We’re celebrating the ninetieth year since the American Magus and curator of the old, weird America, Harry Smith, was born in Portland, Oregon, his amazing body of work and the impact of his vision — on those who knew him and the many more influenced by the legacy he left behind as revolutionary filmmaker, archivist, painter and alchemist. Harry Smith was a one-time resident of our predecessor, the Breslin Hotel, and his spirit still speaks to us, within these walls and everywhere we go.
On May 29 in the lobby, the Down Hill Strugglers keep alive the original underground sound made famous by his Anthology of American Folk Music.
DJ Ian Johnson of the Academy Records Radio show on East Village Radio plays roots, folk, country and blues.
We’ll have poetry readings and reflections by special guests and more. We’ll keep you apprised here and on the calendar.
Gaia is a right-on dude who’s working with Mata Ruda, LNY and Nanook on this important mural project in Baltimore in support of the local arabber community. This project builds off of the mural produced by Gaia last fall for the arabbers on Fremont Avenue and will serve as a segue into transforming the yard into historic preservation site.
Arabbing as a practice began in the 19th century in Baltimore when easy access to stables and the shipyards of the inner harbor made selling fruit with horse drawn carriages an attainable entrepreneurial enterprise for African Americans in Baltimore. During the war effort and after WWII arabbing became an almost entirely African American trade. Competition from supermarkets and restrictions from modern zoning laws have endangered this heritage. Today there are only a couple sites left that serve as arabbing stables, with the Fremont Avenue location being one of the most prominent in the city. Today, arabbing serves as a viable living for a handful of men and their families whilst also serving a variety of communities including neighborhoods that do not have easy access to produce and whole foods.
Mata Ruda, Gaia, Nanook and LNY will use the story and experience of Baltimore’s fruit sellers to produce murals that will span the entirety of inside and exterior of the Fremont stables. The paintings are apart of a larger plan that will be implemented on behalf of the Arabber Preservation Society in the near future to make the site into a visitor center and provide the necessary renovations to the preexisting stable.