The community group hosted its first event at McGolrick Park over the weekend with Brazilian percussive group Maracatu New York. Dozens of children and their families came out despite the heat to listen to the music and learn about Northeastern Brazilian culture.
“We’re teaching the traditional rhythms of Brazil,” said Maracatu New York founder Scott Kettner at their performance on Friday night. Maracatu New York also hosts classes to teach the 400-year-old music style in the Gowanus Arts building on Douglas Street between 3rd and 4th avenues.
As the McGolrick Park gets underway, with the next performance on July 26 featuring The Mad Town Special bluegrass group, Town Square is now planning to spread the series to Transmitter Park, located at the end of Greenpoint Avenue on the East River waterfront.
With the help of Close Encounters, a make-shift record label and networking group based in Brooklyn, the park will host concerts by Workman Song and Weather Channels on August 4 and Stephen Brock, Sarabande and Vudu Sister on August 18.
On September 8, the series will continue with Brooklyn-based Oy Vey and again on September 15 with a soon-to-be-announced artist. Town Square is also eyeing Cooper Park for shows in September featuring students from I.S. 318.
“This expands our fun summer family programming,” said Town Square chair Susan Anderson.
Close Encounters founder Kirsten Shores started the group to bring local bands and performers together in one place.
“It’s just about being able to facilitate the artist and the community together,” Shores said. “We will encourage bands to talk about their songs at the show.”
Shores got the idea after her Brooklyn Lower East Side Indie Show meetup.com group blew up and gathered nearly 2,000 local concert-goers.
“We’re a very neighborhood grassroots thing,” she said. “Now we find local musicians and bring them to local audiences that is festive for everyone.”
Anderson said Town Square is also actively looking for a way to install a large, all-weather movie screen at Transmitter Park to show family-friendly films.
“We’ve obtained the permission to install a portable screen on the brick wall, but our challenge is figuring out how to get up that high,” Anderson said. “If anyone in the neighborhood has any suggestions for us, we would love to hear them.”