In anticipation of our 15th Anniversary Benefit Celebration, we’ve been digging through the archives and appreciating our present through considering & reflecting upon our past. In this “Honoring our Past” (HOP) post, we’ll be looking at FAB! Festival over the years, facilitated by FAB staff, but certainly a collective effort by the neighborhood.
FAB! Festival brought together artists, residents, community members, visitors, all out on the block. Besides live performances outdoors, there were classes and art-making activities on hand for people to participate.
It was a favorite for many on the block — and beyond! As former Marketing Coordinator Hannah Krafcik remembers the festival fondly — “It was just really fun to see the community come together in that way. We didn’t really discriminate with the programming. Pretty much any artist could present, no matter the level and production value of their work, and I think that’s what made it special.”
Former production coordinator Lauren Parrish recounts what she loved about the festival: “I loved that the day of the Festival was an explosion of art on the street. We did so much relationship building and we were really eclectic in the programming and tried to show people walking down the street everything our membership had to offer. When the first piece started it was usually loud and a little messy, one year it was a Brazilian Carnival band with women dressed all in feathers, in our final we started with a stilt walkers and bawdy clowns who played instruments. And after several months of programming, those big openers were always really satisfying.”
Dance Block Assistant Krista Jansen shares this lovely memory: “When I was about sixteenish, I made a solo, and ended up performing it in one of the first festivals that FABNYC threw. They were just starting out and trying (as they always do) to connect the people who live, work, and make art on East 4th street, and this crazy day was the result. I remember the street packed with people, and singing and dancing just filling up everything you saw and heard. My solo was in silence; and I remember standing outside the Rod Rodgers Dance Company building, with Mr. Rodgers giving me advice before I went on. He said that a dance is never really in silence- you perform it to the noise that is going on now, to what the people are listening to right now- this is what you work with.”
You don’t make art, or communities, in a vacuum; FAB has carved out space and time for artists to work and add some joyful noise of neighbors and connections. FAB hopes to continue to bring that vivaciousness and mellifluous ruckus (thank you, Krista, for that wonderful pairing of words) to all the programs and activities we engage in!
To end, we share with you the 2011 FAB! Festival trailer. For those who might have missed these festivals of yesteryears, we think this will show how much life was on the block.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be delving through the archives and relooking at various aspects of FAB’s history as we get ready for our 15th Anniversary Benefit Celebration! Please join us June 13, 2016 and enjoy FAB views & company: Get tickets today.