What comes to mind when you think about Manhattan street fairs? Any run-of-the-mill block party is sure to have food carts, art stands, and music—but how many actually give you the opportunity to create your own masterworks and participate in unique collaborative art projects?
The Rubin Museum’s “Sounds of the Street” Block Party on Sunday, July 16 will cause a ruckus in the best possible way! Join us in celebrating local artists, activists, and community members, all inspired by the Museum’s newest exhibition, The World Is Sound. You’ll be able to participate in sound-based art and activities on the street, check out the exhibition, and change the way you think about the act of listening.
Need more convincing? Here are six reasons why the Rubin Block Party isn’t your typical street fair:
1) The art isn’t just for kids.
Don’t worry about being the only adult at the art table. Our art-making activities are designed to be accessible and interesting for both kids and adults, so no one misses out on the fun. Create a bubble painting (above) or design your own instrument at our many tables along 17th St. You can also take part in unique interactive art installations with artists like MSHR (Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper), who are featured in The World Is Sound exhibition.
The activities are for everyone – all you need is an open, creative mind and an eagerness to make some noise.
2) The party is both outdoors and indoors.
Not only is the Block Party on 17th St. free and open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m., but admission to the Museum is free all day.
Get out of the sun and cool down inside as you transition from the sounds of the street to the sounds of the spiral staircase, where the art installation Le Corps Sonore will teach you to “listen with your whole body.” This sound installation will lead you to the sixth floor at the top of the Museum where you can experience more of our newest exhibition, The World Is Sound. Keep wandering to explore all of the sound installations located around the Museum, from the elevators to the entryways.
3) You can explore your emotions—and the way they sound!
What does a sound look like? What does a sound feel like? Now try to draw it!
At the Wheeling Feelings station, you’ll try to visually depict the non-visual, inspired by the work of artist Christine Sun Kim. First, spin the the Wheel of Sounds and the Wheel of Feelings to find out what kinds of interpretations you’ll be making, like “loud sadness” or “gentle excitement.”
After you’ve made a depiction of your sound-feeling, see how your work compares to Kim’s works on view.
4) You’ll learn about your fellow New Yorkers.
Himalayan cultures don’t just live in a museum—it’s all around us! The Rubin is proud to not only introduce visitors to the art of the Himalayas, but to create a space for our community partners to share their stories with fellow New Yorkers.
Take part in activities led by community organizations and learn about the living traditions of Himalayan cultures. Watch a demonstration of Tibetan musical instruments by the Tibetan Community of NY/NJ or have your name translated into Tibetan by the United Sherpa Association—just a few of the many ways that sound impacts culture.
5) You can break out your inner poet.
Even with all the music and dance taking place at the Block Party, there’s room for other forms of expression too. Legendary poet and The World Is Sound artist John Giorno and poet Tenzin Dickie will give two special readings on the main stage. You can also join a poetry party along 17th street and find new ways to express yourself.
6) There’s a silent disco with a special Himalayan playlist.
Don’t be confused if you see people dancing in the streets”¦join them instead! Grab a pair of headphones and dance the summer heat away to the sounds of Nepali pop music. The silent disco playlist is curated by Himalayan community member Dorjee Dolma.
By now you realize that this is no ordinary street fair. We look forward to seeing—and hearing—you at the Rubin Block Party on July 16th, where you can experience all the sounds of the street!
Rubin Block Party is made possible through the generosity of New York Life. Additional support has been provided by Con Edison, Agnes Gund, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.