What is a Family Program on the High Line?

"I wish I could do that": the words I want to hear as an adult walks by a family program on the High Line. Family programs on the park aren't about making arts and crafts, but instead are as deeply engaging as programs designed for adults—so much so that adult passersby should be jealous.

Family "Construction Zone" at the April 2017 Culture Shock program. Photo by Liz Ligon.
"I feel welcomed": the words I want to hear a family say at a family program on the High Line. How do we design family programs that appeal to adults and feel welcoming for families? Over the winter, a group of educators brainstormed and designed our Make It! family festivals.

We wanted to:

  • highlight artists, communities, and performers that reflect the diversity of NYC families
  • provide programming in both English and Spanish, when possible, to be more inclusive
  • partner with community-based organizations to support their great work and involved communities

When selecting performers, we thought about their racial and ethnic diversity so that they reflect New Yorkers' rich cultures. We discussed how to engage the adults that come with their children so they can have just as much fun as their kids, as well as how to engage our youngest visitors and their older siblings. We knew that activities needed to be varied to include movement, performance, art making, horticulture, and more.

So, what does that look like?

Come visit us on June 24 for Make It Verde! to find out! Make It Verde! is the first family festival in our 2017 series, which will run through September. Make It Verde! is co-presented with one of our community partners, the Loisaida Center on the Lower East Side.

Loisaida's annual festival in 2016. Photo by Ryan John Lee.
Loisaida is on a mission to address the serious economic and social disenfranchisement of Latinx residents while offering multi-generational programming that appeals to the social and cultural sensibilities of the Lower East Side. Their approach celebrates the urban surroundings, grassroots invention, and immigrant spirit of the Loisaida neighborhood. Located on East 9th St., the Center recently opened the exhibition La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues: 1985 & 2017, which explores 26 political murals located in the nearby community garden, La Plaza Cultural, that first appeared 30 years ago – and their relevance today. Loisaida is also commissioning Puerto Rican artists Poncilin Creacion to engage families through storytelling and mural-making during Make It Verde!

The Brandon Project performing during last year's Make It Grow! family festival on the High Line. Photo by Liz Ligon.
We will also welcome back our dancers-in-residency, The Brandon Project. The Brandon Project is a volunteer-run hip-hop dance program for Chelsea youth ages 8-18. The Project was created in 2015 in memory of Chelsea resident Brandon Romero, who died in a heroic act saving his family member. Each

Make It! this season will feature a set by the troupe.

Families plant seeds on our Mobile Garden during Make It Grow! family festival on the High Line in 2016. Photo by Liz Ligon.
You can also check out our Mobile Garden cart, which will introduce new horticulture concepts to families through hands-on planting and opportunities to quiz High Line gardeners.

We welcome you and your little ones ages 0-12 to spend your day with us!

Learn more about our family programs.

High Line Families is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.


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