With a cutting of a ribbon, Yinna Wang A’07, John Leeper AR’85, President Jamshed Bharucha, Chairman Richard Lincer, the alumni awardees, and our sponsors opened Founders Day 2014: The Peter Cooper Block Party Street Fair on Astor Place between Lafayette and Broadway.
The main stage was made possible by a generous donation from Jeffrey Gural. Two student groups. The CooperTones and CooperNova performed first. After that, Nick Agneta AR’80 and the Daddy Long Legs Blues Band provided music while the public was invited to explore the many activities, workshops, booths and demonstrations at the fair hosted by alumni, faculty, students and friends.
The Rodi Gallery, with Aaron Graham A’13, hosted a portable art show within a truck. Laura Napier A’98 conducted a performance piece. Inventions addressing shelter, light and emergency support solutions were on display. Professor Toby Cumberbatch, Paul Garrin A’82, Isha Patel ChE’14 and Theo Steward-Stand A’99 were on-hand for a panel discussion to explain the inventions.
Other activities included: Learnosaurus with Sean Cusack BSE’98, The Cooper Union Oral History Project with the Cooper Union Associates (Sangu Iyer CE’99, Noemi Charlotte Thieves A’11, Laura Napier A’98, and CB Wayne AR’75), Tealightful, Ping Pong with SPiN, The NY Knicks Groove Truck, Art Showcase with Susan Detrich A’66, The Saturday Program, Milestone Architecture (Margaret Matz AR’83) – The Torcello Project, Green Festivals, The Cooper Union Student Origami Club, NEXTDOOR, and Susan Pillay. Works In Progress provided free t-shirt silk screening of the official Peter Cooper Block Party t-shirt.
NY Dosas, Snow Day, and La Bella Torte were on hand with their delicious food trucks and NYCs Department of Environmental Protection provided a free water fountain through its program Water on the Go. This was a special nod to Peter Cooper’s involvement with the founding of the New York City Water Supply – Croton Aqueduct. Recycling stations were provided by GrowNYC.
The Community Table was a big success. The table had art supplies donated by Blick Art Materials, and was managed by Kelly Occhiuzzo Zack A’89 and Claudia Giordano Lasky A’76. Families drew, painted, and chalked squiggles, shapes, and Peter Coopers on paper, surfaces, and the pavement.
The Inaugural Peter Cooper Jello Challenge had captured the imagination of the street fair with three entries that would all take home a prize. Judges Julian LaVerdiere A’93 (2014 Saint Gaudens Award Recipient) and the Hon. Borough President Gail Brewer handed out awards to Carol Wolf A’84 (Jell-o: The Most Important Meal of the Day), Barry Drogin EE’83/MEE’86, and Chuck von Schmidt A’73.