FAB Minute: Make it Happy

Mario Chamorro, Founder and Executive Director of Make it Happy dropped by FABnyc to chat about the activity his happiness team will be presenting at the FAB! Festival. Recently, Mario and the Make it Happy Team participated in a compelling week long site-specific exhibition as part of FABnyc’s SUSTAIN project. Drop by his booth on 9/28/13 at the FAB! Festival to learn a little more about his work!

“Good Morning!” A Kaleidoscopic Unveiling on East 4th Street

Good Morning On September 28th visitors to the 10th Annual FAB! Festival on East 4th Street will be in for a surprising treat on their jaunt down the block. The once grey façade of the 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center will be temporarily tucked behind yards and yards of colorful fabric, stretching from top to bottom. This yet-to-be rainbow textile sculpture, entitled “Good Morning,” is the brainchild of sculpture artist Amanda Browder.

Over the past few months, Browder recruited an arsenal of dedicated volunteers to help her sew the work to fruition during “Public Sewing Days.” Seamstresses included senior citizens and volunteers from the JASA Center, near the exhibition location on East 5th and Bowery. According to Browder, “Good Morning!” is a metaphor for the people who wish to work together to make a large-scale gesture in the neighborhood. With generous support from the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, FABnyc, a community-based arts service organization, has commissioned Amanda Browder to make this installation as part of their SUSTAIN project.

Over the course of 2012-2014 FABnyc and their partner, Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, have been looking at the interconnected needs of residents, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists, in order to develop creative solutions to the complex challenges of urban sustainability. As a part of this, the organization seeks to engage a cross-section of community members in creative reuse and activities that illuminate the benefits of reuse and shine a critical light on consumption and waste. Browder, with her charismatic and fearless approach to sculpture and community engagement, is emblematic of ways that FABnyc seeks to activate individuals through this project.-2

Browder’s work could not, however, be installed without the generous partnership of Downtown Art and Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company—owners of 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center, who are integral members of the unique cultural fabric of East 4th Street and have show remarkable support for the project.

Browder’s work will be unveiled at the 10th Annual FAB! Festival alongside numerous other projects and activities offered by partners in the SUSTAIN project. Come see this epitome of neighborhood collaboration on September 28th from 1-5PM on East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.

Images courtesy of Amanda Browder & taken in the gymnasium of the 14th St. Y

FAB Minute: Intensive Care Unit

FABnyc had the pleasure of interviewing Intensive Care Unit, who will present one of our indoor showcases at the FAB! Festival.

A group of recent NYU grads, ICU originally found out about FABnyc through our Load OUT! event and applied to present their debut performance at the FAB! Festival. We’re so happy to be hosting them this year! Check out their FAB Minute interview above and our full lineup of FAB! Festival indoor showcases HERE.

Fashion, Ukrainian Style!

When you think of Ukrainian fashion, you probably imagine ethnic embroidery and lots of cross-stitching. You aren’t wrong – just a little out of date. But don’t fear. The Ukrainian Museum can help you get with the times! The museum is hosting a runway show of contemporary wearable art by designers from Ukraine and the US.

“Fashion, Ukrainian Style” will be held on Sunday, September 29th 2013, where fashion designers Oksana Karavanska, Katya Pshechenko, Elena Vasilevsky and will represent their respective lines. The event is presented in conjunction with the Ukrainian Museum’s current exhibition Out of Tradition: Contemporary Decorative and Applied Art, which features work of 35 contemporary artists of Ukrainian background. A key element of the exhibition is the Ukrainian heritage of each of the artists, whose symbiotic link with the rich history of Ukrainian decorative art is a major leitmotif of their works. The exhibit is on view until October 6, 2013.

A Word About the Designers

Oksana Karavanska

Jacket designed by Karavanska

One of the most creative designers in Ukraine today, Oksana Karavanska is known for lines that are always very modern, edgy, and unpredictable. She completed her studies in fashion design at Lviv State Institute of Decorative and Applied Arts (now Lviv National Academy of Arts).
Karavanska was singled out by Pierre Cardin at the Alta Moda competition in 1996. Since then, she has been a member of the Committee of Experts of the Ukrainian Council of Fashion. She has regularly participated in the annual Ukrainian Fashion Week, as well as an unprecedented international benefit tour for Ukraine of her line in major cities across the U.S. and Canada. She created a collection of Haute Couture designs especially for the closing of the Eurovision 2005 semi-finals and for the finals. In addition to her label “Oksana Karavanska”, she also designs for “OK’ by oksanakaravanska,” “OK’ by oksanakaravanska for men,” and has created the first-ever line of Ukrainian designer perfumes. Oksana Karavanska lives and works in Lviv, Ukraine.


