Halloween Parade, will introduce volunteers to a variety of techniques in pageant puppetry. The workshops culminate in a volunteer-executed installation, involving objects, micro-parades, and cyclical performances throughout the Park.
Venue Description: In 1986, a coalition of artists and community members led by Mark di Suvero decided to retake an abandoned riverside landfill that was being used as an illegal dumpsite and make it into an open space for art and artists. Since then, Socrates Sculpture Park has become an internationally renowned outdoor museum. It is today the only spot in the New York metropolitan area specifically designed to allow artists the opportunity create and showcase large-scale work in an environment that encourages interaction between artists, artworks, and the public.
Since 2006, the park has been expanding its Community Works Initiative program, which offers employment and job training to area residents, including those of the nearby Astoria projects. Participants learn landscaping and basic horticulture skills as they tend the park gardens. At the end of the program, all participants have new marketable skills and knowledge of the resources and cultural events that the park has available for the community and visitors. Among the events and activities that the park offers are kite flights, fitness programs, workshops, the LIC Bike Parade, Summer Solstice, Makers Market, outdoor cinema, an annual Earth Day event, and the Halloween Harvest Festival. In July and August, there are free summer outdoor art-making workshops with a variety of topics.