Past Events

The Gowanus Ballroom proudly supported PS 32, hosting the First Annual PTA Silent Auction. This adults only fundraising evening of fun, food, drinks, and music, brought guests together to bid on dozens of amazing items—including dinners out, salon services, artwork for the home, kids classes, and much, much more. Revenues for the PTA totaled over $20,000!

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Brooklyn Skillshare

April 27, 2013

The Brooklyn Skillshare is a community-based, community-led, and community-building learning event organized and taught by Brooklyn residents. The Gowanus Ballroom proudly hosted the 2013 iteration of the skillshare, featuring a wide range of classes including Japanese bookbinding, basics of lacto-fermentation, bike mechanics 101, Indian cooking – classic curries, beer styles and flavors, and much more.

The Skillshare was sponsored by Bitter & Esthers homebrew shop in Prospect Heights.

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The Brooklyn Free Clinic partnered with the Gowanus Ballroom to host a free, day-long TedMed Live conference. The conference, an official satellite of the TEDMED event hosted in Washington, DC, featured live speakers presenting unique solutions to the challenges currently facing healthcare professionals and the patients they serve. Topics explored included How medical education and communication impact the future of our healthcare system, how access to healthcare is changing and how will it affect medicine, and how technology is changing the healthcare experience.

The Brooklyn Free Clinic is a student run organization providing free healthcare to the uninsured in Brooklyn. Volunteers are students and physicians from the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, College of Health Related Professions, College of Nursing, and School of Public Health.

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The National Arts Club
15 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY 10003
National Arts Club

"Hotel" by Alex Kanevsky

Gowanus Ballroom resident curators Kristin Kunc and Courtney Jordan organized an exhibition at the National Arts Club. Body Politic upset the status quo of figurative art by showing the unexpected, peculiar, haunting, and carnal interpretations of the human body.

Featured new paintings by more than twenty established and emerging artists:
Larissa Bates
Sarah Berez
Margaret Bowland
Saskia Ozol Eubanks
Christian Fagerlund
Renee Foulks
Robyn Frank
Jane LaFarge Hamill
Alex Kanevsky
Steve Ketchum
Oh Joon B. Kwon
Jerome Lagarrigue
Allison MaletzNat Meade
Jenny Morgan
Jeff Muhs
Ethan Murrow
Reuben Negron
Scott Noel
Tim Okamura
Holly Ann Sailors
Melanie Vote

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Nowhere Magazine Launch

February 9, 2013

Nowhere Magazine invaded the Gowanus Ballroom with Airplanes, art installations, virtual story projections, a fake fashion shoot photo booth, dancing, and killer bands to celebrate the relaunch of the new whacky, wild, literary travel magazine, Nowhere!

Featured performers included San Fran guitar hero Freddi Price, Jersey indie motown badasses, The One and Nines, and an extended DJ set by Barney Iller.

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Cirque de Idiotarod

January 26, 2013 Emergency Racing Agency

The legendary Idiotarod race found its way to Gowanus where racers came in from the cold and warmed their race-weary selves with an amazing celebration. This event helped keep the Gowanus Ballroom on its feet as we continued our recovery from hurricane Sandy.

Racers were welcomed home by amazing performers including Hungry March Band, Morgan O’Kane, Imaginary Weapons, Big Volcano, Matthew Silver the Great Performer, Universe, Sullied Accolades, Charming Disaster, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Doc Adventure, Flambeaux Fire, and more friends and familiar faces.

To show our solidarity with others hit hard by the storm, we collected donations of bottled water, cleaning supplies, canned goods and other non-perishables to support recovery efforts in the Rockaways, organized by the Rockaway Renagades.

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Save Gowanus Ballroom Fundraiser, photo courtesy of Eric Harvey Brown

In the wake of hurricane Sandy, we walked out of the Gowanus Ballroom exhausted from a long night fighting what had become a losing battle in a state of complete defeat. As we crossed the bridge to get a cup of coffee, we saw a gang box full of our tools floating under the bridge out into the bay. The canal was littered with Gowanus Ballroom’s internal working parts. Exhausted from the fight, we were too beat to try to throw a rope on the box to save a few thousand dollars worth of tools. We had to let it go and look for a cup of coffee instead. It was such a small aspect of the whole situation. With no insurance and no power, we relied on the helping hands of friends and people who love this place to make clean-up a reality.

