Fresh off the opening of Ecstatic Decrepitude and marking one year since opening our new home at 13 Front St., we are thrilled to announce events taking place this May and June at ArtYard. From theatre to music and an exhibition featuring the works of Bread and Puppet Founder Peter Schumann to the fifth anniversary ArtYard Hatch, we hope to see you soon this spring.

We are delighted to host a staged reading of a new play by New Jersey native Tylie Shider and three performances part of our Concerts at ArtYard series, including the Oran Etkin Trio, a children’s performance by Timbalooloo, and Susan Werner. And you are invited to join us this weekend to bring your Bird costume for the Hatch to life.

On Saturday morning, join us for a Hatch costume open studio at ArtYard’s Workshop, our former home at 62A Trenton Ave. From 10 AM to 1 PM, we are providing space and a lively soundtrack to invent your own costume. Please register for the open studio, let us know you’ll join us as a Bird or Flock, and bring your own materials to bring your costume idea to life.

The Hatch features live music, performance, storytelling, and a parade of locals dressed as birds who hatch from a giant 14-foot egg and spread a message of joy through Frenchtown. A procession will be led by Ocean Avenue Stompers, a New Orleans-influenced brass band. Artist Laura Bernstein and collaborators will also debut their Miracle Tapestry Project, a larger-than-life hand-sewn quilt which unfurls to tell stories of our time, and a collaborative poem which embraces finding joy in the natural world despite its unknown and frightening future. All are welcome to join us as birds or spectators.

Start the month off by visiting our newly opened exhibition Ecstatic Decrepitude, featuring the works of Bread and Puppet Founder Peter Schumann. Curated by Clare Dolan and on view through July 31, it features masks, puppets, books, paper maché relief work, and paintings that convey Schumann’s deep commitment to the creative and political work which unites artists and communities in celebration and protest.

We are delighted to welcome Tylie Shider this month as the first playwright of the year in ArtYard’s residency program. On Saturday, May 21, Shider will lead a staged reading of Whittier, a multimedia docudrama that follows a diverse community of neighbors quarantined in Whittier, Minneapolis, days after the murder of George Floyd and inspired by the graffiti, lawn signs, and murals created in protest.

Heating up the McDonnell Stage this spring as part of the Concerts at ArtYard series are four stunning performances. The music kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with a sold-out performance by Amy Helm, a deeply expressive performer who blends heartfelt and vibrant Americana, country, blues, and gospel with four-part harmonies.

On Saturday, June 11, high-spirited Israeli jazz/world clarinetist Oran Etkin and his Trio, featuring master kora player Yacouba Sissiko, will take the stage for a performance that has been described as conveying “weightlessness, class, spark, inspiration and sharing.” The following day, Etkin returns for a special children’s performance with Timbalooloo, an interactive and educational musical party that introduces youngsters to melodies, rhythms, and instruments used by musicians across the globe. During the 11 AM performance, children will join the band, including singing, clapping, dancing, and drumming.

And on June 17, we’re thrilled to host Susan Werner, a clever and engaging songwriter and performer whose witty songs hearken to Cole Porter or Noel Coward.