Rubin Museum Virtual Block Party

An online community celebration

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Thank you for joining us for our first virtual block party which took place September 20-26, 2020. If you are visiting this page after that time, please note that links to our partners’ content may no longer be available.


Welcome and instructions to join the Block Party

Follow the Rubin on Instagram and post with #RubinBlockParty to join the conversation!



Learn all about the lotus



Studio visits with contemporary visual artists

  • Tsherin Sherpa takes us to Nepal to show us how he created the artwork The Wish-fulfilling Tree with the help of local artisans.
  • The Yakpo Collective presents an episode of their Spotlight Series featuring Tibetan-Sikkimese tattoo artist Yangdol Namgyal, who is based in North India.
  • Tenzin Phuntsog shows us behind-the-scenes footage of his upcoming film projects about identity and heritage, using the urban and natural landscapes of New York and Montana as backdrop.
  • IMAGINE (Sneha Shrestha) shows us around her Boston-based art studio and gives a peek into her precise, colorful, monumental practice.



Enjoy a mindfulness practice

  • Day Schildkret of Morning Altars demonstrates how to create earth altars using materials found in your neighborhood.
  • Reimagine presents a poignant meditation on grief and letting go from death doula Alua Arthur.
  • David Figueroa offers a short session of chair yoga.
  • New York Yoga + Life teacher Sarah Platt-Finger and her daughter Satya lead a short yoga practice for families
  • The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi invites us to stay rooted with this episode of The Rubin Daily Offering. He shares the Hundred Syllable Mantra of the primordial buddha, Vajrasattva, to help us be more present and fearless.
  • Kate Johnson teaches us to flow like water in this short meditation inspired by the gestures, mudras, and postures seen in artworks at the Rubin Museum.


Look at two artworks in our galleries—traditional and contemporary—to learn more about the Buddhist concept of impermanence, the idea that everything changes.



Music, dance, and poetry: Concerts, interactive lessons, and more

  • Enjoy a special concert filmed at the Rubin featuring Raga Maqam: Amir ElSaffar and Brooklyn Raga Massive. In this special concert, Amir ElSaffar (santoor + trumpet,) is joined by Jay Gandhi (bansuri), Zafer Tawil (oud + percussion), Arun Ramamurthy (violin) and Firas Zreik (kanun) uncover intersections between the profound musical languages of Maqam and Raga, whose commonalities and cross-influences emphasize improvisation, resonance, and devotion.
  • Brooklyn Raga Massive offers interactive lessons in Indian classical music with renowned musicians from their collective. No instruments necessary!

  • Asian American Writers’ Workshop presents a poetry reading by Bangladeshi poet and journalist Samira Sadeque, followed by a dance performance filmed in the Bronx by students from the Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Ajna Dance Company teaches the basics of Indian dance.
  • Sonam Lhamo, former member of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, and her students perform and share the history of traditional Tibetan music.



Intergenerational art making

  • Create an origami lotus for The Lotus Effect if you haven’t already!
  • YindaYin Coaching students inspire you to create your own paper lotus masterpiece.
  • Uttam Grandhi invites you to get creative by making our own masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Get inspired to make your own masks by Tibetan-American designer Pema Choden of Pemcho designs who is creating and donating masks for health care workers.
  • Rubin Museum staff invite families to Drum Together. Craft your own drum and embrace the temporary nature of music.
  • Rubin Museum staff show families how to make Carved Creations. Inspired by the Buddhist concept of impermanence, learn to let go by creating a sculpture and watching it melt away.
  • Rubin Museum staff present Rooted Regrowth! Make new plants from root vegetables and plant cuttings in your home.



Advocacy & activism

Learn about nonprofit organizations who work with and for Asian American, Himalayan, and Himalayan American communities.

  • Adhikaar works with Nepali-speaking communities to promote human rights and social justice for all. Learn more.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) works to advance racial justice, voting rights, and immigrant rights, and promote a fair and equitable society for all.
  • Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) builds leadership capacity of South Asian and Indo-Caribbean immigrants to lead social and policy change that impacts their own lives—from immigrant rights to education reform, civil rights, and worker’s justice.
  • Grassroot Movement in Nepal (GMIN) most recently supported COVID-19 quarantine efforts for displaced migrant workers in Nepal.
  • Himalayan health care professionals have come together under the Himalayan COVID Taskforce to support their communities during COVID-19.
  • As the largest South Asian senior center in New York City, India Home is offering everything from home meal delivery to virtual art classes to support elders during COVID-19.
  • Machik, whose work incubates social innovation in Tibet, offers online gatherings called Machik Kora to explore issues of community well-being, resilience & social justice affecting Tibetan communities everywhere.
  • The United Bhutanese Association of New York (UBANY) empowers Bhutanese communities living in the United States through education, awareness and support.


Thanks for joining us at the Rubin Museum of Art’s annual Block Party! Now visit the Museum to see what it’s like since we’ve reopened. And learn how to access art from home.


Still want more to explore? Experience the calm atmosphere of the Shrine Room in your home with this video.


Thank you to our wonderful partners! Learn more about our Block Party partners here.


The Rubin Museum’s Block Party and Family and Education Programs are made possible through the generosity of Agnes Gund, New York Life*, The Prospect Hill Foundation, Tiger Baron Foundation, Con Edison, The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The Year of Impermanence at the Rubin Museum is made possible by Bob and Lois Baylis, Fred Eychaner, Christopher J. Fussner, Agnes Gund, Matt and Ann Nimetz, Rasika and Girish Reddy, and Shelley and Donald Rubin.

General operating support of the Rubin Museum of Art is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by generous donations from the Museum’s Board of Trustees, individual donors and members.

*“NEW YORK LIFE” and the NEW YORK LIFE Box Logo are trademarks of New York Life Insurance Company. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.