To help jump-start our recovery, we teamed up with FlutuArte to host a fundraiser to benefit both organizations. We owe a special thanks to everyone who helped get us through the tough times after the storm’s destruction of our neighborhood and home.

FlutuArte brought together artists from all over the world to refurbish and decorate family owned fishing boats in a small community of fisherman and their families near Rio de Janeiro. In Brooklyn, artists recreated the project with replicas of fishing boats and extensive documentation of the original project.

FlutuAndo from Maxine Nienow on Vimeo.

Entertainment for the evening provided by Sweet Soubrette, Big Volcano, ON, Shayfer James and Sara Zar, Will McEvoy, Apocalypse Five and Dime, Hungry March Band, Pendulum Swings, Matthew Silver, the Great Performer, Consumata, Morgan O’Kane, Flambeaux Fire, aerialists Dana Abrasssart, Juanita Cardenas, Francis Stalling, Preeya Bhajandas, Kae Burke, Rachel Hsiung, Sara Jordan, and Lisa Natoli, stilting performances by Justin Aubuchon, Christine Geiger, Dana Abrassart, and Maxine Nienow, life-size boat installations by Benoit Verbeke, aquatic paintings by Browning Kay, live painting by FlutuArtists Nicolina and Maxine, collaborative live art by the Free Art Society, with Walker Fee, Pérola M. Bonfanti, and Zorrilla Monsoon. visuals by Adam Weinberg, video by Pérola M. Bonfanti, and Maxine Nienow, and face painting by Piyali Banerjie.


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Throughout its history the Gowanus has inspired both utopian dreams and dystopian nightmares. The past four-hundred years have witnessed the site’s transformation from a fertile series of tidal wetlands to one of the busiest industrial waterways in the United States. The canal, once a source for sustenance and hope, is today tainted by a notorious legacy of pollution and decay. Yet recent activity in the area suggests rejuvenation is at hand.

TO THE STARS ON THE WINGS OF AN EEL offered a chance to explore the urban unconscious of the Gowanus, to reimagine the past, decipher the present, and envision possible futures. Artists working in the neighborhood––some long-time fixtures, others recent arrivals––breath new life into a once stagnant and decaying quarter.


In this ambitions exhibition, war machines were deployed against a staid art world, thought submarines plumbed the murky depths of New York history, eels were charmed by the Siren of the Gowanus, and Sleeping Beauty awakened to the sound of a thousand falling pianos.

Featured artists:
Kiki Smith
Tom Otterness
Duke Riley
Miru Kim
Dustin Yellin
Ray Smith
The Bruce High Quality Foundation
Office of Recuperative Strategies (Elliott Malby, Elizabeth Zuba, Rachel Levitsky)
Eric Fertman
Jeanne Liotta
Ron Gorchov
Leonidas Chalepas
Gerri Davis
Jonah Emerson-Bell & Rainger Pinney
Serban Ionescu
Vahakn Arslanian
Integrated Visions Productions
Cecelia Rembert
Brooke Grant
Josh Young
Danielle Willems & Ezio Blasetti
Curtis Hamilton
Ethan Spigland
Adriana Atema
Jeff Wasson
Francisca Benitez
Colin Kilian
Simonetta Moro
Max Miller
Lou Wright
Robyn Hasty
Matthew Pisacano
J McDonald
Carlos Little
Kim Reinhardt
Anthony Titus
Andrew Beccone
The Reanimation Library
Sayler / Morris with Evan Paschke
Narek Gevorgian
Matthew William Robinson
David Sena
George Sferra
Luke Schumacher
Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels
The Objectionists
Danny Mallon
Tj Volonis

The Piano Is the Champagne from Rainger Pinney on Vimeo.

