By Scott Stiffler
Pity the poor professional artist. He/she/it knows full well that all of us have the same potential to express ourselves creatively — making for a rather crowded field. That’s why it’s nice to see this artist-sponsored event — which rejects the competitive instinct and advocates for a world where everybody creates art. To that end, poet and master collagist Jeffrey Cyphers Wright is your guide for an afternoon of fun, learning and production. The collage-making workshop coincides with a show of poets’ collages (called “Waltzing in Quicksand”). As for you’re the work you create during the workshop — you get to take it home! Hang it on your wall at your own discretion. Free. Sun., June 6th, 2:00 p.m. at Tribes Gallery (285 East Third St,. btw. Ave. C & D).
GREGORIO URIBE BIG BAND
Heavy metal describes the combined weight of the 16 trumpets, trombones, saxes and percussive instruments that comprise the Gregorio Uribe Big Band. The band combines Afro-Colombian rhythms with folk grooves and big band-style arrangements. The sound that emerges from that unique convergence is, well, unique. When bandleader Uribe hovers over the proceedings while squeezing out his own exotic sounds from an accordion, it puts the band’s eclectic factor over the edge and deep into the valley below. Sat., May 29th, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Fat Cat (75 Christopher St.). For tickets ($3), visit www.gregoriouribe.com or www.fatcatmusic.org.
It happens every Saturday — but this may be the best time of the year to take advantage of that weekly walking tour known as “Union Square: Crossroads of New York.” Thanks to global warming, we’re in the midst of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it few weeks when the weather is not yet stiflingly hot — perfect for walking and maybe even retaining the lion’s share of what you’ll learn. And learn you will! This 90-minute stroll explores the social and political history of the Union Square neighborhood through discussions of its people, history and architecture. Free, at 2:00 p.m. every Saturday. The tour begins at the Abraham Lincoln statue by the 16th Street transverse in Union Square Park. Look for the guide holding a “Union Square: Crossroads of New York” sign. Reservations are required only for groups. Call 212-517-1826.
OF THE ARTS
“The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts Exhibit” anticipates, and celebrates, the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. The exhibit (curated by Carolyn Ratcliffe) happens from May 26th through June 20th. As for the Festival, here’s the skinny: Fri., May 28th, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. is when you can find plays, music, dance, poetry and comedy in the Johnson Theater and the Cabaret Theater. Sat., May 29th, there’s a Cultural Fair on 10th St. (10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) as well as youth performances in the Johnson Theater (2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Other entertainment abounds, so consult the website for more information. Sun., May 29th, there’s a poetry reading in the Community Space Theater (4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) as well as music, dance, poetry and more in the Johnson Theater and the Cabaret Theater (4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.). Is that enough for you? All events are FREE; at Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., btw. 9th and 10th Streets), Call 212-254-1109 or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.
STARVED FOR ATTENTION
A collaboration between Doctors Without Borders and VII Photo, “Starved for Attention” is meant to draw attention to global childhood malnutrition. The launch event is a panel discussion moderated by NBC’s Ann Curry. She’s joined by global health experts, activists, Doctors Without Borders aid workers, and VII photographers. This free event happens Wed., June 2nd, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at The TimesCenter (242 West 41st St.). RSVP for the panel discussion by phone: 212-763-5775. Then, the multimedia event “Starved for Attention: The Crisis of Childhood Malnutrition” features work from the photojournalists of Brooklyn’s VII Gallery. It happens from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily, June 4th through July 2nd, at VII Gallery (28 Jay Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn; 2 blocks west of York Street station on the F train). For more info., visit www.starvedforattention.org.