Fourth Arts Block Turns 15. Benefit Celebration June 13

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This year, Fourth Arts Block (FAB) is turning 15, and they’ll be celebrating June 13! Since its founding in 2001, the organization has served as a strong advocate for the Lower East Side’s creative community and, specifically, for the East Fourth Cultural District. To this day, it is the only designated arts district of its kind in New York City. The benefit will take place at The Standard East Village. If you’d like to participate, here’s more information.

FABLES Debuts New Mural by Raul Ayala With CC 1/19

La Siembra 6.1.16

Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) closed out Lower East Side History Month with an unveiling of their latest FABLES mural project yesterday. Just off the Bowery, hidden among the brick and glass buildings at Extra Place, is artist Raúl Ayala’s new piece, La siembra del hogar//Sowing Homes.

The mural was created in collaboration with Fernanda Espinosa, a fellow member of the the art and oral history collective, Cooperativa Cultural 19 de enero (CC 1/19), and Amy Starecheski, Associate Director of Columbia’s Oral History program. The installation tells the story of the Lower East Side’s squatting history.

To help develop the concept behind the overall piece, the artists utilized interviews conducted by Starecheski, who is a former squatter herself. The interviews are included in her upcoming book, Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City. 

La siembra brings to life one side of the plain white pavement in the Extra Place alleyway, circling around lampposts and subway grates. Each detail is meticulously illustrated, giving the piece a life of its own. Although the ground mural is best seen from above, the impact of the image under your feet is quite powerful.

Ayala is still adding highlights to the piece, but La siembra is on view at Extra Place (1st Street between 2nd Ave & Bowery) through the fall. The artists plan to add a walking phone tour for visitors to access commentary on the piece. Find out more about the artists on the FABRIC blog here.

FAB Selects Finalists For Public Art Installations

Neighborhood Sustainability Series Begins Monday

Fourth Arts Block Seeks Submissions For New Public Art Program

Fourth Arts Block has announced an “open call” for a new public arts project debuting on the Lower East Side next spring.

FAB Festival, an Arts Extravaganza, This Saturday

Fourth Arts Block Festival. Photo by Whitney Browne.

This Saturday the Fourth Arts Block (FAB) will take over East 4th Street for its annual arts extravaganza.  The festival promises to be a fun afternoon lineup of free performances by local artists, with multiple indoor and outdoor stages showcasing dance, theater, & music, local artisans and gourmet food vendors, art installations, hands-on activities for families, as well as workshops for professionals and amateurs. Festivities take place from 1 – 5 p.m. Check out the highlights after the jump:

Faith47 Creates New Mural on East 2nd Street

Faith47 hard at work at 22 East 2nd Street. Photo by Tim Schreier.

South African artist Faith47 transformed a section of East 2nd Street, near the Bowery yesterday.  It’s the latest project from MaNY and Fourth Arts Block (FAB).  Photographer Tim Schreier stopped by, as Faith47 was working on the mural, titled, “The Weight of Air.”   It’s part of an ongoing series curated by FAB’s Keith Schweitzer focused on creating temporary installations “in atypical locations” throughout the Lower East Side. Meanwhile, street artist Dal, Faith 47’s husband, was working on a project of his own yesterday outside the Rag and Bone store at Bowery and Elizabeth Street. Click through for more a couple more photos.

Historic Duo Theater in Race For Preservation Grant

Our friends at Fourth Arts Block (FAB) are spreading the word that one of their founding members, the historic Duo Multicultural Arts Center at 62 East 4th Street has been selected as one of 40 sites in the city participating in the Partners in Preservation contest that is running now through May 21st. Each site has the opportunity to receive a grant for historic restoration based on popular vote. (American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation is giving away $3 million in preservation grants in New York City.) The size of the grant is dependent on votes.