Performances by:
Will McEvoy
Amour Obscur
Matthew Silver: the Great Performer
Moon Hooch
Sour Mash Hug Band
Mike Haar the Barber
Miru Kim
Viva Le Vox
Hungry March Band
DJ Mikey IQ Jones
Pendulum Swings
DJ Dirty Finger
Office of Recuperative Strategies (Elliott Malby, Elizabeth Zuba, Rachel Levitsky)
The Big Ship
La Big Vic
DJ James Mulry
Panoply Performance Laboratory
Clydesdale Erotic
Apocalypse Five and Dime
Sun Ladders
The Piano is the Champagne

To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel was curated by Serban Ionescu, Ethan Spigland, George Sferra, and Josh Young, and was made possible in part by the Gowanus Ballroom, The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, The Canary Project, Proteus Gowanus, The Reanimation Library, Magnan Metz Gallery, Dustin Yellin Studio, Ray Smith Studio, Michael Belcher Cinematography, and Rainger Pinney.

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Morgan O’Kane, with Ferd Moyse, Zeke Healy, and Liam Crill,  reached out to fans in Brooklyn with a two part fundraiser to help support a trip on the road, or more accurately, the sea. Fidler Moyse inherited a sailboat from his late father, and the band headed south to pick it up. With stops in Key West, St. Augustine, Charleston, Kill Devil Hills, and Norfolk, the boys worked hard in between bookend shows at the Gowanus Ballroom.

The Brooklyn shows featured Morgan O’Kane, Top Soil, O My Fate, Spirit Family Reunion, Dog That Bites Everyone, Veveritse Brass Band, Black Cat Rock, Moon Hooch, and Vic Thrill.

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For seven years the Krewe of Eris has rolled out on the Sunday before Mardi Gras. Musicians, artists, and puppeteers from all over the country travel down to New Orleans every year to join creative forces with the amazing community of artists and musicians who live there. It is an unpermitted community parade with an open band that has been growing every year.

The Sunday before Mardi Gras 2011, the NOPD stopped the parade and proceeded to wreak havoc, using tasers and pepper spray, manhandling attendees, and arresting 12 people on charges ranging from disturbing the peace to resisting arrest to battery.

This show was a fundraiser for the legal defense of the 12 people arrested at the Eris Parade in New Orleans March 2011. It was thrown by a group of musicians who participated in the parade when the police shut it down.

Tanya Solomon–magic acts
Morgan O’Kane and Friends–shreddin’ banjo and ferocious foot stomping
Veveritse Brass Band–brass tapestry inspired by Romany style
DJ Dusty Walker–booty shaking beats straight from the living room
GltrPnch–Riot Grrl inspired Trans-core Punk!
Billy and Casbur–frolicking malformations
Raya Brass Band–exuberant Balkan music from the village of Brooklyn

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A group exhibition paying homage to the winter solstice, artists and curators drew inspiration from the longest night of the year, exploring darkness and light through works that mesmerized and sometimes deceived the eye. Large-scale installations in particular cast a fresh light on the space, allowing even frequent visitors to pursue new surprises.

Artists included Jordan Eagles, Leandro Flaherty, Shani Frymer, Robin Hill, Jeremy Holmes, Serban Ionescu, Integrated Visions, Margaret Krug, Kate Raudenbush, Cecelia Rembert, Matthew William Robinson, Charlotte Schulz, R. Justin Stewart, Melanie Vote, Dustin Yellin, and Joshua Young. Curated by Kristin Kunc and Courtney Jordan.







Photos courtesy of Ben Berlin.

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A host of bad-ass painters located in nearby environs, doing what they do and doing it really well… Paint Works captured that energy, that feeling, that idea in an exhibition focused solely on innovative contemporary painting.

Stroke by Alyssa Monks

The artists used the building blocks of painting and evolved in exciting directions, taking tradition and pushing to places uncharted.

