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Back to School: Free Pop-Up Outdoor University Begins in Prospect Park

University Open Air offers free educational courses that are taught by various professors and experts from around the world.
University Open Air.

Brooklyn Public Library has announced that University Open Air will be returning for another semester from Sept. 14-24.

Taking place outside the Prospect Park Boathouse, University Open Air is a pop-up university where globally-trained immigrant scholars get the opportunity to share their knowledge with fellow New Yorkers.

The completely free courses are taught by various professors and experts from countries all across the world, including Tibet, Ghana, China, Israel, Spain, Ukraine, and more.

The courses offered by University Open Air cover a wide range of interesting topics, such as French literature, printmaking, as well as a history of salsa dancing in New York, to name a few.

“We are delighted that school is back in session at University Open Air,” said László Jakab Orsós, BPL’s Vice President of Arts and Culture. 

“This extraordinary group of professors — who have expertise in everything from the silk road to artificial intelligence — hail from every corner of the world, mirroring the diverse communities that make up Brooklyn. We are so fortunate to be outdoors in the historic and beautiful Prospect Park, enjoying the last days of summer, while learning from some of New York’s most talented and creative minds.”

Since University Open Air launched back in 2019, it has molded the minds of over 1,000 students with its no-cost educational courses.

According to BPL, the program is part of the library’s mission to provide free access to information for all who seek it.

Partnering with BPL on the initiative is Prospect Park Alliance, a local nonprofit that is in charge of sustaining, restoring, and advancing Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

By being a part of University Open Air, PPA says that the program furthers the organization’s mission of engaging with the numerous local communities that consider the urban park “Brooklyn’s Backyard.”

"Prospect Park is Brooklyn's Backyard, where the diverse communities of Brooklyn come together, learn from each other and share experiences," said Maria Carrasco, Prospect Park Alliance’s Vice President of Public Programs. 

"As a gathering place for many immigrant communities, Prospect Park is a beloved setting for University Open Air's engaging programming, and we are proud to partner with the Brooklyn Public Library for another season of accessible classes." 

To view the full schedule of courses offered by University Open Air, or to register, head over to