Naamah’s Ark, MasterVoices’ dramatic oratorio telling the story of Noah’s Ark from the perspective of Noah’s wife

GRANDMA, Cori Olinghouse’s multimedia choreographic exploration of aging and ghosts of the American South

Of Granite and Glass, Catherine Galasso’s site-specific dance inspired by Boccaccio’s Decameron

silent :: partner, Enrico D. Wey’s bodily exploration of memory and memorialization

LES Citizens Parade, a Lower East Side collaboration between choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas and visual artist Laura Nova

The Supper Club, photo selections from Elia Alba’s multi-disciplinary project

PLUS, Night at the Museums and Tribeca Art + Culture Night


Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) presents the 17th annual River To River Festival, Downtown New York City’s completely free summer arts festival, June 15–24. The 2018 edition celebrates New York City’s historic and geographic breadth, while looking to the future of the city in its multiplicity of voices and perspectives. River To River presents an array of performances and events exploring and celebrating diversity in all its forms—often blurring the lines between genres including dance, music, theater and the visual arts—over 10 days at over 40 unique sites, institutions, and venues across Lower Manhattan.

“I am thrilled that River To River will once again bring together people of different generations and backgrounds to experience free public art in iconic spaces throughout Lower Manhattan,” remarks Diego Segalini, LMCC’s Executive Director, Finance & Administration. “Notably, this year’s Festival will bring participatory performances to the Lower East Side, an area where we have increased our activity in recent years to make art accessible to all.”

“The River To River Festival transforms the landscape of Lower Manhattan and works with artists and communities to explore lesser known pasts, presents and futures of our neighborhoods,” says Danielle King, LMCC’s Director of Cultural Programs and curator of the Festival. “I’m thrilled to be presenting artists who are alumnae of LMCC’s artist empowerment programs, whose practices have been influenced by working in Lower Manhattan and whose ideas and perspectives shift our understanding of site, history and each other.”

River To River 2018 presents:

MasterVoicesNaamah’s Ark in Rockefeller Park, a dramatic oratorio about the world after the Great Flood, as told from the perspective of Naamah, wife of Noah. Composed by Marisa Michelson with libretto by Royce Vavrek, performed by MasterVoices—led by Artistic Director Ted Sperling—with guest community choruses and featuring Victoria Clark in the role of Naamah;

GRANDMA, a multimedia, choreographic portrait of aging and ghosts of the American South by Cori Olinghouse;

Of Granite and Glass, Catherine Galasso’s site-specific interpretation of Boccaccio’s 14th-century narrative Decameron at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place;

Enrico D. Wey’s silent :: partnerat Federal Hall, a bodily exploration of memory and memorialization and a contemporary rumination on what remains and what falls;

LES Citizens Parade, a collaboration between choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas and visual artist Laura Nova with senior residents of NYC’s Lower East Side celebrating movement, improvisational community collaboration and the merging of performance into everyday life;

A street-side installation of a selection of portraits from The Supper Club, acclaimed artist Elia Alba’s multi-disciplinary project featuring images of artists and creators of color;

Night at the Museums, an annual evening of free admission to cultural institutions and museums downtown;

The summer edition of Tribeca Art + Culture Night, a quarterly stroll through Tribeca’s fast-growing gallery district including 20+ galleries and performance spaces.

River To River provides world-class, free summer arts and cultural experiences downtown, inspiring residents, workers and visitors by connecting them to the best of the arts, the creative process and unique places. For audiences of one to crowds of thousands, River To River provides an intense and rewarding way to experience and discover Lower Manhattan’s waterfronts, parks, plazas and history.

River To River also empowers its artist-creators to extend the life of existing work and experiment with new ideas by inviting artists to create site-specific works as well as site-responsive versions of premiere performances.

River To River is made possible with support from American Express, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, as well as other underwriters. See below for full list of supporters.


Dates, times and locations subject to change—be sure to check RiverToRiverNYC.com for up-to-date information. Please note that all events are free, but due to limited capacity some require advance RSVPs. RSVPs open Friday, June 1.


June 15–24, on display 24 hours/day
NYC DOT Art’s Art Display Cases, Water Street between Wall Street and Maiden Lane
and Gouverneur Lane between Water Street and Front Street
Tags: Public Art, Photography

Internationally acclaimed, New York-born artist Elia Alba’s The Supper Club is a multifaceted art project comprising an ongoing series of dinners in which artists engage in meaningful conversation about art, pop culture, socio-political events and race; photographic portraits of nearly 60 artists of color; and a book to be published in late 2018 featuring the portraits and text related to the dinners/conversations. Inspired by Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue, Alba’s photographs frame her circle of artists and friends as celebrities, transforming their identities into iconic images while evoking influences that span art history and Afrofuturism, fashion photography and classical mythology. A large-format selection of the portraits will be on display throughout River To River in the NYC DOT Art Display Cases on Water Street between Wall Street and Maiden Lane and on Gouverneur Lane between Water Street and Front Street.

