A Two-Week Festival Celebrating Arts & Activism in Greenwich Village

September 10 - 24, 2022

In 2022 the festival will expand to include the East Village, stretching West to East and “Square to Square,” from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park.


The Klezmatics with Joshua Nelson, Kerouac at 100, and Suzanne Vega join the 2022 Celebration of Arts and Activism

Two-week Festival Expands Footprint and Scope Across Lower Manhattan, West Side to East Side,
Sept. 10 to Sept. 25, 2022

The fourth Village Trip Festival will present a diverse program of cultural and arts events in downtown Manhattan. The two-week-long Festival, celebrating arts and activism, will now take place across all the history-laden neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, the West Village, and the East Village – from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park.

Festival programming will feature jazz, rock and classical music performances, local neighborhood and history walks, topical talks and panel discussions exploring critical issues such as human rights, women’s political action, and freedom of speech, as well as an exhibition of neighborhood artists, and the return of David Amram as Village Trip Artist Emeritus.

“Our goal is to bring the city alive – from West to East, and back again – with a rich slate of happenings that represent all that’s made downtown Manhattan a magnet for creativity and activism for more than a century and a half,” said Liz Thomson and Cliff Pearson, Joint Artistic Directors.

The signature event will be a free concert in Washington Square Park featuring The Klezmatics and gospel singer Joshua Nelson, along with Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. The open-air concert is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24.

The Klezmatics: photo Chuck Fishman
The Klezmatics: photo by Chuck Fishman

“The Klezmatics are thrilled to be a part of this year’s Village Trip Festival. It is especially meaningful since the Village Trip is expanding to include the East Village, whose kinetic energy was so vital to the band’s genesis in the 1980s. We are also beyond excited for the opportunity to present Brother Moses Smote the Water, our ecstatic collaboration with the mighty ‘Prince of Kosher Gospel,’ Joshua Nelson, as part of our Washington Square Park debut.” said Lorin Sklamberg, founding member of The Klezmatics.

There will also be a unique celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s musical Wonderful Town with Jamie Bernstein, the Maestro’s daughter, and Janis Siegel, Grammy-garlanded vocalist and member of The Manhattan Transfer.


 “My father loved New York City and had a special place in his heart for Greenwich Village, where he lived in his early twenties. All his enthusiasm comes bursting out of the score of his second Broadway show, Wonderful Town, which takes place in the Village. What fun it will be to visit the show’s real-life locations, and then hear Bernstein’s music in a proper downtown cabaret setting, right on Washington Square!” said Jamie Bernstein.

Additional highlights (in formation):

  • The 8th Street Experience: Kick-off, outdoor free concert with a line-up of musical hooligans led by David Amram and friends (West Eighth Street at MacDougal, Sat. Sept. 10)
  • Jack Kerouac at 100: A series of Village Trip events, honoring Kerouac’s centennial, including:
    • On the Road: A staged reading with music, featuring selections from the generation-defining opus, directed by David Deblinger of HB Studio. (Strand Book Store)
    • Kerouac’s Village: A panel discussion about the NYC neighborhoods where Kerouac lived and worked.
    • Classical Jack: A musical performance of classical selections that inspired Kerouac. (St. John’s in the Village)
    • Children of the American Bop Night: A spirited evening of jazz inspired by Kerouac and performed by David Amram and Latin jazz virtuoso Bobby Sanabria. (Joe’s Pub – Sept. 16)
  • Framing the Village: An exhibition of paintings, drawings, and photographs by Village artists depicting – or inspired by – the neighborhoods of the West Village, Greenwich Village and East Village. Curated by NYC artist, Marc Kehoe. (Revelation Gallery, St. John’s in the Village)
    The closing date for entries has been extended to July 30.
  • Global Greenwich Village: Inaugural Village Trip lecture by Robert Snyder, Manhattan Borough Historian, and Professor of American Studies and Journalism (Rutgers University, Newark), examining the Village as a mecca for artists, musicians, and writers who sought social justice and political change. Professor Snyder will also cite the impact of Afro-Cuban revolutionaries, and politically astute women in New York.
  • I’ll Take Manhattan: A celebration of New York in song, performed and convened by Janis Siegel (The Manhattan Transfer) with pianist, arranger John Di Martino, and friends. (Joe’s Pub – Sept. 18)
  • Eleanor’s Legacy: A panel discussion honoring Eleanor Roosevelt, long-time Washington Square Park resident, and her dedication to human rights and women’s leadership, 60 years after her death.
  • James Beard Townhouse: On-site tour of Beard’s West Village home, his long-time culinary mecca on West 12th Street.
  • Freedom of Speech in Contested Times: A panel discussion exploring some of the parallels between the expression of social and political unrest from the past and today.

Presenting partners and venues for 2022 include Drom, East Village Community Coalition, Figaro Café, HB Studio, James Beard Foundation, Joe’s Pub, La Sala de Pepe & Foto Espacio Gallery, Pangea Restaurant & Cabaret, St. John’s in the Village, Strand Book Store, Village Alliance, Village Preservation, Washington Square Hotel and North Square Restaurant & Lounge, and the NYPL branches at Jefferson Market and Tompkins Square Park.

The Village Trip Festival is a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible. To learn more visit TheVillageTrip.com

Dan Scheffey
Programming & Publicity
(917) 647-7626

OPEN CALL: Framing the Village Exhibition 2022

William Glackens' Descending from the Bus, 1910

Open Call for a salon-style group exhibition of paintings, drawings, and photography depicting Greenwich Village and the East Village (or reflecting the artist’s impressions and feelings about the neighborhoods). The exhibition is being curated by long-time Village artist Marc Kehoe.

