Photos: FAB! Festival and the First Street Block Fair

Photos: Tim Schreier

It was a busy, boisterous weekend in the East Village.

On Saturday, Fourth Arts Block, the nonprofit constellation of art groups and performance spaces lining East Fourth Street between Bowery and Second Avenues, hosted its annual FAB! Festival, as you can see above. Meanwhile a few blocks south, the latest Centre-Fuge murals debuted at the First Street Block Fair. And at First Park, the first annual “James Day” raised money for James Panitz, an East Village child who shortly after his second birthday was diagnosed with a form of pediatric cancer. (See those photos below.)

Tamara Greenfield, overseeing her sixth FAB! Festival, said this year offered a range of musical, dance, and spoken word activities and performances to appeal to even the most impatient of attention spans. The event boasted two outdoor stages, an indoor performance space, and a host of food options, from vegan empanadas to pulled pork tacos.

As expected, a collaboration with the Asian American Arts Alliance brought hula, rap, Japanese drumming, and modern dance to the festival.

Photos: Tim Schreier

On the construction containers on the corner of Bowery and Fourth Street, OverUnder, a Reno-based Parsons alum who also contributed to the Centre-Fuge murals, painted an aerial view of a man and woman on a bicycle. Together with Recycle-a-Bicycle, the artist also completed a bicycle-themed mural on the container’s longer sidewalk-facing canvas.

That piece was also a collaboration with Transportation Alternatives. The organization offered a two-hour bike tour of its new Bike–Friendly Business District. The ride concluded at the FAB! Festival, where attendees enjoyed smoothies mixed in a blender powered from bike peddling.

Keith Schweitzer, Director of Public Art for Fourth Arts Block, curated an installation entitled “The Thin Line Between Here and There,” in which construction scaffolding was reimagined as a roadside Buddhist temple in Thailand. He said the work developed from an interest in “changing construction and roadside fixtures, and trying to see what I can transform them into.”

The idea behind the installation taps into a common feeling among city-dwellers, “of living in a major city and not being able to find that quietness,” he said.