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Photo Credit: Oran Etkin



Free Events for Kids, Adults and Families, Open to the Public


The Educational Alliance presents free events in Seward Park as part of the kick-off festivities for the Manny Cantor Center (MCC), its new Lower East Side community center, which will open in December.

Beginning July 9th and running through August 2nd, the MCC will host a variety of fun Pop-Up events for kids of all ages, adults and the whole family including family fitness classes led by Popfit Kids, yoga with Pop Up Yoga NYC, storytime presented by the local Seward Park Library, performances by local musicians and neighborhood jams!  

“Summer in Seward Park” Pop-Up events are designed to bring the local community together and showcase the services that will be offered at the Manny Cantor Center.

For detailed information about each event, visit  For information about weather cancellations, please call 646-395-4186

Event:              “Summer in Seward Park” Pop-Up Events

Location:         Seward Park

Volleyball Court

Essex St. & East Broadway

New York, NY 10002

Dates:               July 9th through August 2nd 

Cost:                 FREE


Phone:              646-395-4186

Directions:      Trains: F, D, J, Z, M; Buses: M9, M14A, M15, M22


For Kids

Pop-Up Library - Toddler Time 

Join the Seward Park Librarians for a fun filled hour of stories, songs, fingerplays and more!

Time:              10:00 – 11:00am

Dates:             Tuesdays, July 9, 16, 23, 30

Ages:               Up to 4

PopFit Kids

Get Your Move On! Jump, Tuck, Jack and Jog.  Join the new family exercise craze.

Time:              10:00 – 11:30am

Dates:             Thursdays, July 11, 18, 25, August 1

Ages:               Up to 12

PopFit Kids is a FUNctional Fitness program that teaches children life-long, healthy habits they can share with the whole family. Kids 3 and older will get the chance to Jump, Tuck, Jack and Jog their way through an action-packed, energizing workshop that combines physical activity with lots of fun! How does it work? Through engaging circuits, dynamic drills, exciting games and more...each PopFit Fitness Adventure will hit on the critical aspects of The Fab Five: Cardio, Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Balance.

Puppets, Music & Clowns

Dance, sing, laugh and have fun!

Time:              10:00 – 11:00am

Ages:               Up to 10

Dates:             Fridays

July 12 - Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, Czech and Slovak Tales with Strings!

For fifty years, a troupe of antique marionettes was confined to a dusty closet at Jan Hus Church, in the heart of New York's Czechoslovak neighborhood.  Discovered by Vít Horejš, Czechoslovak storyteller, author, and puppeteer, the 24-inch century-old masterpieces of Czech puppet makers of the old, have since brought joy to thousands of spectators young and old on tours to 25 continental states, France, Hong Kong, Singapore. Vít Horejš and his marionettes tell favorite Czech stories he learned in his hometown, Prague, from his father and grandmother. 

July 19 - Sing-along with Gina from Compass Arts 

Gina Samardge has been teaching music, movement and theater classes to children from birth through 12 years old for the past 15 years, from public school to private school and with her Compass Arts program. She has directed the Brooklyn Conservatory Children's Chorus and is currently on faculty at The Randolph School, a progressive private in the Hudson Valley. She draws heavily upon the Orff-Schulwerk Approach in her teaching work, but also utilizes elements of Kodaly and Dalcroze approaches.

As a performer, Gina has been a Time Out NY Kids' Top Pick for Birthday Parties, has received a Parents' Choice Foundation Award for her family music album, Together, and has appeared on episodes of Sesame Street leading children in a sign language version of “If You're Happy and You Know It.” She has performed as an accordionist, vocalist, actress and clown on numerous projects through NYC, the US and abroad with groups like VOICETheater, acclaimed indie artist Dare Dukes and the Blackstock Collection, The Main Squeeze Orchestra and her vaudevillian clown band, The Maestrosities. 

July 26 – Oran Etkin and Timbalooloo

Oran Etkin is both an internationally acclaimed jazz and world music artist whose music has appeared on GRAMMY Award winning albums, and also the creator of the groundbreaking Timbalooloo method of enriching the musicality of young children. He has performed around the world with musicians ranging from rapper Wyclef Jean to jazz guitarist Mike Stern. His Timbalooloo band for kids has performed at Central Park SummerStage in New York, LA’s Skirball Center, the Tel-Aviv Jazz Festival in Israel, UNESCO's International Jazz Day in Paris, Keo Plaza Hotel in Tokyo, and Changsha Jazz Festival in China. The name Timbalooloo comes from one of Etkin’s 3 year-old students, who sat his mother and baby brother down for a 20 minute music class in which he pretended to be Oran and demonstrated to his “pupils” an imaginary instrument he called the Timbalooloo. The story captures the essence of Etkin's mission: to excite children about the wonders of music and musical instruments and encourage their creative freedom, personal ingenuity and healthy cognitive, emotional and physical development. 

August 2 – Sammie & Tudie: The Comedy Magic Circus

The Comedy Magic Circus with Sammie & Tudie utilizes magic, storytelling, and classic comedy!  They take their audiences on a thrill ride of fun, enchanting the audience with the best in magic and clowning.  They have been called "the power couple of the clowning world" by New York Time Out Kids.


For Adults

Pop-Up Yoga NYC

Join us for a meditative end to the day. Open level Vinyasa style. BYOM (bring your own mat) and let your stress melt away.

Time:              7:00 – 8:00pm

Dates:             Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 9 – August 1 


For All Ages

Neighborhood Music Concerts and Jams:

Dance to music from the hood and join in playing during Jam Time! (BYOH - bring your own horn!)

