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

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

Written by Yuliya Skurska, Intern @ FABnyc

Callaloo, A Mystical Jazz Folklore

(image via Callaloo’s official website)

The lights are dim. The stage is sparsely set. At center, there is cauldron adorned by skulls and bottles of mysterious liquids. IATI Theater’s intimate theater space has been transformed by Claudia McCoy (stage manager) to host “Callaloo,” a mystical jazz folklore.

A shamanic figure (portrayed by Vanessa Evans) enters the stage. Draped in robes and dangling necklaces, she wields a walking stick and paces about, muttering to herself.  “Memories are fragments of past realities,” she utters and blows a puff of magic dust into the audience. Her curious introduction foreshadows a play made of fragmented experiences and dream encounters.

Using her mystical powers, this woman transports Winston, her grandson (portrayed by Marjuan Canady), from the heart of New York City to the Caribbean. This distant place is different from Winston’s home. Here there are powers bigger than him. Now, he is in the supernatural’s domain.

Winston’s grandmother feeds him Callaloo, a potion that induces a series of encounters with various Caribbean folkloric beings. Are these dreams? Are they reality? In a whirlwind created by voiceovers and projections, Winston meets Soucouyant, Dwen, La Diablesse, Papa Bois, Lagahoo and Mama D’lo, each of whom have vital learning experiences in store for him.

This confusing turmoil engulfs Winston and the viewers alike. Before we have a moment to fully realize what’s happening, we’re thrown from one overwhelming encounter to the next. Etienne Charles’ jazz score for the play tugs on our heartstrings as Winston dances his way through each mystical blunder (choreographed by Maresa D’Amore Morrison).

Every creature that Winston meets in his unusual journey teaches him a new moral lesson. La Diablesse, for example, teaches him to not talk to strangers. Papa Bois teaches him to protect the earth. These folkloric beings represent pillars of morality and take root in Caribbean oral culture.

Marjuan Canady wrote and produced “Callaloo” in 2012 as a way to promote the oral culture and folklore of Trinidad and Tobago. In a simpler time, morals and wisdom were shared in communities through storytelling. Now, such messages can be spread through art. “Callaloo” preserves an essential Caribbean tradition for future generations.

“Callaloo” is part of Iati Theater’s annual Performing Arts Marathon (PAM) which features cutting-edge musical acts, theater pieces and dance performances.

For more information about Iati Theater visit
To learn more about “Callaloo”, visit

Written by Marketing Intern, Yuliya Skurska.


EVDP @ FAB! Festival

We at FABnyc are always talking about how the East Village & Lower East Side continues to be a steadfast home for artists and arts groups. As a mecca of experimental, cutting edge arts performance, our neighborhood continues to play an integral role in fostering young artists through groups like Downtown Art, programs like La MaMa Kids, and our very own August Member of the Month, East Village Dance Project (EVDP) – which is currently gearing up for an amazing Fall season of classes!

All ages (2 to 19) are invited to register for Fall 2013 classes in creative technique, ballet, pointe, modern and repertory. Classes run 9/9-12/21 @ Avenue C Studio, 55 Avenue C, and all are suitable for boys & girls. Students will be placed in a level appropriate class.  Pointe classes are by teacher invitation only, and additional adult classes also available. REGISTER HERE.

EVDP based in New York City, was founded in 1997 as a dance development program for youth age 4-18, under the artistic direction of Martha Tornay. EVDP performs annually in New York and has been at La MaMa Moves! for three seasons. EVDP Students have also performed at NYU Skirball Center, Abrons Arts Center, Vanaver Caravan Dance Festival, with Keigwin + Company, and at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors.

Where did all those red flags come from?

The Kraine

If you hadn’t noticed, East 4th Street between 2nd and Bowery is covered in flags – markers of venues for the annual FringeNYC Festival! If you haven’t had a chance to catch a show on our block at The Kraine Theater, Teatro Circulo, La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater.

This Wednesday is the last day of FringeNYC at La MaMa, so grab your tickets fast if you want to see a show in the Ellen Stewart Theater! Search shows HERE.


FAB Field Trip to Far Rockaways

Last Friday, the FAB staff took a field trip to the Far Rockaways to enjoy sand, surf, and Creative Time’s Artist Sandcastle Competition. Despite ominous weather predictions, the competition went off without a hitch. See below for some snapshots from the day!

Creative Castles Panda








Creative Castles Raft








Creative Castles Tower








Creative Castles White Castle








Creative Castles Oops

Creative Castles Catapult






















Creative Castles Whale

Creative Castles Tropy















Join us for 12×12 at First Park!

