Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) today announced the spring lineup of its annual events series, “Downtown Brooklyn Presents,” which celebrates the people and the places of one of the nation’s fastest growing downtowns. The spring launch is only the start of a jam-packed season that will bring Downtown Brooklyn residents and New Yorkers together as a community.

“We are excited to announce a 2023 spring calendar that will give Brooklynites ways to come out and enjoy our public spaces,” said Regina Myer, President of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Downtown Brooklyn Presents transforms the neighborhood with a vibrant calendar of events and having residents and visitors join us for fun, fitness, and entertainment outside.”

Downtown Brooklyn’s creative energy is in full swing with exciting events throughout the neighborhood. Opening the season is a series curated to complement COMMON GROUND, a site-specific interactive public artwork at The Plaza at 300 Ashland by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong and Arup. From Haitian Rara with Kriye Bode and Kendra J. Ross’ work in progress, Portals: Traversing Black Continuums, to percussive foot work by Soles of Duende and Pratt Institute’s fashion show, JUNIOR THESIS, April sets the precedent for an incredible season.

This year, Downtown Brooklyn will host several events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip hop, Pride Month and Juneteenth. Hip hop enthusiasts can channel their favorite MC at “Check the Rhime,” Downtown Brooklyn’s version of hip hop karaoke, and a three-day Juneteenth event will feature commemorative performances and activities presented by 651Arts and MoCADA. The Brooklyn Commons lunchtime music series will feature a special Pride event on June 8th with a stellar performance by New York City’s premiere musical theatre drag queen, Marilyn Monhoe and a new dominoes and DJ series, “Capicu! The Party,” will host a special Pride event on June 23rd with renowned DJ, Nicole of Nina Sky.

Natarsha McQueen’s beloved Zumba classes are back by popular demand, along with Ping Pong Happy Hours with DJ Mike Doelo and The Push. Car-Free Earth Day returns on April 22nd with exciting activations, music and a green-and-glam clothing swap in partnership with House of Kellogg. For two consecutive weeks, Willoughby Walks, in collaboration with NYU’s Tisch School and The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, will host car-free streets with special performances and fun activities. The exciting series, Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, also returns this year, inviting dancers of all levels to join a cultural journey through music and dance.

With an exciting lineup of fun, safe and free outdoor events, “Downtown Brooklyn Presents” will activate the neighborhood’s streets and plazas all season long. Advanced registration is encouraged, and in some cases, participants must sign a waiver in order to participate.

Downtown Brooklyn Presents
Spring Calendar 2023

COMMON GROUND Performances

This series is curated to complement the experience of COMMON GROUND, a site-specific interactive public artwork at The Plaza at 300 Ashland, created by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, with lighting design and programming by Xena Petkanas, Christoph Gisel and Arup. Lighting and controls provided by Nanometer and Electric Lighting Agencies.

Thursday, April 6 | 6PM-7PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Peniel Guerrier and Kriye Bode bring Haitian Rara to the plaza with an enchanting performance that calls all to rejoice in the energy of life as a community.

Thursday, April 13 | 6PM-7PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Kendra J. Ross shares her work-in-progress, Portals: Traversing Black Continuums, a multi-sensory journey through time, space, generations, and dimensions. The fuller work-in-progress will be presented by 651Arts in May 2023.

Thursday, April 20 | 6PM – 7PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Soles of Duende, the all-female, multicultural dance trio, present a spirited collaboration across disciplines and the celebration of Tap, Flamenco and Kathak dance.

Saturday, April 22 | 6PM-7PM
Rain Date: Saturday, April 29 | 6PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Pratt Institute’s fashion department closes the installation with JUNIOR THESIS – a fashion performance featuring selected works from year-end collections.

DoorDash x Nimbus Presents Spring Fling Block Party

Friday, April 14 | 2PM-5PM
383 Bridge Street

Celebrate spring with small bites, music and fun activities.

Downtown Brooklyn Car-Free Earth Day

Saturday, April 22 | 11AM-3PM
Albee Square

Join us for an exciting and earth-friendly activation on the plaza at Albee Square. Albee Square West will also be closed to traffic all day, so bring your yoga mats, bikes, scooters, and roller skates and enjoy a car-free street!

