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Amsterdam Avenue between 109-110th Streets

October 22, 2022

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, The Columbus-Amsterdam BID, and Love Your Street Tree Day join forces to present the 2nd Annual Amsterdam Eco-Arts Festival on the Open Boulevards at Amsterdam Avenue between 109-110th Streets.

This festival continues the organizers’ aim of activating Open Streets with joyful gatherings of people on land that is usually occupied by cars. This free public program features a community planting, Native American storytelling, multidisciplinary performances, and a movement workshop for all ages.

The festival begins with a community bulb planting to beautify a stretch of the Minerva Bernadino Greenstreet led by Peter Arndtsen and Michael Gonzalez of The Columbus-Amsterdam BID and Melissa Elstein of Love Your Street Tree Day.

Following, Irma Laguerre and Vida Landron of Children’s Cultural Center of Native America offer a Native American storytelling session on the tale of Rainbow Crow for children and grownups of all ages.

The workshop leads into Plant/Silvery Blue multidisciplinary experiential performance that celebrates kinship with nature. The work continues choreographer Jody Sperling’s collaboration with visual artist Amy-Claire Huestis and composer Omar Zubair and features the Time Lapse Dance ensemble (Anika Hunter, Nicole Lemelin, Maki Kitahara, Sarah Tracy, and Rathi Varma.) This work is a transplanted iteration of a work the artists enacted with sponsorship from the Richmond Art Gallery at Hwlhits’um (Brunswick Point) in BC, Canada. The NYC performance involves a ritual processional including the audience that pays homage to migratory birds.

Following, jill sigman/thinkdance performs Ancestral Archaeology, a solo with ceramic body parts that is a reflection on land and lineage. At 2pm, Shayna Golub of Bridge for Dance offers an accessible dance class for people of all ages. No prior experience necessary.
From 2-4pm, All Street Journal will provide participatory socially-conscious muralling and art projects for children and families.

The events of the eco-arts festival seeks to uplift indigenous knowledge/life ways that help restore harmony between people and the natural world.


11am-12noon – Community Bulb Planting
12-12:45pm – Native American Storytelling
12:45-1:40pm – Time Lapse Dance – Participatory performance experience
1:40-2pm – jill sigman/thinkdance
2-2:30pm – Bridge for Dance – family dance class
2-4pm – All Street Journal – socially-conscious muralling

*subject to change

Choreographer-dancer Jody Sperling is the Founder/Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance. She has created 45+ works and is the world’s leading exponent of the style of early modern dancer and performance technologist Loïe Fuller (1862-1928). Sperling has expanded Fuller’s genre into the 21st century, deploying it in the context of contemporary and environmental performance forms. In 2014 she participated in a polar science mission, as choreographer-in-residence aboard an icebreaker; a film of her dancing on sea ice won a Creative Climate Award. Following, Sperling has since developed a practice called ecokinetics that cultivates the relationship between the moving body and ecological systems while providing strategies for climate-engaged artmaking. Sperling earned a World Choreography Award nomination for her work on the Cesar-award winning Fuller biopic “The Dancer” (2016 Cannes Film Festival). She created new work and is a subject of a forthcoming Fuller documentary. She is currently a resident artist at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Time Lapse Dance (TLD), is an all-women 501(c)3 dance company founded by Sperling in 2000. TLD envisions dance as a powerful force that can help move us toward a more embodied, sustainable and equitable future. The work aims to investigate the relationship of the moving body to the ecologies we inhabit through performance, media, education, and activism. TLD is a 2022 NEFA National Dance Project Finalist, and has received funding from New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (2011-2022), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, (2008-2022), DanceNYC Covid Relief Fund (2020-2022), American Music Center, and Harkness Dance Foundation.

The Columbus Amsterdam Business Improvement District (BID) was created to increase commercial activity and create a more vital and active business center along Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues from W. 96 Street to W. 110 Street by providing services and initiating capital improvements to make the neighborhood cleaner, safer, and more prosperous.

Love Your Street Tree Day is a coalition of NYC volunteers, elected officials, community leaders, local businesses, government agencies, neighbors, schools, academia, and non-profits who have joined to bring awareness to the importance and benefits of our NYC street trees, teach best best practices for caring for them, removing litter and reducing single-use throwaway items (such as plastic bags and plastic straws), and educating about the health and environmental hazards of dog waste. Originally founded in the West 80s of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, its events now attract urban tree lovers throughout the city.

