The 23rd Annual River to River Festival, June 7 ~ 23




Party as Participation hosted by Elisabeth Smolarz. Credit: Ice Cream Window at Karlssonwilker’s studio, photo via Image Description: Two pictures are in this image. The image on the left shows a crowd of people outside a drive-through window – a person is inside the window taking orders. The image on the right shows 5 people waiting outside a store.

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) is pleased to announce the 23rd annual River To River Festival, taking place June 7 – 23, 2024. Celebrating local artists and honoring creative diversity across disciplines, The River To River Festival is Downtown New York City’s leading free summer arts festival. This year’s River To River Festival aligns with LMCC’s 50th-anniversary celebrations. In honor of this milestone, the 2024 festival features LMCC residency and grants alumni from the Extended Life program working across disciplines, with a captivating array of dance, music, video, installation, and exhibitions that reflects the interdisciplinary, diverse ethos of LMCC. Featuring 13 projects of live art, performances and participatory events (including seven premieres) in public spaces throughout Downtown New York, the 2024 River To River Festival explores themes of resonance, reconsideration and resistance.

LMCC 22nd River to River Festival. Image courtesy LMCC

Events range from the local and participatory, the open and artistic, to the sweet and memory-laden, as in the cases of Love for NYC Waterways: Stories from the Stoop, in partnership with Billion Oyster Project, a Moth-style storytelling and open mic event that celebrates the legacy of the Blackwater stewards of New York, and Elisabeth Smolarz’s (2012 artist-in-residence) presentation of ice cream flavors inspired by her experiences during her 2012 artist residency on Governors Island. These flavors will celebrate the friendships and artist communities she formed during that time, as well as the distinctive features of the island itself, such as the weeping willow tree, the lavender fields, and the beloved Governors Island sheep: Flour, Sam, Evening, Chad, and Philip Aries.

Love for NYC Waterays: Stories from the Stoop. Credit: TBD. In the center of the image is a person speaking into a microphone. They are outside with blue sky, green trees, white tents, and buildings in the background. People are seated on the ground in the lower left corner of the image

Other highlights include Samita Sinha’s June 20 performance of Tremor. This special iteration of Samita Sinha’s Tremor is performed in duet with Cecilia Vicuña. Presented in the historic and resonant space of Federal Hall, Sinha and Vicuña infuse their vibrations and lineages into the dense history and monumentality of the site, opening other ways of sensing, knowing, being, and being together. Honored this year with LMCC’s 2024 Sam Miller Award for Performing Art, celebrated choreographer Miguel Gutierrez will present THE POWER OF THE BOUNCE on June 7. An interactive, high-energy dance performance complete with group choreography, aerobics, and costumes, come in costume and learn the famous “Aerobicon” dance that Miguel created to Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon” in 2000. Miguel will revive this dance and create a powerful public spectacle reminiscent of the cardiovascularly challenging and spiritually charged but now defunct DEEP AEROBICS technique that he taught and disseminated for ten years.

Kayla Hamilton And Kate Speer. Photo credit: Original photo by Jonathan Hsu, edited by Kate Speer. Image Description: Image of Kate (a white woman with brown hair) and Kayla (a Black woman with long locks), both of whom are squatting looking at a computer. Overlaid on the left hand side is handwritten journal text.

Doing more than double duty, choreographer mayfield brooks will present two works–whale fall abyss in the cargo hold of the Tall Ship Wavertree, calling up ghosts and ancestors from the intersecting histories of whalers and slave ships, and whale fall reckoning in the Upper Gallery of The Arts Center at Governors Island. Using found objects, sound, light, movement and projection, brooks conjures an abyssal underwater world that transforms the formerly munitions storage warehouse into an imagined site of the decomposed whale. Both presentations are a culmination of brooks’ project Whale Fall, originally commissioned by Abrons Arts Center and virtually premiered as an experimental dance film in 2021 during the height of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Dates, times and locations subject to change—be sure to check for up-to-date information. Please note that all events are free, but due to limited capacity some require advance registration. RSVPs open May 21, 2024.

LMCC’s Workspace 2023-2024 Artists-in-Residence. Image: Gabriel Garcia Roman’s (Workspace 22-23 alum) Studio, Photo by Julieta Cervantes. Description: Three individuals standing in an artist studio having a conversation. Behind the individuals are two corner studio walls filled with colorful artwork including framed photo portraits, textile pieces, jewelry and sculptures of construction helmets, displayed on a table.


Leadership Support

Mellon Foundation; Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels

Major Support

Battery Park City Authority; The Howard Hughes Corporation;Friends of The Festival; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; ConEdison; New York State Council on the Arts; The Howard Gilman Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; Goldman Sachs

Presenting Partners

28 Liberty; Black Gotham Experience; 101 Greenwich; The Monster Bar; South Street Seaport Museum; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

The 2024 River to River Festival full schedule. Purchase Tickets Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *