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HUDSON RIVER PAGEANT

An Ecological Art Program to restore the Hudson River & Address Climate Change in NYC

ART/ECOLOGY WORKSHOP

HUDSON RIVER PAGEANT

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SAVE GARDENS PROCESSION


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Link to Rites of Spring Procession Slide Show

The annual “Rites of Spring: Procession to Save Our Gardens” is a three month collaborative environmental art project engaging more than 5,000 gardeners, artists, and community people, from the culturally diverse community of the Lower East Side of New York City. The project fosters awareness of the importance the community gardens, the need to preserve them, and their unique contribution to the ecology and diverse cultural life of the neighborhood.Click here for the schedule of events.

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The day-long theatrical pageant celebrates the network of over 50 community gardens in the neighborhood and tells the story of the gardens’ struggle to survive in the city, through oral history presentations, performance, ceremonies,music, dance, and poetry at each of the garden site visited throughout the day.
These tranquil gardens tucked between city buildings have been transformed by the community from garbage strewn lots into enchanted oases of weeping willows, birds, ponds, vegetable and flower gardens. Some of these gardens have been in existence for over 20 years providing millions of dollars worth of educational, cultural, environmental, and health services to thousands of people in the community free of cost to the city. While the gardens provide an invaluable resource for the community, many remain endangered by proposed development.The pageant is an annual collaborative performance art event, as well as a unique community building effort, fostering alliances among the people of diverse cultural backgrounds and from special interest groups, to work together creatively for common goals.

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The Rites of Spring pageant creates and presents 8 hours of performance, dance, music, art, and poetry throughout the network of Lower East Side gardens. The spectacular day-long pilgrimmage features giant puppets, mobile sculptures, ceremonial art objects, costumed garden characters, and Brazilian, African, and Dominican bands, weaving throughout the neighborhood to visit the network of gardens. The diverse cultural traditions and history of the neighborhood gardens are honored with collaborative presentations by the gardeners and artists at each garden site.
Throughout the day a mythic drama is enacted, in which Gaia(who represetns the gardens) is born, married, kidnapped, and then saved at the end of the day. The closing ceremony at the Green Oasis Garden celebrates the victory of the community and the preservation of the gardens with music, poetry and the release of 50 live butterflies for the protection of the gardens.

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The Rites of Spring: Procession to Save Our Gardens is a collaboration that celebrates and creates the neighborhood’s own representation of its’ eclectic culture, history, and community pride. Three months prior to the pageant, artists working in a variety of media, conduct residencies and art & ecology workshops workshops throughout local public schools, community centers, gardens, and at the central Earth Celebrations workshop space, to create the many giant puppets, costumes, performances, and group art projects, presented at particular gardens throughout the day. The pageant provides a conceptual framework in which participants every year contribute new ideas, stories, characters, puppets, costumes, myths, local history, performance, music, dance, and poetry to honor their past history and current issues, struggles, heroes, and achievements.

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The Rites of Spring pageant provides an innovative forum for artists to communicate beyond museums and galleries, creating art that brings the culturally diverse community of the Lower East Side together, to honor and preserve the ecological wonder they have created. The procession has over 5,000 participants and 10,000 spectators. It has established itself as a new artistic and diverse cultural tradition on the Lower East Side

It is our hope that art can empower communities through the spirit of celebration to effect change on local social and ecological issues. The Procession to Save Our Gardens is an experience of nature within our city, through which we rediscover a harmonious relationship with each other, and the urban and natural world.
internships available

Earth Celebrations’ Rites of Spring: Procession to Save Our Gardens on the Lower East Side, was a project Earth Celebrations initiated and produced for 15 years from 1991-2005, as part of our effort to preserve the community gardens. Our creative community organizing work, theatrical pageants, and coalition building to preserve the community gardens on the Lower East Side and throughout New York City led to the saving of many of the community gardens when in 1999 hundreds of gardens were purchased from a city auction to be preserved in a land trust, and then in 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg protected nearly 200 gardens  by transferring them to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After 15 years, we were finally able to celebrate and to take our successful and creative approach to effecting change, to address other critical ecological issues such as climate change, the restoration of the Hudson River, and preserving a healthy urban environment in New York City. See our new programs and Earth Celebrations Hudson River Pageant.

