Public Arts Festival Brings Historic Floyd Bennett Field to Life

 Public Arts Festival Brings  Historic Floyd Bennett Field to Life

This past weekend, the vibrant Floyd Bennett Field! Public Arts Festival, made possible by Jamacia Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, brought a dazzling array of artistry and community spirit to life. The festival, which ran from April 19 to 21, transformed the once dilapidated, but soon to be restored, historic airplane hangars at Floyd Bennett Field into a canvas for creativity.

Dozens of established and emerging artists showcased their talents including digital video artworks projected onto the 11,000-square-foot façade of two of the massive hangars. After the sun set, projection mapping shined in the night in a dazzling display, with each of the participating artists adding their unique touch to the digital canvas.

On Saturday, as the weather cleared and the sun came out in force, the festival provided space for a makers market offering a platform for local artisans to display and sell their unique creations, adding a touch of handcrafted charm to the high-tech ambiance of the festival.

The festival featured live musical performances by bands such as Wild Yaks, Sesame Flyers Steel Pan Ensemble, and Batalá, creating an atmosphere perfect for the occasion which echoed throughout Floyd Bennett Field.

Food trucks served up a variety of delicious treats, catering to every palate, while activities for all ages ensured that the festival was a family-friendly event. From lawn games to silent discos, there was something to engage everyone who attended throughout the weekend.

The festival not only highlighted the natural beauty and historical significance of Floyd Bennett Field but also celebrated the promising future of these historic hangars. The hangars are part of a major two-phase project. The first, funded by $26 million from the Great American Outdoors Act, is a historic rehabilitation of the structure’s exterior and critical systems. The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy will then fund and manage an interior retrofit for an Innovation Hub that includes research and development facilities relevant to nature-based solutions and coastal resilience, as well as public programming opportunities and park visitor amenities.

“The festival is a chance to demonstrate our exciting plans for reactivation of Floyd Bennett Field, building on a long history of partnership and cooperative management of public parklands around Jamaica Bay and Rockaway,” said Tom Secunda, Chairman, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. “After several years of community visioning and initial planning, the transformation of these historic buildings and the park as a whole is now underway in physical, tangible ways.”

The Floyd Bennett Field! Public Arts Festival was a memorable weekend that beautifully merged art, history and community, leaving attendees with a sense of wonder and anticipation for the future of this iconic site.

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