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Ecological City Pageant will be virtually dazzling

The COVID crisis won’t stop a pageant focused on the climate crisis. The pageant, though, will be virtual this year.

Earth Celebrations’ Ecological City: Art & Climate Solutions Virtual Pageant will be held Sat., May 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It will be livestreamed on Facebook.

There will be more than 100 remote participants, including visual artists, performers, dancers, musicians, poets, gardeners and community participants. They will livestream and post selfie videos from their apartments, rooftops, balconies, bathtubs and nature nearby from wherever they are under quarantine, lockdown or practicing social distancing.

Working on a costume for the Ecological City Pageant. (Courtesy Earth Celebrations)

From 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., the event will feature its centerpiece, the Climate Costume Parade-in-Place, which people can join through Zoom video. Participants will wear nature-inspired homemade costumes celebrating the natural world, gardens, rivers and climate solutions and share a selfie video. (The event has been in the planning stages for months, during which some participants worked on their costumes.)

Register on eventbrite.

There will be giant puppets and mobile sculptures and also a virtual view of the pageant’s original planned route through the Lower East Side gardens and neighborhood and East River Park waterfront sites.

The artistic works will explore these sites and the myriad climate resiliency and ecological sustainability solutions to mitigate carbon, pollution, runoff and flooding due to climate impacts of storm surges and sea level rise that are being designed and implemented throughout the neighborhood.

Getting ready for the Ecological City Virtual Pageant. (Courtesy Earth Celebrations)

Visionary green infrastructure projects throughout the community include bio-swales, rain and pollinator gardens, solar gazebos, permeable pathways, vertical farming, green roofs and sustainable urban farming.

On the waterfront, oyster planting, wetlands, kayak launch river access and a rolling hillside seawall berm — now presented as a hard-edge seawall in the East Side Coastal Resiliency plan — offer varied resiliency approaches and solutions.

Ecological City is an evolution of Earth Celebrations’ 30 years of pioneering “creative place-making” and “cultural organizing” strategies, including the 15-year Procession to Save Our Gardens and coalition efforts that led to the preservation of hundreds of community gardens on the Lower East Side and throughout New York City, as well as theatrical pageants, that engaged the community in river restoration initiatives on the Downtown section of the Hudson River Park.

Earth Celebrations directs Ecological City in partnership with more than 50 partner groups, including LUNGS (Loisaida Urban Neighborhood Gardens), representing 48 Lower East Side Gardens, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, NYC Community Garden District, Green Map, East Village Community Coalition, Lower Eastside Girls Club, University Settlement, Educational Alliance, Sixth Street Community Center, Loisaida Inc. Center, GOLES, East River Alliance, East River Park Action, East River Park Coalition, Friends of Corlears Hook Park, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Solar One, Waterfront Alliance, Gaia Institute, FABnyc, Arts Loisaida, 4th Street Block Association, Infinite Movement, Time’s Up, Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, One Brick, P.S. 364 – Earth School, Children’s Workshop School, Hunter College – School of Community Organizing and New York University.

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