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RITES OF SPRING: PROCESSION TO SAVE OUR GARDENS
PROCESSION ROUTE / SCHEDULE

10:00 AM GARDEN SPIRITS INITIATION – FORSYTH STREET GARDEN & BIRD SANCTUARY
(Forsyth bet. Broome & Delancy)
10:45 GARDEN OF EDEN MEMORIAL CEREMONY
(Forsyth St. bet. Stanton & Rivington)
11:00 ROCK & ROSE GARDEN
(Houston and 2nd Ave, NW corner )
11:10 LIZ CHRISTY GARDEN
(NE Corner Bowery & Houston)
11:20 ALBERTS GARDEN
(2nd St. bet. Bowery & 2nd Ave.)
11:30 HOPE GARDEN
(2nd St. bet Aves A & B)
11:35 BASKETBALL COURT GARDEN
(2nd Street bet. Aves.B & C))
11:40 KENKELABA HOUSE GARDEN
(2nd St., bet. Aves. B & C)
11:45 UMBRELLA GARDEN MEMORIAL
(Ave. C, bet. 2nd & 3rd St.)
12:00 PM ARMANDO PEREZ MEMORIAL CEREMONY
(CHARAS-9th St. bet. Aves. B & C)
12:15 BIRTH, MARRIAGE & KIDNAPPING OF GAIA – LA PLAZA CULTURAL
(SW Cor. 9th St. Ave. C)
1:00 9TH STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN & PARK Inc.
(9th St. & Ave C, NE corner)
1:15 9BC GARDEN
(SW corner, 9th St. & Ave. C)
1:30 DIAS Y FLORES GARDEN
(13th St. bet. B & A)
1:45 EL SOL BRILLANTE GARDEN
(12th St. bet Aves. A & B)
1:50 CHILDREN’S GARDEN
(12th & Ave B, SW corner)
2:00 MENDEZ MURAL GARDEN MEMORIAL
(11th bet A & B, northside)
2:15 10TH BC GARDEN MEMORIAL
(10th St. bet. Aves B & C)
2:25 ABC GARDEN MEMORIAL & INITIATION
(8th St., bet. Aves. B & C)
2:30 DE COLORES GARDEN
(8th bet B&C, northside)
2:45 EARTH PEOPLE GARDEN
(8th bet B & C, northside)
2:55 BELLO AMANECER BORINCANO
(Avenue C bet 7th and 8th Sts.)
3:00 JARDIN DE LA ESPERANZA
(7th St. bet. Aves. B & C)
3:15 BUTTERFLY ANGEL FLYS – 6TH ST. & AVE. B GARDEN
(SW cor.)
3:30 CREATIVE LITTLE GARDEN
(6th Street bet. B & A)
3:45 6BC BOTANICAL GARDEN
(6th St. bet. Aves B & C)
3:50 STANNARD DIGGS GARDEN
(6th st. Bet. Aves. C & D)
4:00 BUTTERFLY CHILDREN BRING A MESSAGE – PARQUE DE TRANQUILIDAD
(4th St. bet. Aves C & D south side)
4:15 SAVING OF GAIA – EL JARDIN DEL PARAISO
(4th St. bet. Aves. C & D, northside)
5:00 ALL PEOPLES GARDEN
(3rd St. bet. Aves. C & D)
5:10 BRISES DEL CARIBE
(3rd St. bet. Aves. B & C)
5:20 AMIGOS GARDEN
(3rd St. bet. Aves. B & C)
5:30 TU PEUBLO BATAY
(4th St. bet. B & C)
5:40 WINNERS CIRCLE
(4th St. bet. B & C)
5:50 GILBERTS SCULPTURE GARDEN
(8th St. bet. Aves. C & D)
6:00 BUTTERFLY RELEASE CLOSING CEREMONY – GREEN OASIS GARDEN
(8th St. bet. Aves. C & D)
6-7:30 Closing Ceremony
7:30-8:30 Cherry Tree – a Japanese Noh Play
8:30- 9:30 Screening of the Film DIRT



