Public Space Programming

NYC’s Public Space Programming initiative brings free activities to public spaces, such as plazas and Open Streets. This program connects public spaces citywide with local organizations that host activities. All activities are free and open to New Yorkers of all ages and abilities.

Programming brings arts, culture, fitness, and educational experiences to neighborhoods in need. These activities also promote the positive use of public space. This program is focused on supporting neighborhoods in NYC DOT Priority Investment and Public Space Priority Areas, as identified in the NYC Streets Plan.

A colorful drag queen reads a story to children seated in a semi-circle on an Open Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Drag Queen Story Hour at 5th Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Public Space Programming Catalogue

Cover of the Public Space Programming Catalogue featuring a solo performer on a stage in front of an audience of adults and children.
Cover of the 2022 Public Space Programming Catalogue

This catalogue includes a list of non-profit organizations available to provide programming in NYC DOT managed public spaces. All activities on the list are free of charge and suitable for New Yorkers of all ages and abilities.

Download the 2022 Public Space Programming Catalogue (pdf)

Programming Events in 2022

NYC DOT is teaming up with several Programming Partners, City agencies, cultural organizations, and non-profit institutions to provide a wide variety of events to public spaces throughout the City this year!

Sign up for our Public Space newsletter to learn about upcoming events

Make Music New York – Plaza by Plaza

Two musicians play guitars and sing under a pop up tent in a plaza.
Make Music New York at Forsyth Plaza, Manhattan

NYC DOT partnered with Make Music New York to bring a full day of music to over 15 plazas across the city on Tuesday, June 21. All events are free and open to the public, and feature a wide variety of New York City based artists.

Learn more about the Make Music New York project

Flatbed Follies

Two people juggle brightly colored clubs on a flatbed stage in a plaza.
Flatbed Follies at Jennings Open Street, Bronx

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’ Flatbed Follies is an innovative travelling circus. They provide variety arts and amazing acts to neighborhoods throughout the city.

Learn more about the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Public Space Pilots – Partnership with Street Lab

A pop up library on an Open Street is surrounded by yellow and white seating elements. Several passerby of varying ages stop to check out the books.
Street Lab’s pop up library at 5th Avenue Sunset Park, Brooklyn

In 2022, Street Lab is partnering with NYC DOT and community groups to pilot new Open Streets, plazas, and other pedestrian public spaces in neighborhoods that lack these amenities. Street Lab will be providing their award-winning programming alongside a suite of other services to help get these new spaces off the ground.

Learn more about Street Lab

Open Streets: Back to School Events

NYC Open Streets: Back to School logo

As summer turns to fall, NYC DOT and our partners are excited to present programming that celebrates Back to School! This series of events includes educational activities, information, and giveaways. We will also host a variety of fitness, recreation, and arts programming on Open Streets and Plazas throughout the boroughs and will participate in several community events. All events are subject to change and may be modified or cancelled due to weather or other circumstances.

Bronx Events:

Date
Event
Location
Streets
Time
9/10/2022 NYC DOT Helmet Fitting at Councilmember Eric Dinowitz Back to School Family Fun Festival Van Cortlandt Park East 233rd Street and Van Cortlandt Park East 1pm to 4pm
9/17/2022 NYC DOT Helmet Fitting at Mind-Builders Back to School Street Festival Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center Olinville Avenue between Magenta Street and Duncomb Avenue 10am to 4pm

Brooklyn Events:

Date
Event
Location
Streets
Time
9/18/2022 NYC DOT Helmet Fitting with Councilmember Kalman Yeger Gravesend Park 18th Avenue and 56th Street 1pm to 4pm
9/18/2022 Open Streets: Back to School Tompkins Avenue Open Street Gates Avenue to Halsey Street 10am to 9pm
9/24/2022 Bike the Block 5th Avenue Open Street Sterling Street to St John's Place 11am to 2pm

Manhattan Events:

Date
Event
Location
Streets
Time
9/14/2022 NYC DOT Safety Education at Student Life Back to School Club Fair Grand Street Settlement Columbia Street between Pitt Street and Baruch Drive 10am to 2:30pm
10/1/2022 Open Streets: Back to School Dyckman Street Quisqueya Plaza to Dyckman Marina 10am to 3pm
10/2/2022 NYC DOT Helmet Fitting with Councilmember Diane Ayala and Bike the Block at Party on Park Park Avenue Park Avenue and East 118th Street 12pm to 3:30pm

Queens Events:

Date
Event
Location
Streets
Time
9/10/2022 Bike the Block 90th Avenue Merrick Boulevard to 168th Street 11am to 3pm
9/24/2022 NYC DOT Safety Education at EmblemHealth Healthier Futures Wellness Expo James A. Bland Playground 40th Road at Prince Street 11am to 4pm
9/25/2022 NYC DOT Safety Education at Myrtle Avenue Back to School Street Festival Myrtle Avenue Wyckoff Avenue to Forest Avenue 11am to 6pm

Staten Island Events:

Date
Event
Location
Streets
Time
9/17/2022 Open Streets: Back to School Water Street Open Street Beach Street to Wright Street 11:30am to 6:30pm
10/1/2022 Bike the Block Snug Harbor Road Kissel Avenue to Richmond Terrace 11am to 3pm

Open Streets: Back to School on Dyckman Street

NYC DOT is teaming up with City agencies, cultural organizations, and non-profit institutions to host Open Streets: Back to School on Dyckman Street, from Quisqueya Plaza to Dyckman Marina. The event will take place on Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 10am to 3pm. Walk, run, or bike on car-free Dyckman Street and enjoy free activities throughout the day. Hudson Community Sailing will offer free sailing and Unlimited Biking will provide free bike rentals. Activities will include music, fitness, children’s activities, arts workshops, educational programming, and more.

    Open Streets: Back to School partners include:
  • Art Lives Here
  • BAMESO USA
  • Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
  • Creative Art Works
  • DSNY Zero Waste
  • Dyckman Gardens
  • Dyckman Marina
  • HONK NYC
  • Hudson Community Sailing
  • I Challenge Myself
  • Literacy, Inc.
  • NYC DOT Safety Education
  • NYC Parks Mobile Fitness
  • NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers
  • Unlimited Biking
  • Urban Glass
  • Word Up Community Bookstore