A win, win, win, win situation.

I have worked with Dance Block, a subsidized dance rehearsal space rental program at Fourth Arts Block for the last three months. In this very short period of time a number of things have taken place:

  1. I can now rattle off the importance of community-driven, sustainable resource sharing with greater confidence – and feel a sense of pride that I am a part of this growing trend throughout New York and the rest of the country.
  2. I am now more self-conscious of my own needs, what resources I own to fulfill those needs, and what resources I own either in surplus or as reusable tools that I can share with my friends and family (my community).
  3. I am now even more aware of how responsible the rest of the world is being with their available resources, what actions they are taking to make themselves more sustainable, and keeping alert to any new, formerly unforeseen opportunities for small businesses and/or organizations to reuse, repurpose and redistribute their resources with each other.

On Monday night, June 11, 2012, Dance/NYC, OurGoods, and Fourth Arts Block, along with curious members of the community, will come together for a Town Hall discussion of resource sharing in NYC dance. All will join in the downstairs theater of PS122 to share an initial and inherent resource – their ideas. Through their extremely hard work and creative planning, FABnyc has scored a major win for young and independent choreographers in New York City (read my blog about it here) and will definitely have a good number of additional strategies to offer. Members of OurGoods, a “barter network for the creative community,” will undoubtedly enlighten all involved on true resource sharing and the ethical responsibility behind it, something to stand behind, both as an artist and a human.

Interested in getting involved? Don’t really know much about what makes a sustainable business or what a barter network really entails? Have a revolutionary idea but have no idea how it could be executed? Come one, come all. Listen, absorb, contribute and learn, and all the while you will be expanding and strengthening your own community. It’s a win, win, win, win situation.

That’s the simple truth. We all want to be winners.

RSVP on Facebook or at Dance/NYC

- Written by Erica Reich Program Assistant @ FABnyc

Start June Covered in Rainbows!

HyperGender Burlesque Presents: Camp: Queer! – their queerest celebration of camp, or campest celebration of queer.

Start June covered in rainbows!

Camp: Queer!









Host JZ Bich, the queerest of them all, is accompanied by…

J Mase III, our favorite Philly Cupid

MargOH! Channing, everyone’s favorite drag chanteuse

Sweet Lorraine, producer of Oshun Returns, year long exploration of African American women’s sexuality

Bianca Dagga, all grown up now and bringing some amazing stuff to you!

Faux Pas, the mischievous, provocative, gender blender

Leta LeNoir, cute, funny sexy and HyperGender staple

Mercedes Matilda, the newest addition to queerlesquers in NY, and…

I.R. Marin, the videographer who makes you laugh and scratch your head at the same time.

Get ready (and get tickets now!)

Supporting a NonProfit Feels So Good

Just when you thought benefit season was over, yet another invitation comes hurling towards you with promises of a hip venue, exclusive entertainment, and drinks galore. Who dares attempt to wrangle you into a last non-profit fundraiser when you thought you could finally stop schmoozing and get outside to enjoy this lovely summer weather? FABnyc, of course!

The catch, which you’re bound to appreciate more than celebrity guests, is that this is really, truly not your average benefit. If anything, this is an invitation to kickback, relax, and properly greet these long, warm nights in our sparkling city while toasting to your favorite East Village nonprofit.

If you’re not already familiar, read on to learn why attending said benefit and supporting our non-profit feels so good (even with just two or four complimentary drinks)…

The fun begins with a hip venue of choice: our close and gracious East Village neighbor The Standard Hotel, formerly The Cooper Square Hotel. Experience “New York’s Hottest New Hotel” (Esquire) with exclusive, VIP skyline action from The Standard’s Penthouse at an accessible price. Against this infinite backdrop, Brooklyn-circa-Bogotá, Colombia band Il Abanico will be playing an intimate set of their fuzzy, melodic, and danceable tunes (as featured on MTV Iggy).  You will sip one of your complimentary drinks and soak in some visual art installations while nibbling on a tasty treat…when all of the sudden, New York will be washed in a breathtaking sunset! As you try to regain your composure (as if this is perfectly normal, you VIP!), DJ Alfonso Roule will lure you to the dance floor, and before you know it you’re sweating out dance-induced endorphins and dreamily staring at the star-scattered sky hoping the night will never end.

A breeze sets in, the music fades. Silent auction winners are announced, you collect your raffle prizes, and witness good spirits being shared by all. You smile at your new friends (schmoozing is easy when it’s not schmoozing at all) and descend back to the world on the ground, still buzzing with all the positivity you shared and contributed to with FABnyc.

This urban fairy tale is real, and you can see it first hand. Tuesday, June 19 @ 7:00pm. Check out tickets here.

See you there.

- Written by Erica Reich, Program Assistant @ FABnyc

A Garden Party with Local Spokes




















Join Local Spokes as they celebrate their dynamic plan for the future of bicycling in Chinatown and Lower East Side with a Garden Party.

