East Village Artists Create Global Neighborhood Warming


They’re gentrifying the East Village, and the fancy lounges have established beachheads all the way to Avenue D, but the neighborhood’s essential spirit, its rowdy cornucopia of visual and performing artists, is as visible as ever, spilling into the street from the sprawling precincts of Theater for the New City, which had the presence of mind to buy its building and then sell the air rights, creating a stable home for area creators. Over the weekend, a free festival featuring A-list performers like Reno, F. Murray Abraham, the Wau Wau Sisters, David Amram, Phoebe Legere, and Nora York; performing groups ranging from Nuyorican Poets Café to La MaMa to the Living Theater, THAW, and Billionaires for Bush; a host of dance companies, visual artists, poets, filmmakers, and playwrights; and dozens of less celebrated but equally luminous talents (including 16 acts especially for kids) runs from Friday at 6 through Sunday at midnight, inside the building and all along East 10th Street between First and Second avenues, where an arts fair offers crafts and delicacies from the more then 10 ethnic communities that indelibly stamp the ‘hood. The complete lineup, and an hour-by-hour schedule, can be found at