2013-06-28 / Community

Dome To Go: Closing Celebration Sunday, June 30th

By Dan Gaurino


The MoMA PS1 VW 2 Dome is concluding its Rockaway stay with a closing celebration on Sunday, June 30th. During its three month run it has presented dozens and dozens of wide ranging programs, including music, dance and literary performances, civic meetings, films and children’s programs. Pictured is a small sample of what the Dome has offered. Photos by Laura Deckelman, Denise Laurin-Donatelle, Cathy Sohn, John J. Grillo and Dan Guarino. . The MoMA PS1 VW 2 Dome is concluding its Rockaway stay with a closing celebration on Sunday, June 30th. During its three month run it has presented dozens and dozens of wide ranging programs, including music, dance and literary performances, civic meetings, films and children’s programs. Pictured is a small sample of what the Dome has offered. Photos by Laura Deckelman, Denise Laurin-Donatelle, Cathy Sohn, John J. Grillo and Dan Guarino. . Rising up on the Rockaway landscape, bright white against the blue ocean, just off where the boardwalk once stood, the MoMA PS1 VW Dome has become a familiar and welcome sight to many.

On Sunday, June 30th, it ends its run as Rockaway’s gathering place, community center, art and cultural spot, film forum, kids’ education and art area, music den, recovery center, dance space, town hall and village square.

Starting at 12 noon there will be a lively closing celebration, to which the entire community is invited. It will feature guest speakers, music, food and more.

To make the event more festive, eventgoers are also invited to be creative and even come in costume.

“On our final day we invite everyone to the VW Dome 2 to share in a celebration of the future of Rockaway,” said Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art.

“There will be ‘closing ceremonies with the many groups that have participated in the Dome and then Rockaway’s own Beasy Band will play bluegrass and folk tunes on a variety of instruments including violin, mandolin and guitar. As always, it’s free and open to the public,” Biesenbach added.

Representatives will be on hand from the various Rockaway organizations that presented programs at the Dome and have in turn supported its presence.

One member of the Rockaway Artists Alliance cited MoMA Dome site manager Nina Sweeney as a key to its success.

“Nina was great to work with,” he said. “She really did a great job of balancing all our programs, bringing in things people would enjoy and making everyone feel welcome. She’s a real asset.”

Some of the groups involved with the Dome include Arts in Parks, Friends of Rockaway Beach, Ideas Wanted, NYC Parks and Recreation, Project Hope, Rockaway Artists Alliance, Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Queens Library, Rockaway Civic Association, Rockaway Conservancy, Rockaway's elected representatives, Rockaway Help, Rockaway Taco, Rockaway United, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Rockaway Youth Task Force, Studio in a School, Surfriders Foundation, The Wave and YANA (You are Never Alone).

Soon after the storm, Beisenbach, who owns a home in Rockaway, recognized the need for a community center and meeting place. This was especially true given almost all Rockaway gathering spots, including halls, libraries, organization meeting places, community centers and even restaurants were wiped out by Sandy. Biesenbach, who had also recruited friends and associates to help in the initial recovery efforts in Rockaway, called upon MoMA and Volkswagen to assist in bringing the Dome to Beach 94th Street. The Rockaway Beach Civic Association and New York City Parks also lent their support.

The Dome, modeled after the PS1 Dome in Long Island City, was constructed at the end of the parking lot at Beach 94th Street and Shore Front Parkway, just across from the beach, in late March. It began to offer programs immediately.

The official opening took place on Friday, March 29th. Biesenbach and other local officials addressed the hundreds of people who attended, and the event was topped off by a moving acoustic performance by singer, songwriter and artist Patti Smith. Smith herself had moved to Rockaway shortly before the storm.

Fittingly, on April 6th, one of the first programs to be presented was “Anchor Me,” a short film on loss, resilience and recovery, and a performance by a live bluegrass band which got some in the crowd up on their feet and dancing.

Dozens and dozens of programs for all age groups, including many art workshops especially for children, followed.

Originally scheduled to close at the end of May, popular community support extended the Dome’s stay through June. Some in the community were still hoping up to the last minute that it would stay.

There will be a full schedule of activities on Saturday, June 29th, including a Queen’s Library Kid’s Art Workshop, a Rockaway Yard Sale ‘Ideas Market, a final Domo Dance and a screening of Andy Warhol’s film “San Diego Surf.”

Later in the day on Sunday, after the closing celebration, there will be what is described as The Taming of the Screws,” which will include the dismantling of the Dome.





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