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Audience Location:

Promenade at Whole Foods Third and 3rd

Date and Time:

June 24, 2017 at 2pm EST

Water Locale:

Gowanus Canal

Gowanus Canal


Lynn Neuman is Artistic and Executive Director of Artichoke Dance Company. Her movement work for the stage has been presented across the United States and in Canada, Australia, Korea, and Turks and Caicos. Her site-specific work has engaged thousands in the arts and environmental activism. She is sought for workshops and lectures in environmentalism in the arts and engaging communities in alternative ways. Lynn is currently an Association of Performing Arts Professionals Leadership Fellow and was honored with a 2015/16 Marion International Fellowship for the Visual and Performing Arts. In addition to dance, Lynn works in theatre, opera and film, and is a co-producer of Culture Club, performance events bringing Muslim and Jewish culture together onstage.

History of Site and Related Water Issues:

The Gowanus Canal is 1.8 miles long and was created in the mid-late 1800s on the site of a former saltmarsh and creek, and was used as a major industrial transportation route. Manufactured gas plants, paper mills, tanneries, and chemical plants have operated along the canal and discharged wastes into it. In addition, for years, it has captured raw sewage waste from adjacent residential neighborhoods and polluted surface run off. As a result, the Gowanus Canal has become one of the United State’s most contaminated water bodies. The canal is home to egrets, cormorants, and other forms of wildlife. In 2010 the Gowanus Canal was designated a federal Superfund site. No environmental remediation has been undertaken to date. The $500 million plan to clean the canal does not effectively address combined sewage overflow problems, which will continue to negatively impacting the health and welfare of aquatic life and neighborhood residents.


We are partnering with Keur Djembe, a local organization which has been situated near the Gowanus Canal for over 30 years. Keur Djembe will play live for this performance.

The Performance:

Global Water Dances on the Gowanus Canal begins with a parade of costumes created from upcycled plastic bags. In addition to Artichoke Dance Company, students from PS32 and PS372, elementary schools along the Gowanus Canal, will be featured in the performances. Community movers and drummers, through a series of free open workshops, will also be integrated into sections of the work.

Plastic Bag Logo

Environmental Impact:

An eco-tour of the Gowanus Canal precedes the performance. Interactive educational tables, including composting and bioswale models, local fossil fuel divestment initiatives, and area environmental organizations with which to become involved, surround the performance. Students from PS32 are creating postcards with 4 actionable items to encourage change at a personal level.
Plastic Bags clog waterways and endanger marine life. The New York City Council passed a Plastic Bag Fee last, which would have significantly reduced plastic bags in NYC. The New York State Senate and Assembly blocked the fee, so plastic bags continue to proliferate. This project upcycles thousands of plastic bags that would otherwise be shipped to landfills or litter the environment and transforms them into beautiful wearables.

Directions to the Site of Performance:

June 24 activities are at the Whole Foods Promenade, 3rd Street at the Gowanus Canal, between 3rd Avenue and Bond Street. Parade starts at the 4th Street basin, adjacent to 3rd Avenue on the south side of Whole Foods, between it and the water basin.
Eco-tour begins from the ArtLab covered structure mid-way along the promenade. Tabling occurs in and around the ArtLab.

Email for more information:

How can I get involved?

Movement Workshops:

  • Saturday, June 3, 2:00-3:30 at Gelsey Kirkland Studios, 29 Jay Street, Brooklyn
  • Sunday, June 11, 3-4:30pm at the Old Stone House located in Washington Park, 336 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • Saturday, June 17, 3-4:30pm at Whole Foods Promenade, 3rd Street at the Gowanus Canal, between 3rd Avenue and Bond Street.

Costume Making Workshops:
Gather plastic bags and bring them. We’ll create elaborate costumes.

  • June 4, noon-3pm at Artichoke Dance Company located at 121 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, NY
  • Sunday, June 11, noon-3pm at the Old Stone House located in Washington Park, 336 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • Monday, June 12, 6-9pm at the Old Stone House located in Washington Park, 336 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • Wed, June 21, 6-9pm at Artichoke Dance Company, 121 Sterling Place, Brooklyn, NY

Drumming Workshops: