EAST VILLAGE — A celebration of community gardens and local artists will take place this weekend throughout the neighborhood.
The third annual Harvest Arts Festival, hosted by a coalition of community gardens called the Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens, or LUNGS, will feature dozens of spoken word events, visual art displays and theater and music performances, lead organizer Charles Krezell said.
“This neighborhood is a special place because of the gardens,” he said. “It just gives the neighborhood a special flavor.”
More than 33 community gardens will host performances and activities, mostly on Saturday, he said.
This year’s highlights include a puppet show by the Bread and Puppet Theater at El Jardin del Paraiso on East Fourth Street between Avenues C and D, as well as a songwriters’ workshop at DeColores Community Garden and Cultural Yard on Eighth Street between Avenues B and C, Krezell said.
“It’s a festive atmosphere,” he said, describing the event. “It’s a whole neighborhood of people just wandering around and having a good time.”
A list of participating gardens and a schedule of events are available on LUNGS’ website.
Many of this year's events will have an activist theme, as community garden members and organizers take part in the People’s Climate March on Sunday and join tens of thousands of demonstrators in demanding action to stem global warming.
In conjunction with the march, LUNGS will host several eco-related workshops with NYC Climate Convergence, which will offer skill-shares, teach-ins and other events across the city.
Several community gardens will host composting workshops and panel discussions on issues like urban farming and climate justice, according to the LUNGS website.
“It was a natural fit for us,” said Krezell, a 32-year-old East Village resident. Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the neighborhood — including flooding, electricity loss and property damage — also underscored the seriousness of the issue, Krezell said.
“Climate change is a huge deal,” he said.