All are welcome to attend for free food and bike raffles! Thursday, May 31st from 6pm-8pm, RSVP on Facebook.


Big Excellent 20th Reunion

What happens at a reunion is often unpredictable, especially when you attend one that is not yours.  Meet Erica Klein, an 18 year old adoptee and a woman of color who attends the Big Excellent 20th Reunion for her recently deceased mother, Ally, in order to deliver a last message to her high school friends.  Erica soon realizes that her task may not be an easy  one when it is revealed that Ally’s 5 dearest friends have all been closeted.

Produced by KS Stevens, Big Excellent 20th Reunion is a new and exciting musical about coping with love and loss.   The play presents a humorous and poignant story about the lives of 6 unique individuals as they come together for this one time event.  It is a must-see for the entire LGBTQA community.

Performances for Big Excellent 20th Reunion run from June 6 -23, 2012 at Theatre 80 located at 80 Saint Mark’s Place (8th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues).  Tickets are available here.

Update: DMAC’s Preservation Efforts

Well folks, it’s almost over, and what a ride it has been.  From the Lucy G. Moses award, to the Partners in Preservation announcement, and the successful OPEN HOUSE, our member Duo Multicultural Arts Center has rapidly made a name for themselves as a beacon of off-beat East Village history, culture and artistry. The effort to educate our neighbors and greater New York of their preservation accomplishments and aspirations continues on,  fueled in large part by the positive support this community at East 4th Street (and beyond) has gifted us. Even with low rankings, each vote for DMAC still makes a significant difference towards their final count next Monday.

It’s no small secret this is a difficult city to live in. It’s an even harder city to make art in, and even harder to raise a theater in — especially for 80 plus years. Regardless, DMAC and the theater at 62 East 4th Street marches on, tirelessly sustaining independent, contemporary and Latino art against the elegant backdrop of East Village history.

In a somewhat distant tie to the roots of DMAC’s beginnings as John Philip Sousa’s meeting place of choice for the first ever Musicians Union, here’s a clip of friend and pianist Pedja Muzijevic (also of Baryshnikov Arts Center) from the Partners in Preservation sponsored OPEN HOUSE.

Take the time to enjoy Pedja’s talents, and accept our gratitude for all you have done for Duo Theater and the East 4th Street Cultural District. None of this would have happened without our community’s help.

Pedja Muzijevic Performs at DMAC\’s Open House

SEE Music this Saturday in Artist Alley at Extra Place

SONNI @ Work in Artist Alley @ Extra Place

Argentinian Artist, Sonni, has been tirelessly painting the sidewalk of Extra Place in his palate of primary colors to prepare for the Opening Reception of “Music Machine” on 5/19.

FABnyc can’t wait to take in the finished work, and we hope you can join us and co-producer of the exhibit, MaNY Project, at the 2PM this Saturday to toast the ground mural!

For the time being, however, here’s the work-in-progress…

"Music Machine" in-progress

Downtown Art and FABnyc Represent at City Council Hearing

Ryan Gilliam, Artistic Director of Downtown Art, provided her testimony at the City Council hearing on “New York City’s Cultural Sector and Derivative Businesses,” which was held jointly last Friday by Committees on Small Business and Cultural Affairs.

Ryan has graciously provided us with her presentation, as a testimony to the collaborative work FABnyc has done with Downtown Art and in the community at large over the past decade.

We’re so thankful for this vote of confidence…

May 11, 2012

“Good morning.  Thank you to the Council for holding this hearing [. . .] My name is Ryan Gilliam.  I’m a theater director and playwright.  For the past 16 years, I’ve also been a community-based artist, working with youth ages 12 to 19 in the East Village and Lower East Side.  My organization, Downtown Art, is a small nonprofit based on East 4th Street.  I am one of the artists who founded FABnyc, a local service organization working with cultural groups in our neighborhood.

Downtown Art

Before we created FABnyc, we were lucky enough to have a diverse cultural community on East 4th Street.  Thirteen small and medium-sized arts groups had homesteaded several city-owned buildings on our block.  As we watched the neighborhood change dramatically, we all expected to lose those homes.  Our coalition – FABnyc – was formed in an attempt to preserve a diverse cultural presence in our neighborhood.  That was ten years ago and our story, unlike many others, has had a happy outcome.  Our small nonprofits now own permanent homes and the properties we secured from the city are designated for nonprofit cultural use in perpetuity.

FABnyc was formed in response to the threat of displacement.  However, it has gone on to do much, much more than preserve space.  It has become a potent force in building community, building bridges between cultural groups and local for profit businesses, between residents and workers, between our community and communities across the city.

As a neighborhood based artist and someone who loves my community, I want to strongly recommend that the Council recognize, support, and fund the work that FABnyc and others with similar missions are doing to strengthen, preserve, and enhance the vitality – economic and otherwise – of the city’s ‘naturally occurring cultural districts.’