New York City AIDS Memorial
David Amram
walking tour
opening event audience
Earth Requiem


A nine-day festival held in late September 2021 that celebrated the glorious community of Greenwich Village and all it has given the world. More than 30 events and over 50 performers at venues across the Village. Scroll on for photos.

alt text
Crowds in the Park at The Village Trip 2021

Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square

The beat lives on and on...

“New York is definitely back,” said musician and broadcaster Jon McEntyre aka Jonny Darlin at the end of a sun-filled, joy-fuelled day in Washington Square Park. Crowds danced away the final Saturday of September to the infectious rhythms of Bobby Sanabria and His Multiverse Big Band with special guest Janis Siegel, lead singer of The Manhattan Transfer. The free concert was, as usual, the centerpiece of The Village Trip, the festival founded in 2018 to celebrate the artistic and social history of Greenwich Village. It’s been said that the Village is less a place, more a state of mind with no boundaries. The Village Trip celebrated that with more than thirty events – walks and talks, and folk, jazz, rock, and classical music, including a special concert by the young students of the Third Street Music Settlement School. The festival kicked off with David Amram and friends on Eighth Street on September 18, a celebration of “The Eighth Street Experience,” with appropriate touches of Jimi Hendrix provided by Bodies Electric, and ended on the 26th with David and yet more friends in a grand folk finale at the historic Bitter End, New York City’s oldest rock club, marking its sixtieth birthday this year.
John Ventimiglia reading Jack Kerouac (photo The Village Sun)
John Ventimiglia, who read the celebrated “children of the American bop night” passage from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, exclaimed: “I can’t believe we’re all here in Greenwich Village. I’ve been hanging out, walking around drunk here, trying to fall in love. I can’t believe we’re all here, and I’m grateful.” (Photo by The Village Sun)
David, who is Artist Emeritus of The Village Trip, also led a unique walk, celebrating “sixty-five joyous years in the Village,” its rich history deeply entwined with his own. In 2022, he will lead TVT’s celebration of his old friend Jack Kerouac’s centenary. This year The Village Trip grew from three to nine days and expanded in scope to include a theater crawl, readings by children’s book authors, buskers, and open design studios. Geographically as well as spiritually, Washington Square has always been the center of the Village, and Bohemia’s beating heart, a place to which everyone – locals and folks from around the world – is ineluctably drawn, whether it’s to protest or just hang out. And hang out on that sunny Saturday they did, from the lunchtime soundcheck until the last notes of “Let the Good Times Roll.” “All night long” the crowds chanted back at surprise guest, singer Antoinette Montague, who closed the show, boogying through the throng to take the stage. Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein, danced the day away, then commented on Facebook: “Boyoboy did it ever go down. Wash Sq Park didn’t know what hit it!” Janis Siegel called it “a magical day of NYC music, history, community, movement and visual stimulation.” As the organisers of The Village Trip, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Thanks for coming. See you next year. Liz Thomson and Cliff Pearson Joint Artistic Directors

Just simply a magical day of NYC music, history, community, movement and visual stimulation. I’m grateful to Bobby Sanabria and his powerful Multiverse Orchestra and to Liz Thomson, the creator and visionary of the Village Trip Festival. Was thrilled to see some NYU students attending as well as all the old hippies in the neighborhood!
Janis Siegel, writing on Facebook. after performing in Washington Square with Bobby Sanabria

The Eighth Street Experience and The Bitter End

This is what New York is all about. Live music, community-based, for free that everybody can enjoy, we’ve been missing this. This is a late summer explosion before the weather shuts us down. Let’s enjoy what the city has to offer
Ericka Hamburg, who traveled from Staten Island to join the fun, quoted in AMNY

Classical music at St John's and Judson

With Liz and Cliff joining hands and so many other people now realizing that Liz's crazy dream is NOT so crazy after all, I feel certain that the Festival will continue to grow and become an inspiration for ALL New Yorkers to appreciate the amazing city we still have and the jewel and oasis that the Village has been for so long!!
David Amram

Walks and talks

From a big band blaring Latin-spiced jazz in Washington Square Park to a phalanx of electric guitarists playing Frank Zappa and a special 50th-anniversary performance of Joni Mitchell’s landmark Blue album, The Village Trip’s final weekend was awash in music. The nine-day annual festival, in its third incarnation, wrapped up in grand fashion
The Village Sun

Just Trippin'


Many thanks to all our donors and supporters, in particular: The Washington Square Park Conservancy | The Washington Square Association | The Village Alliance | Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce | Village Preservation | New York University | The Red House Fund | Three Lives & Company | Martin Colyer | Jeanne Donovan Fisher | Keith Fox | Leslie Garfield |The Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music Special thanks to David Amram and Doug Yeager for their belief, wise counsel and energetic participation; Duncan Milne; Ellen Rubin and Dan Scheffey; Jamie Kalikow and Maria Passannante-Derr; Paul Rizzo and the Bitter End; Father Graeme Napier and St John’s in the Village; and to the great band of festival volunteers. Finally, deep thanks and appreciation to Judy Paul and Marc Garrett, and Rita Paul, owners of The Washington Square Hotel, inaugural sponsor of The Village Trip and the festival’s home base. Their friendship and support over more than twenty-five years proved that even crazy dreams can sometimes come true.

The Village Trip Mission Statement

To uplift, to entertain and to celebrate the arts for all New Yorkers, their families and all people from around the world who come to visit New York City’s special oasis, Greenwich Village.

New York City AIDS Memorial
David Amram
walking tour
opening event audience
Earth Requiem