What’s summertime without some summer concerts? Greenpoint’s Park Church Coop, located at 129 Russell Street, will be hosting a bounty of musical and artistic events this summer with tickets now on sale on their Withfriends page. Here, series curator Mike Nowotarski shares what excites him most about the chance to gather and enjoy live art following the city’s prolonged shutdown.
Greenpointers: The Summer Concert Series is such a fun concept. How did the idea originate?
Mike Nowotarski: This is the first year we’ve done this! Last year Park did have a few isolated concerts outside that were really a highlight of a difficult summer here in NYC for a lot of people. A few months ago I was looking for a new spiritual home and I started attending service at Park. I reached out to Pastor Jake about making the concerts a more regular thing this year and he seemed pretty excited about the idea and he was gracious enough to give me a chance to put this thing together.
The kinds of music represented offer a wide breadth of styles. Can you discuss what audiences can anticipate?
Every concert is going to be an entirely unique and different experience! Mostly it’s a mix of indie rock, folk, and classical music. I wanted to spotlight artists I know and love from NYC that are creating inspiring work from a variety of genres. We also have local artists from a community group called Greenpoint Arts Circle who will be displaying their work.
What does it mean for a local church to host this series?
Park is a really unique and welcoming community. Pastor Jake does a wonderful job of creating an accepting space for people to practice their faith, including LGTBQIA+ folks who have traditionally been excluded from church communities. Park also does a lot of other work in the community, providing a space for music lessons and other important services. I think this series is really just an extension of that work, making sure the church serves the broader community as a whole, something I really am thankful to have found since moving to Greenpoint.
There’s an Arts Festival on August 28 at 2 PM; what will that entail?
Our outdoor festival on the 28 is going to be a really beautiful event. It was the brainchild of Alanna Markowitz, who has done a great job organizing. We’ll have performers set up on our church steps for the entire day. It’s going to involve musicians, poetry readings, and over 20 artists displaying their work, thanks to the curating efforts of Jillian Kron, whose work can be found on Instagram @grapefruitgarlicginkoginseng. We are looking forward to a wonderful celebration of community right next to McGolrick Park.
What excites you about this series?
I’m most excited about the chance to hear the performers. Each concert features some really incredibly talented and inspiring artists.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We hope people will consider buying tickets ahead of time on our Withfriends page, if people value what we do in the community, we hope they’ll consider becoming members and pledging a small monthly donation in exchange for discounted tickets and other perks! If you want to stay updated on Park Church Coop you can follow us on Instagram at @park_church_coop or like us on Facebook.