Fourth Arts Block cuts ribbon on renovated buildings


By Khiara Ortiz

Last Saturday’s FAB! Festival featured the ribbon-cutting “Curtains Up” ceremony for three multiarts facilities on E. Fourth St.

The publicly funded projects include the Rod Rodgers Dance and Duo Multicultural Arts Center, The Shop and 64E4. Funders and supporters of the buildings’ renovations were thanked and honored, along with Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilmember Rosie Mendez and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Along with the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) district in Brooklyn, E. Fourth St. between the Bowery and Second Ave. is New York City’s only other officially designated cultural district. Since 2006, the city has committed more than $20 million to the renovation of six of the arts facilities on the block.

The building that is now home to the Rod Rodgers Dance Company and DUO Theatre at 62 E. Fourth St. used to be “boarded-up and graffitied,” said Tamara Greenfield, executive director of FABnyc. “Now they can be really proud and people will get a sense that things are happening.”

“The renovation of 64 E. Fourth will almost triple our cultural programming offerings to our community,” added Jose Cheo Oliveras, artistic director of Teatro Circulo. “We will be able to present more than 25 theatrical productions, increase the amount of our classes and workshops, and even open a forum for local companies to use our spaces as their performing venue.”

Sharing the space are the IATI Theater and Paradise Factory.

The third building, owned by New York Theatre Workshop, is at 72 E. Fourth St. and is New York State’s first urban industrial cultural “green” building to meet gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. It was constructed using manufactured materials with recycled content and wood from well-managed forests to meet sustainable design principles. NYTW intends to attain the same level of green standards in its daily operations.

Greenfield is excited about upcoming events, especially the second annual East Village Eats festival on Sat., Oct. 22. For $29 Village foodies can embark on a self-guided tasting tour at 12 to 15 different local restaurants and bars.