Prospect Park
The Prospect Park Boathouse. Courtesy of Dmitriy Fomenko on FLICKR.

The  free, immigrant-taught “pop up university” in Prospect Park returns this September, reports the Brownstoner.

Organized by the Brooklyn Public Library in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, University Open Air will take place from September 8 through 18 at the lawns surrounding the Prospect Park Boathouse, offering more than a dozen college-level courses completely free of charge.

The courses are led by professors and experts from across the world. And curious Brooklynites can register for courses ranging from topics on art, traditions, literature, well being to sustainability and more.

Some of this year’s talent includes Julia Adams, a Chinese educator at the Museum and Academy of Public Health; Alon Andorn, from Israel, a multidisciplinary artist who works with collage, sculpture and video installation; and Hungarian-born DJ Adrian Patino.

“We are happy University Open Air is back in session,” said László Jakab Orsós, vice president of arts and culture for the borough’s book-lender. “With instructors from around the world, we invite the community to explore new perspectives and ideas — from literature to art and science — in beautiful Prospect Park amid nature and one another, far from the screens which have occupied our attention for the last few years.”

This is the “university’s” fifth semester at Prospect Park and the summer program has welcomed some 1,000 students since its inception in summer 2019, according to organizers.

In addition to the growing program, organizers continue to hope the classes will inspire participants to put down their cell phones and fully embrace the joys of in-person community oriented-spaces, especially amid the pandemic-related shift to online learning.

“As a gathering place for many immigrant communities, Prospect Park is the perfect backdrop for University Open Air’s enriching and enlightening programming,” said Maria Carrasco, vice president of public programs at the Prospect Park Alliance. “The Alliance is proud to partner for another season with the Brooklyn Public Library to bring accessible community events to the park with this exciting lineup of free classes.”

For a full schedule of courses and to register, visit Please check the website for the most current schedule and health protocols.

Kimberlean Donis

Kimberlean Donis is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn. She is a student at both London City University and Williams College majoring in Political Science, Art History, and Africana Studies.

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