Bowery Wars, Part 2: "How I love the Bowery"

Two weeks ago, 25 teenagers and I opened ‘The Bowery Wars’, an original music-theater work which is performed outdoors in the streets, parks, and vacant lots of the Lower East Side.   FABnyc has supported this project in so many ways – they reached out to the leaders of a new local park, making the connection  so we could perform there, they blogged, posted photos and interviews about our project on their website, they quadrupled our outreach with eblasts, facebook posts, and ‘tweets’, and they contacted local media on our behalf (we are a featured in the first print edition of The Lo-Down, a Lower Eastside magazine, because of FAB.)  They brainstormed with me about how to overcome all kinds of difficulties – both large and small – and – I’m not sure if you can fully appreciate this, but believe me, I do – they have purchased full-price tickets to come see the show on their days off.

FAB’s support doesn’t end with these practical efforts.   As part of FAB, we’ve gotten to know other local cultural groups in new and closer ways.  This past fall, when we desperately needed rehearsal space, three other FAB groups came to our rescue, adjusting their programs and offering us free or very low cost space.  When a studio opened up in one of the 4th Street cultural buildings a few months ago, we were offered space at a modest rent with the intention that we could be housed there until our permanent home is renovated.  At the studio’s opening last month, colleagues in FAB were there to celebrate with us – and I was pulled aside by the artistic director of Teatro Circulo.  He told me that he had not come empty handed.  Because his group had been able to secure new lighting equipment, they wanted to donate $30,000 worth of used lighting equipment to our future home.   We simply didn’t have these kinds of mutually supportive relationships before FAB existed.

FABnyc, under the leadership of Tamara Greenfield, has built community.  At the FAB Cafe, everyone crosses paths – residents, workers, visitors.  Tenants in local buildings received white roofs and new more efficient refrigerators through FAB’s sustainability program.   In our current production, we are using two set pieces that came from another FAB theater and were recycled through FAB’s Load-Out event.  The off hours in our rehearsal studio are being used by young choreographers through FAB’s Dance Block program.  And yesterday I heard two FAB staff members talking about getting their hair cut at one of the small businesses nearby and I thought, “I need a haircut.  I think I’ll go there.”

I’m an artist and emphatically not an economist.  I can’t provide numbers and verified measurements for FAB’s impact.  I’m not sure anyone can.  But when I try to imagine FAB’s absence  – and imagination is my strong suit — I am powerfully aware of the profound ways FABnyc has changed things for the better in our neighborhood.

You would probably agree with me that our local economies need creative efforts to help sustain them.  The dividing line that separates small businesses and small culturals is mostly artificial.  I urge the City Council to open a place at the table for entities like FABnyc from across the city –to  work with them in strengthening local cultural assets and their integration with small businesses in ways that can build both economic power and community.”

- Ryan Gilliam, Artistic Director, Downtown Art

Flooring News at the FAB Cafe

FAB Cafe lovers, your favorite non-profit cafe and arts organization is being featured on the website, Lucky Ant! And we’re raising $6,000 to put in a new floor at the cafe!

Cafe baristas have found creative ways to let people know about Lucky Ant...

A little background: FABnyc inherited our cafe from its former owner as a way to continue serving the surrounding arts community, neighborhood residents, and visitors to the area. However, along with the cafe, we also inherited a floor that has fallen in dire need of repair. Perhaps the floor isn’t the first thing you notice when you walk into the cafe, but it causes numerous problems for the cafe’s daily functions.

With your help, and with the help of Lucky Ant, we will be able to replace it! This will allow us to do what we do best: offer quality coffee, teas, treats, and customer service…

Flooring news!

AND, as always, all the proceeds of our cafe go back to supporting the arts in the East Village. This improvement will help the Cafe continue to function as a source of support for arts and culture in the neighborhood!

Keep in mind: we aren’t simply asking for donations. To show our gratitude for your support, we’ll thank you will one of our numerous donor rewards.

Reward highlights:

  • Your next coffee and pastry are on us when you donate $5! This is a simple, practical, and delicious way to support.
  • By donating $25, you get the FAB merchandise pack: One FAB T-Shirt or Apron, One MUD mug, and a FAB Café tumbler. AND Your first fill-up is on us!
  • If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes at a coffee shop…A $50 donation allows you to design your own drink. Name it, and we’ll put it on the menu! Plus, you get to drink that drink for free for a week.
  • By donating $100, you get a one hour barista class taught by Chief Coffee Connoisseur, Matt (in the video) for you and three friends. You will also get to put 5 friends on the Pay-it-Forward board.
  • For $500 you get a private barista class and party for you and 9 friends (wine and cheese included). You also get to put your 5 friends on the Pay-it-Forward board.

The full list of rewards can be found here.

We’ve only got 2 weeks left to make it to our goal, so if you’re looking for a small way to support FABnyc, then check us out on Lucky Ant!