Summer 2014 Free Public Arts Festival
The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy sponsored the Rockaway! public arts festival from June 29 to September 1, 2014 to celebrate the reopening of historic Fort Tilden and recognize the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway peninsula. The festival was a huge success attracting more than 12,000 people during its two-month run.
Organized by MoMA PS1 and the Rockaway Artists Alliance, Rockaway! featured solo projects by Patti Smith, Janet Cardiff and Adrián Villar Rojas at Fort Tilden and an international group show with the Honolulu Biennial at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. Patti Smith's installation of five granite blocks engraved with Walt Whitman quotes will remain on permanent display at Fort Tilden.
Fort Tilden, which is owned and managed by the National Park Service, was established as a military base in 1917. It was intended to fortify the Rockaway peninsula from naval attacks during World War I and remained an active base during World War II and the Cold War. Both anti-aircraft guns and Nike Missiles were placed at Fort Tilden to protect from aerial attacks. The fort was decommissioned in 1974 and now serves as a public park.
Rockaway! was made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Secunda Family Foundation with additional support provided by the Moore Charitable Foundation, National Grid and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Special thanks to Volkswagen of America for their past and current support.