Support Public Art in the LES!

By - Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Only six days until the deadline for ArtUp’s Kickstarter program! In the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) runs ArtUp, a public art program that transforms unconventional sites, such as construction sites, scaffolding bridges and vacant spaces into street-side galleries. Some of the artists they have worked with in the past include Jon Burgerman, Reka, Royce Bannon, Ellis Gallagher, El Celso, infinity, Abe Lincoln Jr. and more. Check out their Kickstarter page for more information or to make a donation. Also see a detailed 12ozProphet recap of Groundbreak, one of ArtUp’s recent projects. Culled from the FABnyc website, below is some history about the neighborhood and the unique make up of the Fourth Arts Block organization. Once home to German, Italian, and Yiddish theaters, East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and The Bowery, is the heart of the Off-Off Broadway scene. In the Winter of 2005, eight city-owned buildings were sold to the cultural groups on the block for $8 and designated a Cultural District by Mayor Bloomberg, ushering in a new chapter in the cultural history of the block. On a first visit to East 4th Street, the longtime New Yorker is often delighted to find a piece of the old East Village preserved. The East 4th Street Cultural District is only one block long, encompasses 12 theaters, 8 dance/rehearsal studios, 3 film editing suites, and a large screening room, and its membership includes 24 artist groups on and off the block. In the next 2 years, an estimated 40,000 sq. feet of vacant space will be transformed into active cultural use; in 10 years, cultural space on the block will exceed 145,000 sq. feet – a powerful legacy in a city where affordable space for artists is an increasingly rare commodity. FABnyc started ArtUp in 2008 in partnership with Joyce Manalo of ArtForward, who is also the Co-Curator of PANTHEON: A history of art from the Streets of NYC, to transform the negative of local scaffolding into a positive. This program has been rapidly growing to include multiple partners, including Keith Schweitzer of MaNY Project. Text: Daniel Feral

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