Amy-Claire Huestis (Artist) lives in the Pacific Northwest, on the stɑl̓əw̓ (Fraser) river estuary at Hwlhits’um (Canoe Pass), in the sacred and unceded water world of the Coast Salish Peoples. In her experiential practice she suspends a state of wonder in relation to nature and its mysteries. Thinking through how we might develop kinship to other species, she makes work through ritual and deep attention to the land over time. Her interdisciplinary work is made in collaboration with artists, scientists, and conservationists. Her community partnerships have included North Pacific Cannery Museum, The Aadmsteti: Stinging Nettle Net, Time Lapse Dance, Henry Andersen Elementary School, Birds Canada, UCLA Art/Science Center, and many beloved artists and individuals. Amy-Claire is full-time faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia.

Irma Laguerre (Actor Storyteller) is Aztec, Tarasco and Taino. Ms. Laguerre is an accomplished actress with many TV, Film and lead roles on Broadway, such as ‘The King and I’ and ‘Juan Darien’. She recently did a role in the upcoming ‘Black Panther 2’. She can presently be seen in ‘The Undoing’ on HBO and as the Shaman/Medicine Woman, in Ray Donovan.Plus the upcoming season 4 of ‘Manifest”. Ms. Laguerre is Acting Director for The ‘Children’s Cultural Center of Native America’, a program of Nitchen Inc. She has been involved in Community work for over 30 years. Ms. Laguerre recently did the 2022 Storyteller festival at SugarHill Children’s Museum and the Native American Playwright festival.

Vida Landron (Program Manager/Facilitator/Puppeteer) CCCONA and Nitchen Inc.
Fiorello H. LaGuardia Graduate. Earned her B.A. Degree in History of Lehman College. Vida has dedicated her career to teaching children of all communities their Indigenous heritage, with a focus upon Native African cultures. She is a videographer and currently being featured in the African American Children’s Museum in Philadelphia. She has received several awards for her childrens entertainment series entitled “Miss Indigenous Poppins.” Currently is in development with a children’s youtube channel in collaboration with Gumbo Lab.

Jill Sigman is an interdisciplinary artist and agent of change who choreographs with bodies and materials. She founded jill sigman/thinkdance in 1998 to think about pressing social issues through the body, and in 2016, she founded “Body Politic”, a program of workshops and performance laboratories to ask salient political questions somatically. Working with things we throw away such as “garbage” and “weeds”, Sigman helps us to understand the connections between social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice and to envision a world in which we re-connect with the natural world and each other in meaningful and empathic ways. Sigman was the first Gibney Community Action Artist in Residence; has been in residence at Movement Research, Guapamacátaro Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology (Mexico), The Rauschenberg Residency, MANCC, and the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research at NYU; and is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University. She was born and raised in Brooklyn. In response to the pandemic, jill sigman/thinkdance has been evolving into a fluid vehicle for movement, dialogue, connection, and healing with a constellation of dancers committed to social justice and community care. Sigman has recently launched a new website presenting videos and resources about the environmental justice project Renewable Rikers: www.renewabledance.com

After writing his first book Disorientation Therapy in 2007, Omar Zubair (Composer) found that the closer to the core of being he looked, the more blurry it became; so, he began to listen to it, instead. And ever since, listening has become his primary compositional technique—whether creating a theatrical score with The Wooster Group or building a sound installation for a national historic landmark, whether sound designing for a blind choreographer so that she can continually orient toward the audience or improvising with a dance class at Juilliard to coax authentic movement out of each student, whether making music to help people grieve at a funeral or celebrate at a wedding. He lets the ear hear twice before acting once. He has helped found composer collectives across multiple countries in order to promote radical empathy and empower active listening. Some places his work has been presented are Le Grand Palais & Le Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Guggenheim and Lincoln Center in New York, The Disney Concert Hall and Young Projects in Los Angeles, SESC Pompeia in Brazil, and DeSingel Art City in Belgium.

The Amsterdam Eco-Arts Festival is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, a regrant program supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.


October 22, 2022


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