Installation on display June 1–October 31, artists photographed include Jaishri Abichandani, niv Acosta, Nicole Awai, Sanford Biggers, Michael Paul Britto, LaTasha N. Diggs, Jeffrey Gibson, Jennie C. Jones, Raj Kahlon, Simone Leigh, Ivan Monforte, Rachelle Mozman, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Dawit L. Petros, Lina Puerta, Legacy Russell, Carlos Sandoval de Leon, Jacolby Satterwhite, Shinique Smith, Juana Valdes, Saya Woolfalk


June 15 & 16 at 7 p.m.
June 17 at 5 p.m.
Run Time: 60 minutes
Winter Garden, Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street
Tags: Dance

Co-commissioned by LMCC and Arts Brookfield for the 2018 River To River Festival, Of Granite and Glass is part of choreographer Catherine Galasso’s 10-part series, Of Iron and Diamonds, based on Boccaccio’s 14th-century Decameron. The performance will combine her signature cinematic tableaux, whimsical nonlinear narratives and charismatic performers to engage in a choreographic dialogue with the architecture and atmosphere of the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Performers will transform the space into a singular spectacle as they move between episodic and virtuosic movements on multiple planes, shaped closely by the grandeur and intrigue of Cesar Pelli’s grand marble staircase.


June 15, 16, & 17 at 8 p.m.
Run time: 60 minutes
Federal Hall
Tags: Dance

silent :: partner, set at Federal Hall, explores the ideas of collective memory and its relationships to monuments. In front of Federal Hall stands a bronze statue of George Washington, erected in 1882—the same year the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Through the piece, Wey ruminates on the immaterial parts of Federal Hall and the structure of memory itself. He ultimately creates an intangible monument, not made of stone or metal, but rather of movement, sound and language. “What decides(,) what remains, what remains silent?” Wey asks. “As we pass through these walls that stood/stand/will stand before us, we occupy a space with silent partners. With them, we flow outward, not forward, and in hushed tones, speak volumes.”

Composer and sound designer: Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca
Lighting designer and production manager: Elliott Cennetoglu
Costume designer: Oana Botez


June 16 at 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.
June 17 at 1 p.m.
Run time: 60 minutes
LMCC’s Studios at 125 Maiden Lane, 2nd Floor
Tags: Dance, Visual Art, Performance, Installation

Set in an American landscape of Twinkies and Wonderbread, choreographer and performer Cori Olinghouse’s GRANDMA is a durational performance installation starring Grandma and Bad Signal, her staticky ghost. In deadpan style, they excavate themes of desire and alienation in a search for belonging amid brokenness and failure. Looking at the effects of television, the media and dark familial pasts as portals, spaces of reality and fiction collide through the morphing of material form. In a three-dimensional split-screen room, GRANDMA loops through various consumption practices: hoarding, discarding, coveting and display.


June 17 at 7 p.m.
Run time: 50 minutes
Rockefeller Park
Tags: Music

This dramatic oratorio by composer Marisa Michelson and librettist Royce Vavrek tells the story of Noah’s Ark from the perspective of Noah’s wife. Naamah is a strong woman who must guide the diverse species of animals in coming together as the Ark reaches dry land. From the birds to the hippos, each group has its own concerns. Can they learn to live together after the crisis has passed? In a new version of the piece, community members from Lower Manhattan join MasterVoices, led by Ted Sperling, in shared music-making to explore themes of diversity, the role of women in society and the possible devastation of climate change. Featuring Victoria Clark in the title role of Naamah.

Composer: Marisa Michelson
Librettist: Royce Vavrek
Performed by MasterVoices
Conductor: Ted Sperling
Naamah: Victoria Clark
Merman: Sachal Vasandani

Musical and artistic participation by:
Max Frieder, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Artolution
Cantor Rebecca Garfein of Congregation Rodeph Sholom
Life Rhythms Percussion Ensemble (Alan Katz, Leader)
Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir of Middle Collegiate Church
Stuyvesant High School Chorus (Liliya Shamazov, Director)

Presented in collaboration with MasterVoices and Battery Park City Authority at Rockefeller Park

June 18–22 at 4 p.m.
Run time: 30 minutes
Steps of Federal Hall at Broad and Wall Streets
Tags: Dance

On the steps of Federal Hall and in front of the New York Stock Exchange, It’s Showtime NYC!, now one of the largest street dance companies in New York City, performs a site-responsive intervention directed by choreographer Marguerite Hemmings.

