While the Financial District, located at the southern tip of Manhattan, maybe most closely synonymous with Wall Street and towering office buildings, it is also home to world-class museums, public art installations and performances, and unexpected treasures that make it a worthy destination for art lovers. Better yet, during a time of increasing unknowns and fluctuating Covid statistics, many of FiDi’s cultural elements can be safely experienced outside or at a distance. From large-scale sculptures to a landlocked lighthouse, here is the ultimate art lover’s guide to FiDi.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Photo by Zachary Tyler Newton for LMCC
A permanent arts center opened on Governors Island last week, becoming the 172-acre site’s first year-round tenant dedicated to arts and culture. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) has transformed a 19th-century warehouse into a 40,000-square-foot space for arts and educational programming. LMCC partnered with the Trust for Governors Island on the $12 million renovation, with designs from PEI Cobb Freed & Partners and Adamson Associates Architects. Historic details of the building were retained while enabling space for galleries, studios, rehearsal space, and an indoor cafe.
Photo by Zachary Tyler Newton
Governors Island is gettings its first permanent home for artists this year as the effort to turn the 172-acre former military base into a year-round cultural hub continues. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) announced on Monday plans to transform a 1870s warehouse into a 40,000-square-foot center for arts and educational programming. In 2009, LMCC became one of the first tenants on Governors Island, which opened to the public in 2005 after serving as a base for the Army and then the Coast Guard for more than two centuries.
Photo via LMCC
When the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) was founded in 1973, it set out to bring the arts to Lower Manhattan, a neighborhood that already had an established reputation for being first and foremost a site of business, not pleasure. What the organization’s founder, Flory Barnett, could not have foreseen at the time of the LMCC’s founding is that over the coming four decades, Lower Manhattan would face more challenges than nearly any other New York City neighborhood.
From the attacks on 9/11 to the devastating fallout of the 2008 economic crisis to the occupation of Zuccotti Park in 2011, in recent years, Lower Manhattan has been at the epicenter of some of the city’s and nation’s most historic moments. Throughout these events, the LMCC has persisted and in many respects, played a pivotal role in helping the neighborhood transition into the vibrant and diverse neighborhood it is today: a place where people not only work but also live and spend their leisure time.
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
‘Tis a weekend of open studios, and if you are art-thletic enough, you can hit them all. Non-profit chashama is offering free ferry rides to check out the studios of 85 artists (including 6sqft friend Barry Rosenthal!) at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Hop on the Governors Island Ferry to the LMCC open studios, or get yourself to DUMBO for Smack Mellon’s open studios. The work week just got a little better for those of you in the Garment District, as the annual UrbanSpace market opens for the season, offering up tasty delights. Roving gallery Standard Practice is at it again, with a new opening in Williamsburg, and Harlem’s Hi-ART kicks off their season with a photo show. If you’re going to the World Maker Faire, be sure to check out FIGMENT Festival’s David Koren as he talks about co-creating your own reality. Finish off the week with the Public Art Fund’s talk at the New School with exhibiting artist Jeppe Hein. And that’s a wrap!