Barefoot Dancing, a unique multi-ethnic program, “brings the world” to Van Cortlandt Park annually, to the delight of community members. Programming for Barefoot Dancing is predicated on the premise that cultural literacy and social development enhance the vitality of a community. Barefoot Dancing features performers who play live instrumental music and present dance forms of their native ethnic tradition. The artists, skilled educators adept in engaging diverse audiences of adults and children, introduce the historical and cultural roots of each dance form, then draw the audience members in to join them. Audience response is invariably joyful and enthusiastic, and the evening’s “takeaway” is an enhanced appreciation of a newly discovered culture. Many families spread a blanket and bring a picnic dinner to make the evening special (shoes are optional).
The Alliance collaborates with Lotus Music & Dance for these programs.
Enslaved Peoples in Van Cortlandt Park
In late 2018 Van Cortlandt Park Alliance invited a group of experts and interested parties together to develop and disseminate a more inclusive history of Van Cortlandt Park through presentations, public and self-guided park tours, art exhibits, signage, and research. Members of this coalition include: Peggy King Jorde, King Jorde Cultural Project Consulting; Black Gotham Experience, Kamau Ware, Founder & Lead Creative; Kingsbridge Historical Society, Nick Dembowski, and President; Van Cortlandt House Museum/National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, Laura Carpenter Myers, Director.