West Side Fest to Bring Free Cultural Bonanza to Locals on Sept. 30

Highlights are set to include a “Neighborhood Arts Walk” hosted by the Whitney Museum, a performance of an avant-garde classic at the New York City AIDS Memorial, a free film festival at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, and a marine science festival at Pier 84.

| 22 Sep 2023 | 08:42

An inaugural West Side Fest is coming to the banks of the Hudson River on September 30th, hosted by 21 organizations that have banded together to form The West Side Cultural Network (WSCN). Admission will be free, according to a kaleidoscopic website advertising the festival.

WSCN participants include: the Atlantic Theater Company, the Hill Art Foundation, Hudson River Park, The Joyce Theatre, The Kitchen, the High Line, the Center for Art, Research and Alliances, Chelsea Factory, Dia Chelsea, Little Island, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, the New York City AIDS Memorial, Poster House, the Rubin Museum of Art, The Shed, Westbeth, the West Village Rehearsal Co-Op, White Columns, New York Live Arts, Print Center New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Whitney, for example, will have free admission from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 30. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., they’ll be hosting a Neighborhood Arts Walk, which will be led by a Ph.D. student with a fellowship at the museum. For kids, a Family Open Studio Art Marking Program will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

From noon until midnight, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center will host the free Queer Voices NYC Film Festival.

At the New York City AIDS Memorial, Arthur Russell’s 1973 cult-classic composition “City Park” will be performed. The late composer and cellist, who died at age 40 in 1992 from complications from AIDS, was a pioneering figure of the New York avant-garde. The founder of the now-defunct independent label Sleeping Bag Records, Russell collaborated with artists ranging from Talking Heads to Allen Ginsburg. He was also the musical director of The Kitchen from 1974-1975.

That venue will feature a free multidisciplinary exhibition of Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s work. Born in New York City and working out of Paris, France, Lutz-Kinoy has shared paintings, archival materials, audiovisual compositions, and other “ephemera” with The Kitchen.

Husdon River Park’s Pier 84 will be blending the hard sciences and the humanities with the SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival, where animal lovers (and students) of all ages can learn from assembled “STEM experts” about local waterways. Family-friendly live entertainment is also promised.

Jane Carey, one of the main organizers of the September 30 bonanza–not to mention the Director of Government and Community Affairs at the Whitney Museum–expressed high hopes for the festival: “The Hudson River’s West Side is a dynamic cultural hub. We are thrilled to celebrate this community and offer New Yorkers a full day of free creative activities and beautiful views during the first-ever West Side Fest. Each year, millions of people are brought together by the dozens of arts organizations, parks, and performance centers in the area, sparking curiosity, giving space for conversations, and providing joy—all while driving societal and economic progress.”