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RITES OF SPRING: PROCESSION TO SAVE OUR GARDENS
PROCESSION ROUTE / SCHEDULE
10:00 AM GARDEN SPIRITS INITIATION – FORSYTH STREET GARDEN & BIRD SANCTUARY
(Forsyth bet. Broome & Delancy)
10:45 GARDEN OF EDEN MEMORIAL CEREMONY
(Forsyth St. bet. Stanton & Rivington)
11:00 ROCK & ROSE GARDEN
(Houston and 2nd Ave, NW corner )
11:10 LIZ CHRISTY GARDEN
(NE Corner Bowery & Houston)
11:20 ALBERTS GARDEN
(2nd St. bet. Bowery & 2nd Ave.)
11:30 HOPE GARDEN
(2nd St. bet Aves A & B)
11:35 BASKETBALL COURT GARDEN
(2nd Street bet. Aves.B & C))
11:40 KENKELABA HOUSE GARDEN
(2nd St., bet. Aves. B & C)
11:45 UMBRELLA GARDEN MEMORIAL
(Ave. C, bet. 2nd & 3rd St.)
12:00 PM ARMANDO PEREZ MEMORIAL CEREMONY
(CHARAS-9th St. bet. Aves. B & C)
12:15 BIRTH, MARRIAGE & KIDNAPPING OF GAIA – LA PLAZA CULTURAL
(SW Cor. 9th St. Ave. C)
1:00 9TH STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN & PARK Inc.
(9th St. & Ave C, NE corner)
1:15 9BC GARDEN
(SW corner, 9th St. & Ave. C)
1:30 DIAS Y FLORES GARDEN
(13th St. bet. B & A)
1:45 EL SOL BRILLANTE GARDEN
(12th St. bet Aves. A & B)
1:50 CHILDREN’S GARDEN
(12th & Ave B, SW corner)
2:00 MENDEZ MURAL GARDEN MEMORIAL
(11th bet A & B, northside)
2:15 10TH BC GARDEN MEMORIAL
(10th St. bet. Aves B & C)
2:25 ABC GARDEN MEMORIAL & INITIATION
(8th St., bet. Aves. B & C)
2:30 DE COLORES GARDEN
(8th bet B&C, northside)
2:45 EARTH PEOPLE GARDEN
(8th bet B & C, northside)
2:55 BELLO AMANECER BORINCANO
(Avenue C bet 7th and 8th Sts.)
3:00 JARDIN DE LA ESPERANZA
(7th St. bet. Aves. B & C)
3:15 BUTTERFLY ANGEL FLYS – 6TH ST. & AVE. B GARDEN
(SW cor.)
3:30 CREATIVE LITTLE GARDEN
(6th Street bet. B & A)
3:45 6BC BOTANICAL GARDEN
(6th St. bet. Aves B & C)
3:50 STANNARD DIGGS GARDEN
(6th st. Bet. Aves. C & D)
4:00 BUTTERFLY CHILDREN BRING A MESSAGE – PARQUE DE TRANQUILIDAD
(4th St. bet. Aves C & D south side)
4:15 SAVING OF GAIA – EL JARDIN DEL PARAISO
(4th St. bet. Aves. C & D, northside)
5:00 ALL PEOPLES GARDEN
(3rd St. bet. Aves. C & D)
5:10 BRISES DEL CARIBE
(3rd St. bet. Aves. B & C)
5:20 AMIGOS GARDEN
(3rd St. bet. Aves. B & C)
5:30 TU PEUBLO BATAY
(4th St. bet. B & C)
5:40 WINNERS CIRCLE
(4th St. bet. B & C)
5:50 GILBERTS SCULPTURE GARDEN
(8th St. bet. Aves. C & D)
6:00 BUTTERFLY RELEASE CLOSING CEREMONY – GREEN OASIS GARDEN
(8th St. bet. Aves. C & D)
6-7:30 Closing Ceremony
7:30-8:30 Cherry Tree – a Japanese Noh Play
8:30- 9:30