Katya Pshechenko


Pshechenko’s design for Holiday Fashion Week 2011

A designer of fashion and accessories, Katya Pshechenko has a lyrical style that stems partly from her studies of choreography and the piano. She graduated from the Mykola Lysenko School of Music in Poltava, Ukraine, and from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Moscow, after which she created her own “Katya Pshechenko” label for clothing and jewelry. Since 2008, she has shown her collection annually at the Ukrainian Fashion Week. She was invited to participate іn the prestigious Grand Défilé in Milan, Italy in 2009. In 2010, jurors from the Instituto Marangoni selected one of her designs for the collection of the L’Officiel Museum after she took part in the L’Officiel Awards: Fashion Weekend. Katya Pshechenko’s designs have been featured in such magazines as Marie Claire, Viva! Beauty, and Collezioni, among others. Ms. Pshenchenko’s designs are inspired by ethnic influences, romance and mysticism, with a unique sense of color and femininity.  Her collections are full of thoughtful designs as evidenced in the hand crafted, unexpected construction that emphasizes the individuality and essence of the woman. She lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine.


Elena Vasilevsky

Design by Elena Vasilevsky

Ukrainian-born designer Elena Vasilevsky is a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, and is based in New York City. Her designs reflect various influences throughout her life that eventually led to the creation of her own label, “Elena V”. Her artistic background ranges from performing as a classical concert pianist, to curating surrealist Russian and Ukrainian art, to fashion editing and styling for magazines, to designing costumes for the cinema and theater. Ms. Vasilevsky was a ‘Best Designer’ winner in a 2011 fashion runway show competition sponsored by Glaceau Vitaminwater®, a Coca Cola Company,to help cutting edge creative talent. Her “Elena V” collections are envisioned with the passion and creativity of an artist and conceptually designed for a woman who is confident, professional, and stylish, living a busy city lifestyle.


The runway shop will take place at The Ukrainian Museum (located on 222 East 6th St.) on Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at 2:30 pm. There will be an opportunity for press to interview designers at 1:30 pm – call the Museum at 212.228.0110.

For more info on the runway show, click here.

Time to Flamenco at Dixon Place

This month at Dixon Place, internationally renowned Flamenco dancer Maria Elena Anaya will be performing three consecutive weekends starting September 13th. See all the details below, including a video of Maria in action.

Eclipsis Flamenco: Encounter of Two Worlds, an original, intensely passionate dance theatrical piece documenting the historical merging of the Pre-Colombian and Spanish cultures that birthed “mestizaje,” (mixed cultures) the very foundation of Mexican life. Under the artistic direction of the Mexican Flamenco star, Maria Elena AnayaEclipsis Flamenco becomes an exuberant celebration. The plasticity, strength, rhythm and eroticism that emerge from the interaction of pre-Hispanic dance and Mexican folklore reverberate in the profound chords of the guitar, percussion and “cante flamenco.” The all-professional company’s dancers, singers, and musicians trace the development of the dynamic cultural fusion of these two worlds revealing a vision of life full of pride, passion, honor, love, and sorrow.

Fridays & Saturdays, Sep 13-28 @ 7:30pm | $16 adv, 20 reg, $12 stu/sen

Video of Maria Elena Anaya performing Antología

Night Blooming Jasmine @ HTTG

Night Blooming Jasmin

Night Blooming Jasmine, presented by Horse Trade Theater Group, is a desperate love story of a young Israeli war hero and a Palestinian woman, juxtaposed against the cultural clash between their families, prejudice and violence, and a seemingly never-ending war. Written by Emmy-nominated Israela Margalit, directed by Artem Yatsunov (StrangeDog Theatre), and produced by Kelley Nicole Girod (Fire This Time Festival), this is a play will keep the audience at the edge of their seats.

Israela Margalit gives us an insider glimpse into the work in this exclusive FAB Minute:

Tickets: $18 general admission – Running 8/29 – 9/15 @ 8PM (7PM Sundays) @ UNDER St. Marks

Help FABnyc Raise a Stage for the FAB! Festival

Raise a Stage

FABnyc is thrilled to have over 50 artists eager to participate in this year’s FAB! Festival on September 28th, many of whom are donating their time, talents, and energy to present new works. However, it’s no secret that this has been a tough year for NYC, leaving us with fewer resources than we need to produce this annual favorite.

So, on the cusp of this event, we are turning to you to help us “raise a stage” for the Festival! Today we’ve launched a Kickstarter to help us achieve this goal.

Even though the festival is a one day event, it represents the community building that we are doing all year round. By donating, you’re providing the tools, the nails, the platform, the crew, and the structure to raise a stage for a group of incredible artists and to show deeply rooted arts and culture is in our community.

