Weekend Arts Fest Focused on Environmental Advocacy

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance and The Columbus-Amsterdam BID will be presenting the Amsterdam Eco/Arts Festival on Amsterdam Avenue between 109 and 110th Street on Saturday, September 18 from noon-6:30pm.

The program is offered as a celebration of Park(ING) Day, an annual global event where people transform spaces normally inhabited by cars into public places for people. This festival is free to attend and will feature dance and music performances, a community planting, poetry, participatory art, Karate and Zumba workshops for all ages, family games, and more.

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The afternoon kicks off at noon with Melissa Elstein of “Love Your Street Tree Day” and Peter Arndtsen and Michael Gonzelez of The Columbus-Amsterdam BID leading a tree bed educational walking tour from 106th to 110th Street, followed by a planting demonstration. Volunteers can sign up to help beautify and plant along the neglected stretch with native flowers.

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance (TLD) will present new ecologically-centered work called “Plastic Harvest,” in which dancers will appear in costumes made from hundreds of plastic bags. “The dance creates a surreal spectacle while provoking contemplation about the beauty of that—and who—our society throws away.”

Photo by Jun Hua Eu

Time Lapse Dance will also present excerpts from other works including “Arboreal Entanglement,” exploring the relationship between people and trees.

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Also in the lineup is Oleana Whispering Dove, a Tsalagi-Algonquian Native American and Indigenous historian, who will offer a Native New York Orientation providing information about the Native history of the festival site. Oleana will then read her Dream Catcher poetry about the legend of the Tsalogi Water Spider, an iconic female animal spirit.


In a part-performance part-installation by jill sigman/thinkdance, a set of handmade ceramic shards will be arranged into a structure that can be played like an instrument. “There will be building and unbuilding, sounding and silence, movement and stillness, in this reflection on slowness, loss, and repair, both personal and structural.”

Photo by Jody Sperling

Throughout the afternoon, artist Capucine Bourcart will perform her installation – “Plastic Blanket” – in which she continually knits plastic “thank you” bags together, a project which started in 2003.

The program concludes with the local rhythms of Sonny Daze, a Latin jazz trio with performers Salvador Merced, JojoSoul, and Armando Duchesne.

To view the full lineup, check out the event page on Facebook.

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  1. Paul September 3, 2021

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