Van Alen Block Party 2023
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Van Alen Block Party
Saturday, September 30, 1–6 pm
(Rain date: Sunday, October 1)
Bond Street between Union & Sackett, Brooklyn
Free and open to the public, this annual event is a celebration of all things Gowanus — the vibrant, dynamic, and creative neighborhood we call home. Join us for an afternoon of music, performance, and family-friendly crafts and games.
Performances & Talks
Music by Los Herederos Sonicycle
Los Herederos (The Inheritors) is a grassroots media-arts nonprofit organization dedicated to inheriting culture in the digital age. Their sonicycle is an audiovisual-outfitted bicycle that runs on green energy and is made entirely from recycled materials and curbside discards. It’s an itinerant sound device, documentary tool, and community organizing-activation platform “rolled” into one.
Josh Hubi/Uptown Vinyl Supreme
Disco, soul, funk, and house
Grace of Spades
Everything from soul to punk, with reggae at the core
Prince of Queens
A synthesis of NYC’s trans-caribbean culture clash
With Your Voice: Public Art Preview
People have a right to know what’s happening in their own backyard. See some of the big changes coming to Gowanus with the Voicers, megaphone-shaped sculptures designed by Juanli Carrión and Rodolfo Kusulas for With Your Voice — the latest installation in our Public Realm R+D initiative.
Community Conversation: Points of Agreement
Historic community benefits — called Points of Agreement — were negotiated around the Gowanus rezoning. How did these come to be? Why are they significant? What’s happening now? Artist and community organizer Lynn Neuman (Artichoke Dance Company) hosts a conversation with Karen Blondel (Public Housing Civic Association), Andrea Parker (Gowanus Canal Conservancy), Paula Smith (Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice), Jesse Solomon (South Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation), and Monica Underwood (Gowanus Oversight Task Force).
Performance by 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 inducted into the People’s Hall of Fame by urban folklore organization City Lore.
Food by Taste of Puebla
Established in 2019, Taste of Puebla started as a small food cart with a big mission: to bring the flavors of Puebla, Mexico to NYC in the most authentic way possible. After great success, Taste of Puebla traded in their food cart for a beautiful Mexican food truck and expanded their menu to include delicious food from the islands of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba, utilizing family recipes handed down from the owners’ Abuelas and Tias.
FREE ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery
3–5 pm, while supplies last
Churning 🍦Brooklyn’s Freshest 🍦 since 2011!
Book giveaway with House of SpeakEasy Bookmobile
House of SpeakEasy believes that book ownership should be a right, not a privilege. Launched in 2017, The SpeakEasy Bookmobile is a direct response to the proliferation of “book deserts,” neighborhoods where bookstores are in short supply — or worse, nonexistent. The modified box truck is outfitted with 54 linear feet of shelving that accommodate a variety of books for all ages.
Art-making with Powerhouse Arts
Newly opened in Gowanus, Powerhouse Arts is a not-for-profit organization committed to creative expression. Join them all afternoon to get creative with Model Magic, an air-dry clay-like material for all ages. Sculpt your own art at the Block Party or take some home with you to experiment with later!
Nutritional herb bundle workshop with One Love Community Fridge
One Love Community Fridge works to eradicate hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, and the stigma associated with all three, through an integrated, multi-generational, and inclusive movement that centers access to fresh foods, nutrition education, and sustainability.
Family-friendly outdoor games!
Remarks by State Senator Andrew Gounardes; former New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca; and New York City Council Member Lincoln Restler.
Stop by our home base at 303 Bond Street to meet members of Gowanus’ incredibly creative and caring community, including: