Jane’s Walk NYC 2020 (from Home!)

Celebrating Jane Jacobs and New York City

Since 2011, the Municipal Art Society has been proud to host Jane’s Walk NYC, a festival of volunteer-led “walking conversations” inspired by urban activist Jane Jacobs. Across nearly ten years and thousands of walks, we’ve taken to the streets with you on the first weekend in May to herald the spring, celebrate Jane Jacobs, and explore the city she loved so much. It is, truly, our favorite weekend of the year.

This year, of course, the very act of gathering that had always been central to Jane’s Walk was not possible. And so we announced Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home), a reimagining of the festival that we hope brought the same joy and inspiration you’ve come to expect from this annual celebration.

Each morning beginning Monday, April 27, and running through Sunday, May 3, we announced a new daily activity that allowed New Yorkers to connect virtually to celebrate and pay tribute to the magic of everyday life in New York—all the places, people, and encounters that we cherish more than ever in these difficult times.

On behalf of all of us at MAS, thank you for making Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) a record-breaking success! We are humbled and honored to share that more than 25,000 New Yorkers engaged with us this year, coming together virtually in celebration of our great city during this challenging time.

This year’s festival proves that Jane’s Walk was always about more than the act of physically gathering. Our love for New York, our connections to our neighbors and neighborhoods, and our faith in Jane Jacobs’ model of local activism has never been greater.

Despite our physical distance, the MAS team is working together and staying focused in our mission to build a more livable city for all New Yorkers. Keep an eye out for more virtual programming coming soon.

We want to hear from you! Will you take a moment to fill out our participant survey and share your ideas for next year?

Continue reading to look back at all seven days of Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home)

April 27 - May 3

Tickets:
Free!

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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 1

To kick-off Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home), we partnered with Subway Therapy and Art Plus People on Instagram! While NYC is on “PAUSE” there is so much that we miss, so all week Subway Therapy asked Jane’s Walk participants to share their favorite places in NYC.

More than 441 people sent in their favorite spots through Instagram stories on @subwaytherapy and MAS’s email and social platforms. Scroll through above to see the collage in progress (200+ more coming soon!)

About Subway Therapy

Subway Therapy is an immersive and interactive work aiming to help people smile, laugh, and feel less stress. It’s about peaceful expression and being part of a vibrant and diverse community. For some it’s an opportunity to connect, and have a conversation. For others it’s a way to listen and empathize. It can be many things, for many different people. Subway Therapy began with only a table and two chairs and evolved after the election in 2016 when sticky notes were introduced to the project that reflected the thoughts of over 50,000 individuals from all over the world.

In 2017, Subway Therapy received the Brendan Gill Prize presented annually by MAS to a piece of work that best captures the spirit and energy of New York City.

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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 2

Jane Jacobs believed in the importance of place and the power of individuals to influence their city. In this special Jane’s Walk edition of #TakeActionTuesday, we asked you to nominate an essential place to City Lore’s Census of Places that Matter, an encyclopedia and guide book of places across the five boroughs that New Yorkers love!

At this moment, the need to understand and protect our beloved gathering and public spaces takes on added importance and meaning. Our Jane’s Walk community nominated more than forty “essential” New York City sites—the places we miss, the ones that are threatened or inaccessible, and those we currently rely upon during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out the nominations on the Census of Places that Matter >

There is still time to add your nomination! Visit placematters.net/nominate

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    Window views (starting from the left): Gowanus, Brooklyn; Brooklyn, NY; Harlem, NY; Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx.
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    Window views (starting from the left): Jackson Heights, Queens; Astoria, Queens; Clinton Hill, Brooklyn; Elizabeth Street Garden, Manhattan.
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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 3

While we all do our part to stay home, we gave some thought to what frames each of our views of NYC. For Day 3 of Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home), we invited participants to share a photo of the view from their window with us on social media using #JanesWalkNYC or by emailing it to MAS.

From parks and churches to baseball stadiums and even a Blue Angel air show, click through above to see a selection of the NYC views people shared on Day 3.

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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 4

For Day 4 of Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home), we celebrated the end of National Poetry Month and our love for this city by asking Jane’s Walk participants to share a poem on social media. Some sent odes, others sonnets or even haikus.

The gallery above includes a few of our favorite poems submitted on Day 4.

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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 5

We kicked off Jane’s Walk weekend with a movie night with Jane! Joining together with fellow Jane’s Walk cities Montreal, Calgary, Toronto, and Seattle, we screened Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, available on Hulu.

