Dome brings culture back into the Rockaways
by Andrew Pavia
Apr 03, 2013 | 828 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recent Rockaway resident Patti Smith performs
Recent Rockaway resident Patti Smith performs
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As the Rockaways continues to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, a new effort by MoMA PS 1 is attempting to bring cultural and educational events to the neighorhood.

VW Dome 2, a geodesic dome on the beach that twill serve as a temporary cultural center as the rebuilding continues, officially opened last week.

Curious passersby who bothered to pop into the dome would have been treated to a solo performance by Patti Smith, who purchased a house near the beach just three weeks before the storm hit, but says she has no regrets

“We have as our backyard the sea,” she said.

She then sang “Southern Cross” and performed a spoken word version of “People Have The Power.”

VW Dome 2 will host a variety of cultural and community programming throughout the spring. As a flexible space, the dome provides a venue for lectures and conversations, rotating art exhibitions, film and video screenings, and community events.

“After Sandy, it made us aware that there was a need to have a beautiful space to meet, perform and just meet and have educational programs,” said Klaus Biesenbach, a resident of the Rockaways and director of MoMA PS1.

Volkswagen donated the material for the dome. It is a temporary structure that is smaller in scale, but resembles the dome in the PS 1 courtyard in Long Island City.

Programming will be undertaken in partnership with local organizations in the Rockaways and Queens.

The installation/community center is part of EXPO 1, which is described as an "exploration of ecological challenges in the context of economic and socio-political instability."

One of the EXPO 1 projects will be an open call for sustainable waterfront design for the Rockaways.

“Recent ecological challenges set against a backdrop of economic and socio-political concerns have made a dramatic impact on daily life,” Biesenbach said of some of the issues that Sandy brought to light.

“When you have exhibits, when you have talks, people will come to the Rockaways and hopefully spend money in the Rockaways,” said Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who attended last Friday's event.

The VW Dome 2 is located at Beach 94th Street and Shorefront Parkway. It is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through May 12.

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