A new play about Seneca Village, a black community that once existed in the modern day Central Park area, has been garnering attention. For one, intellectual America is having a national moment about all things Civil War related. Seneca Village, a community that was vibrant between 1825 and 1867, before being torn down for the Vaux and Olmsted meh park, definitely falls into the category of kind of sort of part of the nation’s forming at the time of the War. Also, New York is definitely going through a moment with confronting ideas about gentrification and displacement.
Earlier this year, Creative Time along with the Central Park Conservancy presented Drifting in Daylight. They too took time to recognize Seneca Village. Karen Olivier’s piece, HERE AND NOW/GLACIER, SHARD, ROCK was a billboard that made the view contemplate the changes in time with artifacts from Seneca Village and imagery of the current site. The billboard changed as you walked pass, and I was able to capture really cool video. Unfortunately people’s private conversation about spirituality was also captured, so you get my stills. Also, check out Creative Time’s site on the installation here.
The People Before the Park by Keith Josef Adkins; directed by John J. Wooten. 1856 is playing until September 20th at the Kean Theater in New Jersey. More information is available on their website.