The Festival is 80% funded but we need your help to secure the remaining 20% to raise a stage. We only have 30 days to secure this support. If you’re interested in donating, check out our list of needs and donor rewards on Kickstarter. Find something that you feel passionate about, and back our stage raising!

Those who back the festival will have the opportunity to choose from an array of rewards, including:

  • On site recognition at the festival
  • A portrait taken by our amazing photographer, Whitney Browne, on-site at the festival
  • An original, signed piece of public art by Amanda Browder
  • The chance to be the marshal of the festival opening parade, featuring Bond Street Theatre’s Shinbone Alley Stilt Band

Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you at the FAB! Festival on September 28th! Photo Credit: Whitney Browne

The Little Museum That Could (And Did!)

We know the East Village to be a transient community occupied by a multitude of cultural groups and the odds and ends of the Lower East Side. Many of these groups enjoy a brief stay, but leave their marks so strongly that they can never be completely swept away. Take, for example, the East Village’s Ukrainian culture…

During the 1950s and 60s, a huge wave of Ukrainian immigrants populated the area that then became known as Little Ukraine. Remnants of the country’s heritage still remain in the nooks and crannies of the East Village. Tucked away between a couple of Ukrainian churches and Taras Shevchenko Place (a street named after Ukraine’s most famous poet) lies a hidden cornerstone of Ukrainian culture in the community – The Ukrainian Museum.

Ukainian Museum

Image via The Ukrainian Museum’s official website

The museum was established in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America in its NYC headquarters, a townhouse located at 203 2nd Ave. Members of the UNWLA jump-started the museum’s collection with Ukrainian folk art originally exhibited in the Ukrainian pavilion at Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair. That first exhibition in the pavilion also featured a major display of fine art  by Ukrainian avant-garde artist Alexander Archipenko.

Ukrainian Museum Facade

Image via CityProfile.com

It wasn’t long before The Ukrainian Museum recognized that its 2nd Ave. location was much too small to house its immense and rapidly increasing collection of folk art. The museum then began to raise funds to afford a new property in Little Ukraine. With burgeoning property prices and the low funding of arts facilities in the city, this was not an easy task. However, the museum prevailed, and kept firm contact with its cultural community through its exhibitions, and by hosting lectures, book presentations and ethnic cooking workshops.

Oksana Karavanska

For nearly 30 years, the Ukrainian museum continued its quest for a larger space and patiently collected donations of small sums from New York’s Ukrainian American community. It is principally these collected $5 and $20 donations that allowed the museum to finally afford to build a new, state-of-the-art facility at 222 East 6th St. This new location, designed by Ukrainian-American architect, George Sawicki, first opened its doors on April 3rd, 2005 and has since been wowing visitors with its beautiful collections of folk and fine art as well as an archive of Ukrainian immigration history in the United States. The first exhibitions at the new address were reminiscent of the displays in the pavilion at the 1933 World’s Fair. The Museum opened with an impressive museum-wide exhibit of works by Alexander Archipenko, followed by an extensive exhibit of folk art that contained many of the original objects shown in 1933.

Katya Pshechenko

With the approach of the Independence Day of Ukraine, August 24th, we at FABnyc encourage you to go visit this little Museum that could, and DID become a cornerstone of Ukrainian culture for this community so dear to our hearts. Though the Museum will be closed on Independence Day in observance of the holiday, you can catch their current exhibitions Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11:30AM to 5PM.

Currently on view at the Ukrainian Museum is the exhibit Out of Tradition: Contemporary Decorative and Applied Art. This show features the work of 35 contemporary decorative artists of Ukrainian background and aims to showcase pieces of art and design rooted in the Ukrainian folk art tradition and aesthetic. Out of Tradition includes ceramics, jewelry, textiles, high fashion clothing and accessories and an array of decorative items crafted from wood, glass and silver. The exhibit will run until  October 6, 2013.

Oksana Karavanska

Oksana Karavanska

At the exhibit’s culmination, The Ukrainian Museum  organized a runway show of contemporary Ukrainian wearable art. The show will feature works by fashion designers currently on view in “Out of Tradition,” such as Oksana Karavanska and Katya Pshechenko, both from Ukraine,  as well as jewelry designs by

Ukrainian-American Elena Vasilevsky. It is a Museum benefit event that includes  a meet and greet with designers, silent auction of selected pieces and a Viennese cafe reception. Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at 2:30 pm for Fashion, Ukrainian Style!

To learn more about The Ukrainian Museum, please visit http://www.ukrainianmuseum.org.

Written by Yuliya Skurska, Intern @ FABnyc