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River to River Fest 2012: Downtown NYC and the Arts

river to river seaportSince 2002, the River To River Festival has been “an essential component of Lower Manhattan’s vital and vibrant cultural life“, says the festival's website. June 17 to July 15 2012, the River To River Festival returns to New York with its unique combination of artists and environmentalism. The festival is city wide and covers a wide range of activities including art exhibitions, plays, concerts, walking tours, and embraces both established artists, and young newcomers showing off their talents. Best of all, every event is free!

On June 20 at Rockefeller Park, the Philip Glass Ensemble will be performing a free concert to celebrate Glass’ 75th birthday. Founded in 1968, The Philip Glass Ensemble was a group Glass formed as an outlet for his more experimental musical endeavors. The concert will open with a performance by youth ensemble Face the Music.

On June 25, at the Elevated Acre At 55 Water Street (55 Water Street, between Old Slip and Broad Street) will be a screening of actor Martin Donovan’s (Weeds, Insominia) directorial debut, Collaborator. Collaborator stars Donovan as a failed playwright that returns to his hometown, only to be held hostage by a childhood friend. The screening will be preceded by stop-motion animated short Dr. Todd and the Pizza God created by young filmmakers in the Children's Museum of the Arts' unique Media Lab.

From June 26 to 29 will be performances of Samuel Beckett’s Act Without Words II, by Company SJ at Theatre Alley (between Nassau and Centre Streets).  A meditation on repetition and the pointlessness of existence, Act Without Words II features two homeless men crawling out of sacks, performing repetitive motions through the day, crawling back into the sacks, and repeating the process again. Company SJ was formed in 2009 by Artistic Director Sarah Jane Scaife who has been exploring new ways of looking at Irish texts for many years.

For those that want to stretch their legs and savor the city during the warm summer months, there will be several walking tours highlighting different areas of New York. On July 6 and 7, starting at the South Street Seaport Museum (12 Fulton Street) is the South Street Seaport History and Archaeology Walking Tour. The tour examines the rough and strange history of New York’s neighborhood that was built on shipping (literally. The streets were made from landfill that includes entire ships), and the unique (almost Dickensian, but with a New York accent) breed of life that sprung up around it.

The River to River Festival offers a wide range of activities that cover arts, history, and supports Lower Manhattan’s waterfronts, parks, plaza, and other hidden treasures.

To learn more, go to

River to River Festival
June 17 – July 15

Down Town New York City
Various Locations

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