Brooklyn Museum of Art Children take pleasure in watching the fountain dance at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Now they can enjoy listening to it, too.
Credit: Elisabeth Callihan

When one little girl looked at the Jane and David Walentas Fountain, outside the Brooklyn Museum of Art, she saw more than light and water shooting skyward. The child said that she heard music as well. The idea, relayed through her father to Brooklyn Museum public programs manager Elisabeth Callihan, led to a contest. Musicians and producers were invited to “score” the fountain.

In June, the museum put out a public call for original work in all musical genres to accompany a 5-minute-and-40-second program of dancing water. The design was posted online for all contributors to use for inspiration and timing. “The program was open to anyone willing to submit original music,” Fatima Kafele, the media relations manager at the museum, explains. Happily, submissions were as diverse as hoped. “We were very impressed with the level of creativity. Submissions ranged from classical and jazz to bossa nova and more. Some were accompanied by written music.”

Ten tracks from multiple genres were selected by a committee of Brooklyn Museum staff, led by Callihan. The finalists will be performed live for the public tonight in front of, and in sync with, the fountain, which plays on a continuous loop. The performance begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free to all.

The fact that there is no single “winner,” also reveals the true mission of the event. “On any given day, The Jane and David Walentas Fountain is teeming with members of the community,” Kafele points out. “We would like this event to be a celebration of our Brooklyn Museum community.”


If you go

Jane and David Walentas Fountain
Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Pkwy.
Free, 718-638-5000,
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