Dear friends, colleagues, and neighbors,
Sometimes I walk around the Lower East Side -- and get disoriented. A sense of loss floats in. Memories of things vanished, things that will not return.
And then I’m brought back. Some amazing place or theater or mural or conversational fragment happens and I know that the Lower East Side I love is not gone. From 14th to Canal, from Bowery to the river, its diverse, cultural, creative, outspoken, inclusive, grassroots, pro-immigrant, sometimes radical, always distinctive character is not gone. In truth, the LES is vital, alive, shaking with energy. And deep in the fight.
FAB was born out of this struggle, founded by cultural nonprofits, guided by community organizers. That unique combination of art and organizing is in our DNA. Each year, it’s our task to renew and re-invigorate how - as a unique kind of arts organization - we can make a difference here.
That’s why we built a collaborative mutually supportive network of 40+ cultural and community groups. That’s why we partner with organizers, bringing arts strategies to campaigns for public space, small business survival, and resiliency. That’s why we celebrate our community’s roots, co-leading LES History Month and the People’s LES project. That’s why we show up, why civic involvement is central to our work.
In our ideal LES, arts and culture would permeate all areas of life. Each resident would have multiple opportunities to make and participate in culture. Cultural hubs would thrive. We’d share a conviction that vibrant arts and culture are critical for how they connect us to our common humanity, our sense of belonging, our sense of community.
That’s the big picture behind our daily work. We’re all clear about that. Each day we seek to bring our best thinking and creativity to how we can bring that world closer. Working with partners, with neighbors, with colleagues… and with you.
Thank you for any support you can give. It is profoundly appreciated.
Ryan Gilliam -- on behalf of all of us at FAB