On Saturday, August 6, Poster House hosted its first Block Party in the Flatiron Plaza. It was a fun-filled day of activities, free museum tours, performances, giveaways, and more! After being open for only six short months before the start of the pandemic, the Block Party was a fantastic way to reintroduce ourselves to our neighborhood and the city at large, and we couldn’t be happier with how it went. Did you miss it? Continue reading for our detailed recap of the day.
Even before the crowd gathered at Flatiron Plaza, the event was well underway. The entire Poster House team spent the morning setting up the foundation for our event. From building the wheatpasting wall to delivering tables and organizing the talent, many hands made light work, and we were able to welcome the first round of guests even before our intended noon start time.
Once Flatiron Plaza was dressed for our big day, the performances kicked things off on the right note. Our wonderful emcee and host, Junior Mintt, rallied our early afternoon crowd and brought the excitement with her. After a moment of her own introduction, she welcomed to the stage our first performer, Christina Britton Conroy, a member of the Tin Pan Alley Popular Music Project.
After Christina, Junior Mintt transitioned to the next act: the legendary and iconic duo, the Dragon Sisters. This was definitely a performance you had to experience live. With their band on stage, they showed us exactly what they do best: tear up the dancefloor with outstanding beats. But they didn’t just get the crowd up and moving; they did it while performing their own original music. Moving between rhythmic rhymes, bouncing verses, and seamless choreography, the Dragon Sisters filled the entire plaza with their energetic performance and display of excellence.
By the time the Dragon Sisters left the stage, the plaza was teeming with excited guests, and all of our partners were introducing themselves to the growing crowd. From screenprinting personal fans with Mike King to testing their luck at our prize wheel, there was much to be done throughout the site.
Our partners in the event also presented their own offerings. Folks were able to make their own zines thanks to our friends from the Center for Book Arts, visit a MICRO Museum presented by the Simons Foundation, or try their hand at a head-scratching Math Maze from the National Museum of Mathematics. Dotted across the plaza were more opportunities for fun, including our own wheatpasting wall, poster giveaways from NYCxDesign, instant photography from Fotografiska, and some kid-friendly activities from our Education Department.
Back at the museum, Collections Manager Melissa Walker took visitors on a tour of her exhibition Experimental Marriage: Women in Early Hollywood, and Curatorial Consultant Tim Medland shared insight into the show Tokyo Olympiad: A Global Film. Chief Curator Angelina Lippert also led tours of our two mainstage shows, The Utopian Avant-Garde: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920s and Ethel Reed: I Am My Own Property. Our museum was teeming with visitors who made their way between both action-packed venues.
Cut back to Flatiron Plaza, and the team from the Jamal Gaines Creative Outlet were next to hit the stage. Flowing movements and neon costumes captured the attention of everyone in attendance. Their choreography could only be described by one word: wow. Gracefully interweaving their bodies, JGCO showcased pure excellence in dance.
Next up on the program was singer Mike Yung. A former subway busker who rocketed to fame in 2018 when he went viral, his performance showcased the immensity of his endless talent. He switched between soulful renditions of contemporary ballads to Motown-era classics that excited everyone. Even a few members of our staff got up and started dancing!
As the afternoon began to wind down, the wonderful team from the Putty Dance Project kept the energy up. The wife-and-husband duo used their skills in performance and choreography to tell a moving story about incarnation, childhood, and loss. It was a powerful statement that invited viewers to think about the experiences of modern life, and applause were more than well deserved.
Closing out the day were our two DJ performances from DJ Tara and twin DJs Amira and Kayla. Even after a long and busy afternoon out in the brutal Manhattan sun, the crowd was more than ready to get up and start dancing. DJ Tara single-handedly turned Flatiron Plaza into the hottest club in NYC (literally). Then, after handing off the musical baton to Djs Amira and Kayla, the amazing twins kept the beats coming right to the end. Records from the biggest names in pop closed things out in style.
After all the fun, our staff broke down our sets and headed home for the evening. Our Block Party was the museum’s biggest and most successful event since our inception, and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing team, our partners, and all the guests who were in attendance. Thanks also need to be made to our special guest performers, and we can’t wait to see you at our upcoming events!