Exhibition | Artist Residency
August 6 – September 1 @ 33 E. 1st Street
Open daily, Tuesday – Sunday from 12-7PM

Exhibition Launch:
August 10, 2013, from 5-7PM

FABnyc, in partnership with World Policy Institute, NYC Parks, and First Street Green, presents WPI’s installation of The 12×12 Project at First Park in Manhattan’s East Village.
Join us for an opening event to kick off the installation on August 10 from 5-7PM.

Originated from the book Twelve by Twelve: A One Room Cabin, Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream, this exhibition is designed to engage the public in dialogue about how smarter consumption might change their lives-and the planet.

The installation will be open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 12:00pm to 7:00pm August 6 through September 1, and will feature artists in residence over the course of four weeks, selected by FABnyc and WPI:

August 6 -11, 2013: Presented by WPI, NYC-based artist Ivy Haldeman will use the 12 x 12 as a space to reflect on the aesthetics of darkness as an indirect means of living sustainably. In opposition to a mentality of 24/7 activity, Ivy will make the 12 x 12 into a place for napping and rest.

August 13 – 18, 2013: Presented by FABnyc, Mario Chamorro, Catalina Parra, and Pablo Gnecco of The Happiness Lab will create social experiments through art within the 12×12 space in order to explore and visualize how people use their own happiness to develop sustainable communities.

August 20 – 25, 2013: Presented by WPI, musician Jonathan Koh will compose music in the 12×12 space, using a combination of classical techniques and synthesizers. His work will contemplate how music can help the listener engage with space and reflect on smart consumption in a small space.

August 27 – September 1, 2013: Presented by FABnyc, NYC-based performance artist Shawn Shafner invites visitors to create their own square patch of latch hook rug, 12 rows across and 12 columns up and down. The last day of the project, the squares will be sewn together, creating a vibrant patchwork and an expression of community collaboration.

Visit to learn more!

FABnyc is partnering on this 12×12 exhibition as part of our SUSTAIN project, with generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund:

Community update from Cooper Square Committee

NYCHA Rally 3 - July 24 2013

Cooper Square Committee members and staff joined hundreds of tenants who turned out for a rally and public hearing held by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) on July 24th to protest NYCHA plans to lease 18 parcels of land at eight Manhattan

housing projects for luxury housing.

READ MORE about how this affects housing in the LES.

Housing equity is vital to keeping OUR community safe in the LES. 

For ways to get involved, email or call 212-228-8210.



FABnyc is taking a moment to give a HUGE congratulations to Nuyorican Poets Cafe for securing major funding for upgrades. Daniel Gallant, Executive Director of Nuyo, wrote us:

“Thanks to our elected officials, Nuyo can increase its capacity to serve NYC’s artists, audiences, and students – particularly those from disadvantaged communities – and continue to serve a growing number of constituents for decades to come.”

Read more on CBS!

What’s Going On With Gmail?!? (A special note from FAB)


If you don’t use Gmail, you can go ahead and skip this message.

But if you do, or your friends do – this info may be illuminating about new Gmail features that may have you feeling a bit confused. Big thanks to University Settlement for sending this along and letting us pass on the message!  Read HERE:
A little context…  
Gmail recently launched a new “tabbed inbox” system. It is being rolled out in phases, so you may already know what we’re talking about. If not, you’ll see it appear soon. They have (or will) split your inbox into 5 separate inboxes all tabbed across the top with the labels “Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums.”
So what does this mean for you and your favorite arts and cultural organizations?
A lot of emails will end up in a tab marked “Promotions” or “Updates” – even if they are things you’re really interested in. With so much clutter, it will be easy to miss important content from your favorite arts and community groups – and no one wants that to happen!

Good news is – we have your solution to tabbed inboxes!
If you use Gmail, look at your account to confirm that the new tabbed inboxes have been turned on (you’ll see new labels across the top of your emails). If so, here’s how to ensure you’re seeing exactly what you’ve asked to see:
1.    Click on the Promotions or Updates inbox tabs.
2.    Drag any emails from people or organizations that you want to hear from and drop them onto   the tab that says Primary. Then, when it asks if you want future emails to go into your Primary inbox, just click yes!

For the next few weeks, as Gmail continues to implement these new tabbed inboxes, be sure to check your additional inboxes to ensure that nothing else you really want ends up there.

Note: Some people might want to totally turn off their tabbed inboxes. To do that, just click on the Settings “gear” image in the upper right corner of your inbox and select “Settings.” Click the “Inbox” tab and uncheck all categories except “Primary” and save your changes.