This “below the radar” theater has quite a history. FAB notes: The building was constructed in 1889 as a dance and catering hall with restaurants on the bottom floors, meeting halls on the next two floors, and residences on the top stories. In the 1930s, the dance hall was converted into a theater stage. In the 1960s, Andy Warhol rented the Fortune Theater for his “Boys to Adore Galore” film screenings. In the 1970s, Francis Ford Coppola used the theater as a setting for The Godfather: Part II.

Art Installation Takes Over Extra Place

We stopped by Extra Place yesterday, where a group of artists is giving the sterile alley behind what used to be CBGB’s some much-needed creative energy.  We met the co-curator, Keith Schweitzer, at East Broadway gallery Allegra LaViola several months ago.  Moving several blocks north, he’s teamed up with FABnyc for the latest in a series of temporary installations called “ArtUp.”

FAB Cafe Grand Opening Wednesday

Next Wednesday evening, FAB Cafe will be celebrating its official opening — and they hope you’ll stop by to have a cup of coffee, say hello and maybe learn a little bit about the neighborhood’s cultural offerings.  The cafe, located at 75 East 4th Street, soft opened last month. It’s a joint project of Fourth Arts Block and the Lower East Side History Project.

FAB hopes the cafe will become a community gathering space, and also a hub for artists to meet and interact. The East Village Visitors Center has been relocated to the cafe space, which is just a few doors down the block from FAB’s headquarters.

The open house will will held from 6-8pm on January 12th, and will include performances and an exhibition from artist Harumi Ori.

The cafe serves MUD coffee and we’re told there will be fresh-baked cookies coming out of the oven daily at 4pm! It will be open 7am-8pm on weekdays and 9am-8pm on weekends. Plus, there’s free wi-fi.

Saturday Plan: Eating, Walking and Helping the Arts

Nicky's Vietnamese sandwiches

So many restaurants — so little time. Sometimes the sheer number of interesting places in this neighborhood can be a little daunting. Coming up on Saturday, Fourth Arts Block (FAB) has a solution for anyone who might want a little guidance: it’s the East Village Eats Tasting Tour.

Year of the Tiger Party to Benefit 4th Arts Block Tonight

Fourth Arts Block (FAB), the vibrant standard-bearer of the E. 4th St. Cultural District, is holding a “Year of the Tiger” benefit party tonight in the penthouse of the Cooper Square Hotel. They promise “dangerous cocktails, savory treats from Faustina, vivid fortunes, bold performances with Sidra Bell Dance, and auspicious auctions.” $25-$75 // 7:30pm // 25 Cooper Square // Tickets can be purchased online only.

Pride Goes East to Host Week Long Shop-a-Thon

Pride Goes East, a collaboration between Fourth Arts Block and the Lower East Side BID, is wrapping up it’s month-long performance celebration with a Lower East Side “shop-a-thon” with special events during Pride Week beginning this Saturday. Participating business will offer special deals throughout the week and a portion of all purchases will be donated to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk School.

“Pride Goes East” Debuts: Events, Deals All Week Long

Organizers held a kickoff event yesterday for "Pride Goes East," a celebration of Gay Pride in the East Village and the Lower East Side. The special week full of entertainment, as well as restaurant, nightlife and shopping deals is a joint project of the Fourth Arts Block and the LES Business Improvement District. City Council member Rosie Mendez spoke at the kickoff, encouraging people to enjoy events on both sides of Houston this week. There was also a cameo from Ms. Sarah Palin, the popular drag queen, and a performance from "Showdown," David Parker and The Bang Group’s
new interpretation of the songs from Irving
Berlin’s "Annie Get Your Gun
."  Roberto Ragone of the Lower East Side BID and Tamara Greenfield of the Fourth Arts Block said they hope this week's events and deals will establish their two neighborhoods as a Gay Pride destination. You can see more information about "Pride Goes East" including a schedule of events here.

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David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin performed a new version of "Old Fashioned Wedding."

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"Ms. Sarah Palin" gave her personal endorsement to "Pride Goes East"