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Van Alen Block Party

Oct 02 | Sat |
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Van Alen Block Party Saturday, October 2, 1–8 pm Corner of Bond Street and Sackett Street, Brooklyn Free and open to the public!

The importance of our streets and public spaces came into clear focus in 2020. Van Alen’s inaugural Block Party – around the corner from our new Brooklyn home – will bring Sackett Street alive with street art, free treats, family activities, and live dance and music!

About us: Van Alen Institute helps create equitable cities through inclusive design. Community-driven decision-making builds resilience, social infrastructure, and ultimately, more just cities. For more than 125 years, our purposeful community engagement, convening capacity, and global network have produced profound transformations in the public realm of New York City and beyond.

FOOD Free while supplies last!

1:30–3:30 pm GG’s Fish and Chips* Pizza Moto

3:00–5:00 pm Ample Hills Creamery Salvatore’s

*GG’s Fish and Chips will be offering meals all day, with free food served from 1:30–3:30 pm.


1:00 pm Dancewave 1:30 pm Fogo Azul 2:00 pm La Cumbiamba eNeYé 3:00 pm KONANTÜ | Remolino de Suerte (Swirl of Luck) 3:45 pm DJ Scribe 5:00 pm Gowanus Wildcats Drill Team 5:30 pm Sunset Dance Party with DJ Niara Sterling


Elijah Anderson Elijah Anderson is a self-taught artist and illustrator. A Florida native, he’s lived in Brooklyn for the past five years, where he’s cultivated his career, collaborating with a range of brands and agencies, and experimenting with studio works and painting. Elijah will bring his characteristic doodle style to the Block Party through a large live artwork that invites participants to join in.

Gowanus Mutual Aid Mutual aid groups strive to create solidarity among community members by supporting each other’s needs. At the Block Party, Gowanus Mutual Aid will be collecting items for the Free Store (located on the corner of Bond and Douglass streets), and are in particular need of first aid items. To learn more and see what types of items can be donated, visit their website at

Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op Come fix your bike with Mechanical Gardens (MG). Air, flat fixes, brakes, chain maintenance and quick repairs are available on-site. MG will also diagnose more extensive repairs. To tackle bigger bike projects and repairs or learn bike mechanical skills come out to MG Open Hours, on Sundays in Red Hook, and Monday evenings in Williamsburg. Details at

Raffle On the day of the event sign up for our email newsletter for a chance to win items in Van Alen’s free Gowanus raffle! Items include gift cards for Dirty Precious, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, and Wild East Brewing Co., and wine from Black Mountain Wine House. (Ages 21+)

Other activities include face painting, games for all ages, and more!


Dancewave Dancewave celebrates diversity and inclusion through the common language of dance. Dancewave is committed to bringing awareness and appreciation into the historical significance and the cultural richness of different regions of the world. During their Moving Together sessions, they will be embodying some of the differences and similarities of individual cultural expressions present in different dance forms around the world.

Fogo Azul Drumline Fogo Azul (Blue Fire) can be heard and felt from blocks away. Their powerful poly-rhythmic layers with Brazilian-Samba-Reggae roots are played with infectious joy and energy. The group started in 2016 with just 15 members at a studio on Gowanus’ Douglass Street, and has since swelled to a corp of 80+ members — becoming one of the city’s most powerful women and gender non-conforming community musical groups.

La Cumbiamba eNeYé Named after the traditional Colombian open-air gatherings known as cumbiambas, La Cumbiamba eNeYé creates powerfully rhythmic Afro-Colombian music. With traditional instruments from the African Diaspora in Colombia, the group has established itself as one of the finest Cumbia ensembles in the US and has played venues like Lincoln Center and SummerStage. To this day, the band has its base in Gowanus.

KONANTÜ | Remolino de Suerte (“Swirl of Luck”) Founded by acclaimed artists Courtney Smith and Iván Navarro, experiential practice KONANTÜ will lead a participatory performance by twenty-four volunteers that involves the circulation of good luck objects that invoke the culture of mutual aid and protection that emerged during the pandemic. La Cumbiamba will accompany the piece with percussion and all attendees are encouraged to bring their own instruments and join in.

DJ Scribe Native New Yorker DJ Scribe has been deejaying and throwing parties for decades, with his legendary I Love Vinyl dance parties held at venues all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, including Gowanus. Playing a far-ranging all-vinyl set, DJ Scribe aims to represent as much of Gowanus’ diversity and history as possible, pulling from his many years of crate digging to bring a range of Soul, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Salsa, Disco, House and beyond.

The Gowanus Wildcats Drill Team This multigenerational, all-star drill team started in the Gowanus Houses in 1970 and has become a cherished New York institution. For 51 years, they’ve captivated audiences at places like the Apollo Theater and Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. The Wildcats are led by instructor Renee “Juice” Flowers, who was was inducted into the People’s Hall of Fame by urban folklore organization City Lore.

DJ Niara Sterling Niara Sterling’s musical style embodies rhythm, blues, soul, funk, gospel, hip hop, house and new genres from the diaspora, earning her collaborations with Ari Lennox, Easy Mo Bee, Masego, and Moses Sumney. She has toured internationally as DJ for Talib Kweli, played famed NYC spots like House of Yes and Le Bain, and is building her own repertoire of original sounds.

Venue: Van Alen Institute

Bond Street and Sackett Street Map