A Groundbreaking Dance Number on East Fourth Street

For most Villagers, the FAB! Festival on East Fourth Street between Bowery and Second Avenue this past Saturday meant homemade kimchi from the 4th Street Food Co-op, choreographed dance performances (as you can see in our slideshow, the Rod Rodgers Dance Company‘s youth ensemble performed a number from “Chicago”), and shopping courtesy of MissWit’s Deborah Goldstein (her best effort: a T-shirt emblazoned with the text “The Unbearable Lightness of Bieber”). For a handful of local artists, the day was quite literally groundbreaking.

As expected, Fourth Arts Block celebrated the opening of two new buildings with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Shortly thereafter, a host of East Fourth Street stalwarts including actor Tom Noonan of Paradise Factory broke ground on the renovation of 64 East Fourth Street, which will serve as a multi-cultural arts center. “It’s been a nightmare,” said Mr. Noonan, who purchased the building over 30 years ago. “But having a hub like this lets people know to come here and get involved. It gives the Village a cultural identity.”

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 2, 2012

An earlier version of this blog post imprecisely referred to Paradise Factory as a Latino cultural center and mistakenly stated that Tom Noonan rented in the building rather than owning it.