Freshkills Park Art & Programs
Role: Manager for Programs, Arts, and Grants
At 2,200 acres, Freshkills Park is almost three times the size of Central Park and the largest park to be developed in New York City in over 100 years. It also has a significant history as the site of the former Fresh Kills Landfill, which was the largest landfill in the world before closing in 2001. Since then, the landfill has been covered with layers of soil and infrastructure, and the site has become a place for wildlife, science, education, and art. As the park is built in phases, free tours and events provide early access for learning and recreation opportunities.
Art and cultural activities at Freshkills Park aim to engage the public and foster understanding of the astounding ecological transformation and design process from landfill to park. The engineered landscape and unmatched scale offer opportunities for artistic research, experimentation, demonstration, and presentation unlike any other public space in New York City. In the current environmental moment, the Freshkills Park project is a model for landfills and brownfields across the world. Artists therefore engage the park project to investigate, innovate, interpret the developing park and incite social change beyond its bounds.
As Manager for Programs, Arts and Grants for Freshkills Park (NYC Parks), I conceive of, research, curate and implement cultural projects and programming for the changing landscape. Heavily informed by the history of socially engaged art and pioneering artist-in-residence programs at Fresh Kills Landfill, the cultural projects that I support and organize engage the public with the site’s history, current conditions, and future. I also work with my colleagues to create cross-disciplinary research and engagement, showcased in the 2018 Reclaimed Lands Conference.