Willoughby Walks

Thursday, April 27 | 2PM-8PM
Wednesday, May 3 | 2PM-7PM
Willoughby Street at Pearl Street

For two consecutive weeks, lounge in our lawn chairs and revel in a car-free streets! Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and DOT close the streets and transform them with art, music, exercise classes, and fun activities — all free and open to the public! In collaboration with NYU’s Tisch School and The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

Albee Square Happy Hours: Check the Rhime

Thursdays, May 4-25 | 5PM-8PM
Albee Square

In honor of Hip Hop 50, we present Downtown Brooklyn’s version of Hip Hop Karaoke. Channel your favorite MC and spit the verses that have kept you in love with the genre for five decades. Vibe curator, Dot Ichiro provides the beats, we’ll provide the mic, and YOU must provide the verses by memory (no karaoke machine or lyrics will not be provided).

BAMkids SpringFest

Saturday, May 6 | 10:00AM-4PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

A day of performances, interactive activities, and showcases of local talent, celebrating the spirit of spring and themes related to environmental advocacy and care. Co-curated by the BAMkids Parent Advisory Circle.

Ping Pong Happy Hours

Tuesdays, May 9- 30 & June 6-20 | 5PM-7:30PM
Brooklyn Commons

DJ Mike Doelo and The Push are back for another series of ping pong match ups. The series is free to the public. Participants will be required to sign a waiver for this event.

Zumba with Dodge YMCA

Wednesdays, May 10, 17, 31 & June 7, 14, 21, 28 | 6PM-7PM
Brooklyn Commons Park

Natarsha McQueen’s beloved Zumba series returns. Devoted fans and new recruits sweat it out each Wednesday to choreographed dance moves set to lively beats. This one-hour fitness party is presented in collaboration with Dodge YMCA. Participants will be required to sign a waiver for this event.

BKLYN Kids Indoor/Outdoor Block Party

Saturday, May 20 | 11AM-3PM
Albee Square and City Point

Brooklyn Bridge Parents brings block party fun to Downtown Brooklyn at both City Point and Albee Square with free, fun activities for families with kids ages 1 to 10.

BAM DanceAfrica Outdoor Bazaar

May 27 – 29 | Times TBD
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

The nation’s largest festival of African and African American dance, music, and culture is back with this beloved annual event. DanceAfrica’s global marketplace of Black arts and crafts will take place on the Plaza, Lafayette Avenue, and Ashland Place.

Lunchtimes @ Brooklyn Commons Park
Thursdays, June 1-29 | 12PM-2PM
Brooklyn Commons Park

Thursdays in June are filled with lively lunchtime entertainment. This summer’s series asserts the Commons’ position as the perfect backdrop to arts and entertainment in Downtown Brooklyn.

June 1 – La Manga

La Manga is a multi-cultural band inspired by the spirit and ancestry of the vast Afro-Indígeno Caribbean musical diaspora. This collective honors oral traditions, the power of tambores and bailes cantaos.

June 8 – Celebrate PRIDE with Marilyn Monhoe + Brooklyn Pride

Musical theatre creative and actor by day, Marcelle LaBrecque, takes New York City by storm as their larger than life drag persona, Marilyn Monhoe. With show-stopping performances inspired by originally staged productions, Marilyn Monhoe has become NYC’s premiere musical theatre drag queen.

June 15 – BQE Strings

BQE Strings strives to connect the past and the present, offering fresh takes on classics from Bach to Guns N’ Roses. The core of the quartet is formed by alumni of European conservatories and seasoned chamber musicians who are also active community leaders, passionate about sharing their music with New Yorkers from of all walks of life.

June 22 – Kanami Kusajima

Dancer, choreographer and performing artist, Kanami Kusajima brings her one-woman show to Downtown Brooklyn. She has performed in works by various choreographers, including Yoshiko Chuma, Ana Maria Lucaciu and Erin Landers, to name a few, but has become a performance art darling since her 2021 debut, “Let Hair Down.”

June 29 – Lollise

Lollise is a musician, visual artist and fashion designer from Botswana, currently living in NYC. She has toured with Akoya Afrobeat, Underground System and the FELA! Band. Her debut release, Looking at You, solidified her sound and demonstrates her keen imagination- transforming surroundings into dreamscapes ripe with possibility.

Bare Feet Downtown Brooklyn
Thursdays, June 1-22 | 6PM-8PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi returns to Downtown Brooklyn for another cultural journey through music and dance. Seasoned pros and first-time dancers are all welcome to join on The Plaza’s dance floor for fun and exciting moves.

