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B.P.C.A. bows out of River To River Festival:
At the conclusion of the Leon Russell concert in Rockefeller Park on July 10, Danny Kapilian, the music producer who had been hired by the Battery Park City Authority to book the acts for the eight-concert series that began on June 17, made an announcement. The B.P.C.A., which, for years, had sponsored the concerts for the River To River Festival, would no longer be doing so. Kapilian asked the audience to write to the B.P.C.A. and ask it to reconsider.
Kapilian’s announcement was news to Sam Miller, the president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, curator and organizer of the annual River To River Festival — a cultural cornucopia of 150 free performances, readings and other events during June and July. As of Friday, July 12, River To River management had still not been officially informed.
However, Matthew Monahan, a spokesperson for the B.P.C.A., confirmed that what Kapilian said was true. “Following a broad review of B.P.C.A. budgetary policy and fiscal oversight, we, as a governmental entity, no longer will be providing financial support from B.P.C.A.’s discretionary funds,” said Monahan. He went on to say that River To River is “always welcome to stage events here.”
In 2013, the B.P.C.A. spent roughly $250,000 on the Rockefeller Park concerts. This money paid for the talent, sound system, stage, chairs and equipment. This is a significant portion of River To River’s total budget, which, in 2012, was around $2 million. The 2013 figures are not yet available.
Asked for a response to the B.P.C.A. withdrawal, Miller put as good a face on it as possible. He noted that, “B.P.C.A. has been one of a number of founding program partners providing content for the River To River Festival since its inception in 2002. As lead producers of the festival since 2011, L.M.C.C. looks forward to continuing to work with B.P.C.A. as well as with our many other site partners, program partners and sponsors to bring arts activities of all kinds to Lower Manhattan audiences in 2014.”
“The hope is that River To River will still be able to produce concerts in Rockefeller Park,” said Chris Schimpf, a spokesperson for the festival. “River To River was looking to the Battery Park City Authority as a partner for producing those events, but River To River is not dependent on that. River To River has many partners and produces events in many venues. If this goes away, that’s really unfortunate, but it’s not going to hinder River To River going forward. Sam Miller’s goal is that concerts will continue in that park.”
Monahan, the B.P.C.A. spokesperson, emphasized that the Authority’s withdrawal as a River To River sponsor “in no way diminishes B.P.C.A.’s support of the arts. The Authority enthusiastically underwrites its Parks Conservancy’s robust array of diverse programming geared to specific age groups and general audiences, including the Swedish Midsummer Festival, the drumming circle series called ‘Sunset Jams on the Hudson,’ the Brazilian Family Dance and the four-part series of live blues music dubbed ‘River and Blues.’ ”
River and Blues:
Battery Park City’s stellar “River and Blues” concerts have been brightening the month of July for more than 15 years. This year, the fabulous, Grammy Award-winning John Hammond leads off the series on Thurs., July 18, followed on Thurs., July 25, by the Christian Scott Quintet. Bill Sims, Jr. is next up, on Thurs., Aug. 1. The Wiyos conclude the series on Thurs., Aug. 8. The free concerts take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Wagner Park.
Blowouts at Vince Smith:
For many people, heat and humidity generate not just bad hair days but horrendous hair days. The Vince Smith Hair Experience at 300 Rector Place has come to the rescue with a summer blowout sale. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of August, Vince Smith is offering a shampoo, conditioning and blowout for $35 (unless you have extra-long or extra-thick hair, or want your hair ironed — that would be $10 additional). The whole process takes 45 minutes to an hour. “It’s nice to see how you can transform people!” Smith says. They arrive with frizz and come out sleek and shiny. The salon is open from noon to 9 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are preferable. For an appointment, call 212-945-1590.
B.P.C. resident’s crafts market on the Lilac:
Battery Park City resident Christina Sun is an artist and a lover of historic ships. She meshes those interests in her monthly parties and crafts fairs aboard the Lilac, a lighthouse tender dating from 1933 that is moored at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. In addition to her own prints and drawings — most of them of ships — Sun sells crafts from local vendors at her parties, plus there’s music and a cash bar. As her flier says, “Shop on a ship with the only beer at the pier!”
The Lilac is America’s last remaining steam-powered lighthouse tender. In the years before lighthouses were automated, Lilac carried supplies to them in fair weather and foul, and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. One of her most hazardous voyages occurred during the winter of 1935-36, when thick ice marooned the keepers of offshore lighthouses in lower Delaware Bay and Lilac was sent to rescue them. She succeeded in her mission but sustained propeller damage that required dry-docking and replacement.
Decommissioned in 1972, she is now a museum ship owned by the nonprofit Lilac Preservation Project. The valiant vessel is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sun said that she loves talking to people about the ship, the Coast Guard, the Lighthouse Service and the other historic harbor boats.
The Lilac is open Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The next crafts party is on Sunday, July 21. For more information about the Lilac, go to lilacpreservationproject.org. For information about the crafts parties, go to bowsprite.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/radio-lilac.
To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, e-mail TereseLoeb10@gmail.com.
— BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER