Event Featured a Free Concert from JoJo and The Soul Rebels Featuring Talib Kweli, Community Performances, Art Galleries, Beer Garden, Local Food Vendors, Family-Friendly Activities, and Pop-Ups by Brooklyn Army Terminal-Based Companies
On Sunday, September 8, 2019, over 3,000 residents and visitors attended the 2019 BAT Block Party to celebrate the iconic Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. World-renowned artists JoJo and New Orleans-based band The Soul Rebels featuring Talib Kweli headlined the celebration with performances that brought fanfare and excitement, and had the audience on their feet.
“The 2019 BAT Block Party was the perfect way to celebrate the Brooklyn Army Terminal and all it has to offer,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Local residents and New Yorkers from across the city came to experience innovative businesses, delicious local food, family-friendly activities and exciting live performances, which made for an unforgettable community event.”
"Today we celebrate the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the past and future of Sunset Park’s working waterfront,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, who represents Sunset Park and Red Hook. “Our progress to revitalizing the neighborhood’s manufacturing and industrial leadership continues, and I am pleased with some of the progress so far. While there is more to do, we can and should celebrate what’s been achieved, and that is why I am thrilled to participate in this year’s celebration and want to thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation for their stewardship of the Brooklyn Army Terminal.”
In addition to the standout performances, attendees enjoyed an array of activities including a yoga class led by Council Member Carlos Menchaca and the NYC Yoga Project, special art exhibits by local and resident artists of ArtBuilt and ChaShaMa, as well as fun product demos curated by BAT-based companies like FABSCRAP, Uncommon Goods, We Are the New Farmers, Direct Promos, and SPark Workshop. Families participated in carnival rides, kite making and crafts, face-painting, and a book making for kids workshop from BAT’s Purgatory Pie Press.
Guests also enjoyed the beer garden and delicious food from popular BAT food tenants including The Konery and MOMO Dressing, local food vendors such as Mums Kitchen, and specialty food vendors from NYCEDC's Public Markets like Davidovich Bakery and Elma's in East Harlem.
Block Party attendees recreated at BAT’s new public waterfront esplanade and plaza space, which is now open 365 days a year and includes picnic tables, landscaping and incredible views of the New York harbor.
Below are photo highlights from the event.
BAT is the premier affordable hub for modern industrial businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in NYC. The campus has recently completed renovations to open the historic property to the public and increase the community’s connectivity to the Sunset Park waterfront. The BAT Block Party is a signature celebration among a calendar of exciting community events at the Terminal this year, including the so&so Sunset Opera, outdoor film screenings by Rooftop Films, the 21st Annual Boricua Festival, and a Summer Concert Series.
Today, BAT is home to over 100 companies making everything from high-end chocolate to 3-D printed clothing and sustainable furniture. The campus features New York City’s first co-operated and owned solar garden, the Futureworks Makerspace prototyping facility that provides small businesses and entrepreneurs affordable access to shared industrial grade machinery, and Artbuilt Brooklyn’s affordable artist space. NYCEDC has worked to transform BAT into a modern manufacturing hub, as part of the New York Works plan to create 100,000 good jobs over the next ten years.
JoJo is a chart-topping, award-winning superstar – a gifted singer, songwriter, and actress who, at just 28 years old, is already a veteran of the music industry, having released her self-titled debut album when she was just 13. JoJo’s breakout smash “Leave (Get Out)” rocketed to the top of the charts, making JoJo the youngest-ever solo artist to have a debut #1 single in the U.S. and to be nominated for “Best New Artist” at the MTV Video Music Awards. The album went on to sell over four million copies and became the singer’s first Platinum record, which she followed with a string of additional hits, most notably the Top 3 single “Too Little Too Late” from sophomore album The High Road. In 2016, JoJo made a heralded return to music with her first new album in 10 years, Mad Love. – debuting Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 and earning her unanimous critical acclaim from the likes of TIME, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Cosmo, Entertainment Weekly and more. Most recently, JoJo re-recorded and re-released her first two albums (JoJo and The High Road) as she looks ahead to new music in 2019.
The Soul Rebels are enjoying a breakthrough year having performed with Katy Perry and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and plan to release their 5th album, “Poetry in Motion,” in October. Originally formed in New Orleans, the Soul Rebels bring their signature brass band style to live performances and collaborations with a plethora of major artists ranging from rappers like Prodigy and Buckshot to rock bands like Greenday and Metallica. The Soul Rebels have performed across the country and around the globe including the Summer Sonic Tokyo Festival with Marilyn Manson and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and the Fillmore in San Francisco with Metallica.
Talib Kweli is a Brooklyn-based MC who earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. After nearly two decades of releasing mesmerizing music, Talib Kweli stands as one of the world’s most talented and most accomplished Hip Hop artists. Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla, or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of instrumental.
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
About Brooklyn Army Terminal
The Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) is a modern industrial campus powered by the rich legacy of the South Brooklyn waterfront. The four million square foot campus is home to over 100 businesses and over 4,000 jobs. The de Blasio Administration has invested over $115 million into the Brooklyn Army Terminal to further transform the former U.S. military supply center into a hub for modern manufacturing and accessible jobs. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook or visit bat.nyc for more information.