June 1 – The Thunderbird American Indian Dancers

For over 25 years, Thunderbird Dancers have enchanted a diverse array of audiences through performance with the varied traditions of the American Indian peoples. Specializing in the songs and dances of the tribes of the Northwest Coast, Woodlands (Iroquois and Winnebago), Plains (Sioux) and the Southwest (Hopi and Santo Domingo), Thunderbird American Indian Dancers have made an enormous contribution to the effort of preserving and perpetuating American Indian culture.

June 8 – The Art of Voguing with Cesar Valentino

Before FX’s POSE! And HBO Max’s Legendary series, there was Cesar Valentino. Since 1988, Cesar has been an innovator in the underground ballroom and club scene. From world tours and documentaries, such as Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning, to choreographing music videos, Cesar Valentino is master of the art form. Join us as we strike a pose with this legend!

June 15 – Ladies of Hip-Hop Dance Collective

Ladies of Hip-Hop has been a driving force in the empowerment of girls and women in hip hop. Join Founder, Michele Byrd-Mcphee DJ Sabine Blaizin and the LOHH tribe as they pay homage to five decades of hip hop while highlighting some of the genre’s next generation of female leaders.

June 22 – Fuákata! Cuban Salsa, Casino & Rueda

Fuákata founder, Christopher Rogicki, along with co-director Evelyn Ramirez, continue to showcase the beauty of Cuban Salsa, its evolution, and the diversity of styles it embodies. Fuákata’s energy will transport you from Downtown Brooklyn to the streets of La Habana and Santiago de Cuba. Musical guest to be announced.

Capicu! The Party
Fridays, June 2-23 | 6PM-8PM
Albee Square

Tables, tiles and music will be on hand for this 18th Century game beloved in the Caribbean and New York. Strategy, calculation, some luck, and a lot of fun are required for the 28-tiled game. Capicu! The Party is a celebration of Nuyorican Soul through Dominoes, Caribbean Funk, FANIA and Vinyl.

June 2 – Uptown Vinyl Supreme

Uptown Vinyl Supreme is a DJ collective and community organization born in The Bronx, paying homage to the analog roots of music, party and dance culture.

June 9 – Christian Mártir + Danny Conga

Christian Mártir is a modern renaissance man spreading his love for soulful rhythms everywhere from Madison Square Garden to Mexico City. He has worked with Daptone Records, Fania Records, to name a few. For over 20 years, Danny “Conga” Valdez has driven the music scene through his percussive journey over curated playlists.

June 16 – Riobamba

Riobamba is an Ecuadorian-Lithuanian sound artist, DJ, and cultural activist and founder of APOCALIPSIS, a record label and creative agency that amplifies artists of the Global South and diaspora.

June 23 – PRIDE with Nicole of Nina Sky

Nicole is not only a renowned DJ, but half of the Billboard chart-topping musical duo Nina Sky. Her career spans almost two decades since the release of the global hit, “Move Ya Body!”

Movement Mondays with Mark Morris Dance Group

Mondays, June 5, 12 and 26 | 6PM-7PM
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Work it out on The Plaza every week with this energetic and motivating dance series. Choose from an array of fun classes that will make you increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress!

Jazz with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office
In collaboration with Jazz Foundation America

Tuesdays, June 6-27 | 12PM-1:30PM
Columbus Park

Add a few complex chords, harmonies and improvisation to your lunchtime schedule this June. This jazz series is guaranteed to make you bop and groove. *Dates subject to change.

Juneteenth Weekend

Saturday, June 17 | Time TBD
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

651 ARTS presents the 651 ARTS’ Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration, a commemoration of African American emancipation featuring performances and activities. The celebration will be held outdoors at the institution’s future home. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Sunday, June 18 | Time TBD
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

Presented by MoCADA.

Monday, June 19 | Time TBD
Albee Square and Albee Square West

Presented by Da Spot.

BRIC Poetry Slam
Tuesday, Jun 27 | 6pm-8:30pm
The Plaza at 300 Ashland

This monthly, popular event is celebrating six years at Downtown Brooklyn cultural institution, BRIC! Mahogany L. Browne hosts and cultivates an incredible evening of poetry and community, supported by beats from Jive Poetic.

The DTBK Presents summer schedule will be released in May.