Featured artists: Daniel Baltzer, Ben Fenske, Robyn Frank, Michael Gormley, Peter Halasz, Jane Hamill, James Herbert, Caitlin Hurd, Michael Kagan, Kristin Künc, Oh Joon Kwon, Allison Maletz, Hyeseung Marriage-Song, Alyssa Monks, Alexandra Pacula, David Pettibone, Jennifer Presant, Matthew William Robinson, Bennett Vadnais, Jovan Karlo Villalba, Melanie Vote, Patricia Watwood, Aaron Yamada-Hanff, and Rob Zeller.

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The Architecture of Devotion featured emerging Brooklyn artists working in media and techniques that recall religious and devotional art of the past. The exhibition transformed the cathedral-like Gowanus Ballroom to interrogate various representations of the sacred and profane. Works including stained glass, paintings embellished with gilt adornment, modern reinventions of medieval retables, a cabinet of curiosities, and an enchanted grotto formed an installation that explored themes of spirituality, mysticism and religion. Revisiting historic interpretations of divine presence through a contemporary lens allowed artist and audience to reconsider what might had at first glance appear mundane.

Featured artists: Abby Hertz, Adrian Landon, Aimee Lutkin, Amy Consolo, Andrea Biagioni, Andy Smenos, Cristina Rose, Daniel K. Brown, David Aronson, Derek Gregory, Diane Roehm, Eric Gerhard Winzer, Erin Ikeler, Jason Gandy, Jennie Booth, Jessica Siemens, Joel Dugan, Johann Nortje, Julie Janicek, Konstantin Sergeyev, Leonidas Chalepas, Maria Berrio, Matt Allison, Matthew James, Matthew Pisacano, Matthew William Robinson, Matthew Shelley, Michael Solomon, Naho Taruishi, Nancy Nicholson, The Objectionists, Patricia Kelly, Peter Waite, Robert F. Rodriguez, Serra Victory Bothwell Fels, and Sheena Rae Dowling.



Performances by:

Apocalypse Five and Dime:
Crooks and Perverts:
Morgan O’
Cody Schreger:
Collin Couvillion:
Jason Novak:
Hallie Bulleit:
and Special Guests…

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A diverse and multidisciplinary exhibition of emerging artists, comprised of works that examined, questioned, and outright challenged everyday relationships.

Through the integration of a variety of media including painting, sculpture, video, performance and works on paper, this installation wove a wide ranging fabric of form and style, deliverting a thoroughly interactive experience.

Featured artists: Adriana Atema, Aimee Bonamie, Amy Consolo, Ben Wolf, Ben Mortimer, Brian Whiteley, Christina Kelly, Domestic Construction, Douglas Draper, Emma Stern, Felix Morelo, Georgie Flores, Gerri Davis, Heidi Tullman, Jay McDonald, Jason Gandy, Kristin Künc, Lopi LaRoe, Manonce Celestine, Matt Allison, Matthew Silver: the Great Performer in Heartpocalypse, Matt Stolle, Matthew William Robinson, Nathan Maxwell Cann, Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor, Patricia Watwood, Rob Zeller, The Objectionists, Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, Shannon Gillen & Guests, Tod Seelie, Ursula Viglietta, Vanessa Cronan and others.

Performances by: Shannon Gillen & Guests, Chunklundt, Yula & The Extended Family, Apocalypse Five and Dime, Joe Keady and The Royal Garden Jass Band, Crooks and Perverts, Melody Allegra Berger, Morgan O’Kane, Sweet Soubrette, Abby Hertz aka Lady C, Union Street Preservation Society, and Wyatt Young.

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What it was: Throughout 2010 the Gowanus Ballroom worked with Swimming Cities to prepare the boats for their current project “The Ocean of Blood,” in which the Swimming Cities crew and their boats travel to India for a trip down the Ganges River from Hardiwar to the holy city of Varanasi. This was one of several fundraising events hosted by the Gowanus Ballroom.

About Swimming Cities: Originally founded by visual artist Swoon, Swimming Cities is currently made up of a crew of about 30 collaborators: a diverse and evolving group of artists, mechanics, carpenters, performers, engineers, and organizers. The group has each year come together to explore historical and societal connections to the rivers and waterways, traveling with handmade rafts, gleaning inspiration, friendship and knowledge. Read more about Swimming Cities on their website

see photos from this event…

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