June 19, 4–8 p.m.
Various locations, see website in early June for details
Tags: Visual Art, Exhibitions, Historical Context, Cultural Ephemera

As part of the 2018 River To River Festival, Night at the Museums gives locals and tourists the opportunity to visit Lower Manhattan’s diverse and culturally significant institutions—all for free. Visitors of all ages can spend a summer evening exploring New York City’s history and heritages. All museums and historical sites are within walking distance from one another in one of the most diverse and concentrated groups of museums in the world.

Participants include: African Burial Ground National Monument, China Institute, Federal Hall National Memorial, Fraunces Tavern® Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, National Archives at New York City, National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, 9/11 Tribute Museum, NYC Municipal Archives, Poets House, The Skyscraper Museum, South Street Seaport Museum, Wall Street Walks

June 21, 6–9 p.m.
Various locations, see website in early June for details
Tags: Visual Art, Exhibitions, Dance, Performance

Tribeca Art + Culture Night showcases Tribeca’s fast-growing gallery district with more than 20 fine art and design galleries, university and institutional art galleries, nonprofit art institutions and performance spaces staying open and free to the public well into the evening. During the River To River summer edition of this quarterly stroll, audiences will be able to participate in openings, talks, workshops and performances all over the neighborhood. Participating venues to be announced soon, see website for details.

Past participants have included: 205 Hudson Gallery, Hunter College, apexart, Artists Space, Cheryl Hazan Gallery, David Weeks Studio, Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Hercules Art Studio Program, hpgrp Gallery, Lubov, New York Academy of Art, Ortuzar Projects, Pearl River Mart, Soho Photo Gallery, Steve Amedee Gallery, The Flea Theater, Tribeca Community on Display Window, Todd Merrill Studio


June 22 at 5:30pm
June 24 at 4pm
Seward Park
Tags: Dance

The LES Citizens Parade is an activist processional and series of performances connecting community members of NYC’s Lower East Side, co-created by choreographer and Dances for a Variable Population artistic director Naomi Goldberg Haas and visual artist Laura Nova. Performed by legendary senior dancers and neighborhood senior citizens, the work creates a celebratory, visual journey that honors the experience of long-term residents of the Lower East Side, examining the community through lenses of movement, performance and visual art. Performers create literal and figurative routes through a neighborhood of disparate and intersecting traditions including Eastern, Western and Latin American modalities of grace, balance and beauty.

Guest Artists: Bernard Dove, Yehuda Hyman, Margaret Yuen


June 23, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
East River Esplanade at Rutgers Slip (underneath FDR)

Participate in a full day of free, movement-based activities and festivities on the East River Waterfront:

10:30–11:30am: Cardio, Dance & Sweat. Latin, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Lindy Hop, Jazz Funk and more.
12–1pm: Tai Chi Workshop
1:30–2:30pm: Boxing/Self Defense, technique-driven class that will challenge your mental and physical toughness. All are welcome.
3–4pm: Movement for Life Workshop


June 23, 4–8 p.m.
East River Amphitheater
Tags: Music, Dance, Party

An evening of live Salsa music and dancing along the East River waterfront, co-presented with Good Old Lower East Side, http://www.goles.org.


June 23, 4–8 p.m.
East River Amphitheater
Tags: Music, Dance, Party

An evening of live Salsa music and dancing along the East River waterfront, co-presented with Good Old Lower East Side, http://www.goles.org.


For 45 years, LMCC has empowered artists with networks, resources, and support to create vibrant, sustainable communities throughout Manhattan and beyond.

In 2018, LMCC will provide studio residency programs, professional development skills, and access to business leaders and arts professionals for emerging and mid-career artists, and award over $1 million dollars in grants to Manhattan-based artists and arts organizations.

Through public programs such as Open Studios and the River To River Festival, LMCC bridges the gap between audiences and the artistic process, engaging the public through different phases of creation and showcasing intimate works-in-process, special commissions, as well as large-scale, finished presentations and premieres.


River To River was founded in 2002 by American Express, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Alliance for Downtown New York, Arts Brookfield, Battery Park City Authority, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and South Street Seaport.


Arts Brookfield
Battery Park City Authority
Night at the Museums (multiple venues, see event listing for details)
Tribeca Art + Culture Night


Leadership Support provided by: American Express, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Major Support provided by: Battery Park City Authority and Goldman Sachs.
Friends of the Festival:  Howard Gilman Foundation, The Howard Hughes Corporation, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Westfield World Trade Center.
Additional support provided by: Con Edison, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and WNYC.

For more information, please contact Chris Schimpf, Krista Williams or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.

Facebook: facebook.com/LMCCNYC
Twitter: @LMCC
Instagram: @LMCC_NYC