FIGMENT NYC, RIOC’s Big Win: What About 2021 Now?

FIGMENT NYC was a RIOC win, a big one, in 2019, and it was getting bigger. Planning for 2020 had already started before the coronavirus hit. 2021 is only a wish for now.

“For one weekend each summer, FIGMENT transforms the historic 172-acre island into a magical land filled with collaborative artwork and music,” the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported in June, 2018.

By David Stone

FIGMENT NYC RIOC Win in 2019 will extend into 2020.
Visitors poured into Lighthouse Park in June for FIGMENT NYC 2019

The same was true for 2019, except the historic island was Roosevelt, not Governors,

RIOC won the Magical FIGMENT NYC for Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island.

Related: FIGMENT NYC 2020 Call For Artists

What is FIGMENT?

“FIGMENT is a free participatory arts event that celebrates creativity by challenging artists and participants to find new ways to create, share, and dream,” according to its website, adding, “FIGMENT NYC will take place on Roosevelt Island at Lighthouse Park.”

from FIGMENT’s website

FIGMENT brought all that to Lighthouse Park last June.

And before Salvage Swings ended its run in the Park, the search was already on for next year.

RIOC's Big Coup, Landing FIGMENT NYC, Beginning Next Year
FIGMENT NYC on Governors Island, 2018.

FIGMENT teams with the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter (AIANY) and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) .

They host a competition to design and construct an architectural pavilion in Lighthouse Park.

The 2020 pavilion marks the Tenth Anniversary of City of Dreams Pavilions and the second on Roosevelt Island.

It’s a major win for the Island of Art concept first kindled and championed by the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association. RIOC supports the concept.

Robert Ryan, RIOC President/CEO in 2001. offered the group free gallery space in the abandoned Bigelow Pharmacy. The rest is history.

Support accelerated under current RIOC head Susan Rosenthal, an art lover who sees it as a defining element for the community.

Island ideals include art…

“During my administration, we have focused on rebuilding the Island’s infrastructure and also developing new and innovative community programs that expand upon the Island’s ideals that include art, culture, diversity and inclusion. The 2019 City of Dreams Pavilion Competition is the epitome of that,” Rosenthal told The Daily.

In 2018, Rosenthal and Stephen Noone, Assistant Vice President, Capital Planning and Projects, twice met with David Koren, the Executive Producer of Figment Project.

The pair talked up RIOC’s interest and led Koren on a tour available spaces. Lighthouse Park shown as the perfect space.

In the second meeting, RIOC’s Community Affairs team, Director Erica Spencer-EL and Manager Jessica Murray, joined the discussions. Koren was convinced to move the project to the Island.

Learn about Roosevelt Island…

What, When, Where

“The City of Dreams Pavilion will be a gathering place for people to meet, learn about the arts programs on Roosevelt Island, enjoy a performance or lecture, and enjoy this temporary structure.


The City of Dreams Pavilion points to the future. We’re asked to imagine a New York City where anything is possible. What would it look like? In our wildest and most optimistic dreams, what is the future of the city?

As for the design competition…

Competition is underway for 2020. A jury of architects and industry professionals reviews submissions and selects finalists.

The finalists get comments from the jury and a chance to revise their designs. The jury meets again, and they select the competition winner in January 2019.”

For Roosevelt Island, FIGMENT NYC stretches The Island of Art from north to south.

Landscape architecture in FDR Four Freedoms Park reaches for the historic Lighthouse built above currents of Hell Gate. Art installed and in galleries mark the path.


Keeping FIGMENT NYC in Lighthouse Park is a big win, a distinction setting Roosevelt Island apart as a neighborhood fueled by creativity.

News from the Roosevelt Island Daily…

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