The Open Space Alliance’s summer concerts—once held in McCarren Pool, then in the East River State Park—are to move this summer to a lot at 50 Kent Avenue, between North 10th and 11th streets. It’s an “interim space,” OSA’s executive director Stephanie Thayer tells us, “because we currently have an arrangement with Parks for two years.”
Last year, locals complained about OSA’s concerts in East River Park—that they attracted drugs, that they brought litter as well as unruly crowds, who drank in public and urinated on the trees. The community’s response seemed to inspire the move.
But Thayer tells us it’s in keeping with the Alliance’s mission.
Our mission is to improve and build parks in North Brooklyn and this is a really a great opportunity to do exactly that. The Pool had been off limits to the general public before the shows. One of the reasons we got involved was to insure that the Pool was used by/for our community, rather than just decaying. Similarly, the State Park had been closed for lack of funds before we started the Williamsburg Waterfront concert series there. (With the Williamsburg Waterfront series, we donated $300,000 to the park, beyond the $280,000 paid in fees.) Activating 50 Kent for our neighborhood is a continuation of what OSA has been doing all along. The goal of our community is to see North 9th up to about Meserole Avenue as parkland—this is OSA’s way of helping that vision to a reality.