Everyone was invited to take part in a live discussion of the film on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #MASMovieNight and #JanesWalkNYC. Jane’s legacy has inspired deeper conversations about our city and encouraged human connection (even if we are all under quarantine).

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    Storefront: A Century of Small Businesses by MAS
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    PRIDE: Sites that shaped LGBTQ+ history before and after Stonewall by Museum of the City of New York
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    Rebuilding the Bronx: 1986-1995 by NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
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    Modernism in Queens by Queens Modern
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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 6

This Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) weekend, our friends at Urban Archive are hosted a collection of virtual Jane’s Walk stories that explore historic photos of NYC, curated by MAS staff and many of our organizational partners. Visit janeswalknyc.mas.org to check them out!

Wondering where to start? Here are a few ideas:

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Jane’s Walk NYC (from Home) Day 7

On the final day of Jane’s Walk, MAS staff took to social media to explore our advocacy campaigns using Google Street View!

ICYMI, here they are:

Fight for Light: Origins Story

Fight for Light: Exploring the Role of Sunlight in Urban Environments

 

200 Amsterdam: A Visual History of a Gerrymandered Zoning Lot

 

A Tale of Two Rezonings: Long Island City

 

A Tale of Two Rezonings: Downtown Brooklyn

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    Germán Kropman's winning design for the 2020 Jane's Walk t-shirt design contest.
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    Jane's Walk 2019, Crow Hill to Crown Heights, Black History in Central Brooklyn, Photo Credit: Tara Kelly for MAS.
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    Jane's Walk 2019, Naval Cemetery Landscape, Photo Credit: Vladimir Weinstein for MAS.
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    Jane's Walk 2019, Street Art, Photo Credit: Vladimir Weinstein for MAS.
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    Jane's Walk 2019, Domino Refinery, Photo Credit: Vladimir Weinstein for MAS.
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    Jane's Walk 2019, Brooklyn Twilight, Photo Credit: Samantha Nandez for MAS.
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    Jefferson Market Library 2018 Jane's Walk. Photo: Jack Intrator.
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    2018 Gay Bars that are Gone Jane's Walk group photo. Photo: Ianna Angelo.
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    Jane's Walk 2019, Jane's Dog Walk, Photo Credit: Samantha Nandez for MAS.
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    Jane's Walk 2018: A Wild Edible Walking Tour - East River to the Lower East Side. Photo: JoAnn Fynke. Modifications: photo cropped.
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What is Jane’s Walk?

This annual event held the first weekend in May is traditionally celebrated as a global festival of free, volunteer-led walking tours inspired by urban activist Jane Jacobs. During Jane’s Walk weekend, the simple act of exploring the city is enhanced with personal observations, local history, and civic engagement. Jane’s Walk encourages people to share stories about their neighborhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and connect with visitors and neighbors alike.

MAS is proud to be the local organizer of Jane’s Walk NYC, the biggest Jane’s Walk festival anywhere in the world. What started with a handful of walks in 2011 has since grown into a three-day celebration featuring hundreds of walks across the five boroughs.

Who was JANE JACOBS?

Jane Jacobs was a famous urban activist and writer who lived from 1916-2006. She is best known for galvanizing New Yorkers to stop Robert Moses’ plans for an expressway through the West Village. She believed in the power of individuals to influence their city. Today, her principles are represented in participatory planning approaches that have been embraced in communities around the world. Click here for an illustrated guide of Jane Jacobs’ major ideas.

Want to Learn More?

Walk themes and formats run the gamut, from history of activism in the South Bronx to an exploration of local cuisine in Flushing, Queens. Each walk provides a unique snapshot of New York City and the opportunity to celebrate its vibrant past, present, and future.

You can view the full roster of 2019 and 2018 NYC Jane’s Walks at the links below, demonstrating the diversity of topics and locations.
Jane’s Walk NYC 2019
Jane’s Walk NYC 2018

Resources

Questions?

The Jane’s Walk NYC team is here to help. Contact us at janeswalknyc@mas.org.

Supporters

About NYSCA: Jane’s Walk NYC is paid for in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

FUNDING PARTNERS
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  • New York State Council on the Arts logo
ORGANIZATIONAL AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS
  • New York Public Library logo
  • logo for the organization City Lore
  • logo for Urban Archive
  • logo for the organization Subway Therapy
guide leads a tour group and holds a Municipal Art Society of New York sign

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