2018: A Year in Review
December 18, 2018
2018 was another eventful year for Downtown Brooklyn as we enjoyed a record year of over 140 public events, all free and open to the public! Check out these highlights, and here’s to even more great programming in Downtown Brooklyn! Also see our video of highlights - maybe you’re featured!
February saw the first of our quarterly Make It in Brooklyn meetups. The local tech and innovation community gathered in Downtown Brooklyn to share opportunities, learn about current developments, and celebrate the supportive ecosystem for startups.
Make It in Brooklyn continued in March with our first pitch contest of the year. After narrowing down almost a hundred submissions, five startups - all of which fell under the theme of “smart cities” - competed for $5K and a host of pro bono services. Bixby, an NYC-based start-up that allows property managers to streamline their operations, took home the gold. More about that here.
We celebrated Earth Day in April with our first outdoor event of the Downtown Brooklyn Presents season. As the only Brooklyn outpost of the NYC Department of Transportation’s Car-Free Earth Day celebration, kids learned to ride their bikes with Bike New York, participated in earth-friendly activities, made musical instruments out of trash and recycled materials, and paraded around Albee Square.
Spring signaled the highly-anticipated opening of Chelsea Piers Fitness. As part of the festivities, the new club hosted the monthly fitness class - BK Burn - at DTBK’s newest open space, the Plaza at 300 Ashland.
Our beloved Ping-Pong Happy Hours returned to Metrotech Commons. Locals, tourists, and die hard fanatics alike enjoyed tournaments and walk up games expertly overseen by our friends from The Push while DJ Mike supplied the beats.
In partnership with Alamo Drafthouse, we hosted our first-ever outdoor movie series at Albee Square. The sci-fi themed Outer Space Outdoors brought four consecutive Thursdays of movies to entertain the neighborhood with classics such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Space Jam. Stay tuned for more outdoor movies in the new year!
Our summertime Pop-Up Beach Party brought some of the Caribbean to Downtown Brooklyn! Reggae all-stars, Meta and the Cornerstones performed while audiences lounged on the “lawn” in our beach chairs, and kids cooled off in impromptu kiddie pools.
September was another busy month! We partnered with NYC Department of Transportation for three consecutive weeks of “Willoughby Walks,” where we closed down several blocks of Willoughby and Lawrence Streets to traffic and transformed the streets with pop-up salsa dance parties, live music (featuring street bands a la HONK NYC), giant Connect 4 and chess, fitness classes, and street furniture for relaxing.
We launched the first ever Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival. In collaboration with world-class arts organizations from the Brooklyn Cultural District, we had a three day celebration of Brooklyn-based music, dance, theater, and literature. Highlights included performances by the Brooklyn Ballet, Grammy-nominated The Knights, a performance by Mark Morris Dance Group, a community dance party with DJs, Soul Summit, and a reading of Martin Luther King’s seminal speech, The Drum Major Instinct by Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black, The Handmaid’s Tale) in partnership with Theater of War Productions.
We ended the outdoor event season with our annual Downtown Brooklyn Gets Lit holiday event which celebrates the lighting of Downtown Brooklyn’s decorative holiday lights. Performances by Mariachi Real de Mexico, Brooklyn Ballet, and local marching band, Soul Tigers, and delicious Al B’s hot chocolate warmed up the crowd at Albee Square in preparation for the big countdown.