Summer in the Seward is bringing back the good old-fashioned neighbor jam.  The LES is swarming with musicians and all types of music from traditional Chinese and Klezmer, to Jazz, Rock, and Latin. These casual concerts highlight some of that music. Each night starts out with a concert by some of the best local LES groups. After which, everyone is encouraged to join in the fun for the musical jam session closing set! Any instrument will do!

Time:              7:00 – 8:00pm

Dates:             Wednesdays

July 10 - Dave Fields and Friends – NYC Blues & Soul

Dave Fields personifies Electrifying Rock with a Blues Soul. Fields’ musical journey has garnered him an international fan base, and has carried this New York guitar virtuoso to locales as diverse as Norway and Moscow. His long anticipated new CD Detonation produced by David Z (Prince, Johnny Lang, Buddy Guy), released on September 18th 2012, is a 12-song exploration of Fields’ genre-defying song writing style and electrifying guitar prowess. Detonation features a guitar and vocal duet with Grammy and Blues Music Award winner Joe Louis Walker. Fields traverses a road that transcends into rock-blues for the 22st century. 

July 17 – Grupo Loisaida –Latin Sounds

Led by David Frankel, Grupo Loisaida is a 4-5 piece Latin band that specializes in Latin music that makes people sing and dance, from son montuno to salsa, and mambo to cha cha cha. The band’s multi-cultural composition is a testament to its personal feelings for this beautiful music, that it should be made accessible to everyone to enjoy and participate in song and dance. With its roots in the Lower East Side, Grupo Loisaida brings the Latino spirit of the Lower East Side's roots and culture to life with musicians who have lived and played here for years.

July 24 - Paul Shapiro & Friends - Jazz It Up

Paul Shapiro, saxophonist, bandleader and composer, is best known for his critically acclaimed recordings on John Zorn’s Tzadik label: Midnight Minyan, It’s in the Twilight and Essen featuring the Ribs & Brisket Revue. He has performed and recorded with the Microscopic Septet, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Ofra Haza, Lou Reed, Queen Latifah, Rufus Wainwright, David Byrne, Jay-Z, Yoko Kanno, Frankie Knuckles and many others. Paul has also written a score for the 1925 silent film “His People” which has been performed at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the National Yiddish Book Center, Abrons Arts Center, the Museum at Eldridge Street, Denver’s Mizel Arts and Culture Center and the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

July 31 - Min Xiao-Fen’s Blue Pipa Trio with Steve Salerno & Stomu Takeishi– From Harlem to Shanghai and Back!

Interpretations of the work of jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton and Chinese composer Li Jinhui, as well as Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk

Min Xiao-Fen (pipa, sanxian, ruan and vocals),  Steve Salerno (guitar) and Stomu Takeishi (five-string electric bass guitar) 

Pipa player, vocalist and composer Min Xiao-Fen began her career as a pipa soloist with the Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra in China by winning the Jiangsu national pipa competition. Since she moved to the United States in 1992, she has been a featured soloist with the Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Macao Orchestra and many others. Min has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, New York Guitar Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Utrecht International Lute Festival, Geneva Music Festival, TUM Festival in Finland, Macao Arts Festival, Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, and the Great Mountains International Music Festival in Korea. She has premiered the work of such noted composers as Randy Weston, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Tan Dun, Wadada Leo Smith, Jane Ira Bloom, Philip Glass and sound & visual artist Christian Marclay, among others, appeared on Björk’s album, Volta, and performed as her special guest at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. As a composer, Min received a commission in 2007 for "Return of the Dragon" from The Kitchen. Her "Dim Sum" program premiered and performed at Interpretations in 2010, the Undead Jazzfest 2011, in 2012 at WQXR-FM New York Public Radio.

Steve Salerno (guitar/composer) is an active performer of both Jazz and Classical music.  He has performed in Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Canada and throughout the United States.  He has performed with many of today’s top musicians including Jaco Pastorius, John Abercrombie, Mark Dresser, Bennie Wallace, Tommy Campbell, Regina Carter, Tim Berne, Lonnie Plaxico, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, Matt Wilson, Mark Helias and Adam Nussbaum.  He is the author of Planet Wave’s Chord Master (an 8,000 chord voicing dictionary) that was recently voted the number one music application for Apple’s iPhone 2010!

Stomu Takeishi is a Japanese jazz bass player. He generally plays fretless five-string electric bass guitar, as well as a Klein five-string acoustic bass guitar. He often uses looping or other electronic techniques to enhance the sound of his instrument. In the 1990s he began to achieve prominence as an innovative New York jazz bass player, and critics have noted both his adventurous playing and sensitivity to sound and timbre. He has played in many international jazz festivals and often performs at major venues in New York, the United States, and Europe. He has performed and/or recorded with many artists including Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris and Wynton Marsalis, to name a few. In Downbeat's 57th Critics Poll in 2009, Stomu was the poll winner for the category of Electric Bass, Rising Star.

Free and open to the Public!


About the Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center

In early December 2013, the Educational Alliance will open the Manny Cantor Center, a state-of-the-art community center that will expand and enhance the programming and opportunities that the Alliance has provided for Lower East Side residents over the past 124 years. Services and programs include a new health and fitness center, a Jewish preschool, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, parenting programs, a senior center, an Art School, a Teen Center, and arts and culture programs.

About Educational Alliance

Educational Alliance is a community-based nonprofit organization offering a wide range of programs in Downtown Manhattan, including early childhood education, after school activities, senior centers, college prep programs, meals for the homeless, an art school, subsidized housing, health & fitness classes, and addiction services. The Alliance is a Jewish organization and proudly serves people from all ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. For more information, visit




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