FALL RIVER — The third edition of the FABRIC Arts Festival will take place May 12, 13 and 14 at various locations across Fall River. Presented by Nova Inglaterra’s Casa dos Açores, curated by Michael Benevides in Fall River with the Portugal-based curatorial team of Jesse James and Sofia Carolina Botelho, the event is titled “Where We Meet” and will be a invitation to look at Fall River as a territory of arrivals and intersections between multiple geographies.
This edition is inspired by the aesthetics, languages and codes of the diaspora that shape the “spindle city” aiming to celebrate its communities and its diversity.
FABRIC Arts Festival will navigate between three programming axes:
- Common Spaces, an exploration of visual arts and architecture;
- Dialogues, an experience of music and sounds;
- A Table for Many on commensality and encounter.
“Given the success of FABRIC over the past few years, my team and I are thrilled to present another weekend of unique, high-quality art experiences, lasting memories and lots of fun. Adding the food element will also bring an important component to the festival,” said Michael Benevides, Founder of FABRIC. “It’s great to be able to host these in-person events again and be a part of Southcoast Spring Arts Week. We reaffirm our collective commitment to proactively collaborate or initiate community-based creative projects that positively impact our neighborhoods and engage with diverse stakeholders.”
Common Spaces will reimagine public spaces in Fall River by constructing an open-air museum spanning the town, centered along the Quequechan River Railroad Trail. The program will establish a public art circuit to generate positive outcomes for the city and will include projects from dozens of local artists. Three public art installations will be unveiled to make the Quequechan River Rail Trail a more vibrant meeting place for community conversations.
Thursday, May 12 opening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
An immersive installation crossing the experimental sound of Príncipe Discos and the installation of Márcio Matos, presented in partnership with FRMoCA at 502 Bedford Street. Free and open to the public.
Friday, May 13 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Over two dozen artists and creators feature Fall River Open Studios. No pre-determined itinerary will be set and participating studios will include Narrows Center for the Arts, Smokestack Studios, Greater Fall River Art Association, FRMoCA, Grimshaw-Gudewicz Gallery, and more. Will be held in multiple locations. All free and open to the public.
Saturday May 14 at 3 p.m.
Three new public art installations, all different but complementary, will be unveiled. Each piece will be placed outdoors to beautify the neighborhood, help create a legacy for the city, and create a meeting destination.
- Using ceramics, Lisbon-based artist Maria Ana Vasco Costa will create a sculpture garden to evoke a small town and function as small benches and tables for community use.
- Local artist Gregory Pennisten will lead the transformation of the tunnel under Interstate I-195 at Rodman Street into a living art gallery, making it a prime space for artistic creation and collective expression. Under his direction, New England artists will create works of art in the tunnel that reflect the multiple expressions, languages and geographies of the community.
- Designer Tyler Inman, from the Smokestack Studios collective in Fall River, will showcase a custom large-scale sectional communal table for public use.
Free and open to the public.
Saturday May 14 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Art and music come together at the FABRIC Community Picnic on the Quequechan River Rail Trail to form a “Festa” (a colloquial term for popular gatherings in Portuguese). Príncipe Discos from Lisbon will lead the party with contemporary dance music. Will be held at the facilities site, most directly accessible from the Rodman Street entrance to the trailhead. Free and open to the public.
A table for many
A Table for Many will be FABRIC’s pop-up restaurant with performances and meals created by artists and chefs. It is a space of encounter, experimentation and intersection between the arts and gastronomy.
Thursday May 12 at 6 p.m.
Luso-American chef Mitch Mauricio of Agawam Hunt in Rhode Island will present a joint performative dinner showcasing Azorean traditions with a soundtrack by PMDS, an Azorean electronic act formed by Pedro Sousa and Filipe Caetano. Will be held at Police Athletic League Hall at 31 Franklin Street with limited capacity. Advance tickets must be purchased.
Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m.
The Portuguese visual arts duo João Pedro Vale and Nuno Alexandre Ferreira will organize a dinner in the form of a conference-performance entitled “Semiotics of cod” – its importance on Portuguese identity, migratory routes and ecology. The public will be invited to a collective cooking session while the story is told. Will be held at the Narrows Center for the Arts at 16 Anawan Street with limited capacity. Advance tickets must be purchased.
Dialogues will bring together artists who develop a sound practice resulting from the transformation, revisitation, appropriation and affirmation of sounds to imagine other discourses and aesthetic possibilities.
Thursday, May 12 at 9 p.m.
An opening concert with PMDS, an Azorean electronic group formed by Pedro Sousa and Filipe Caetano, which will incorporate elements of ambient, experimental and techno music. Will be held at Police Athletic League Hall at 31 Franklin Street. Free and open to the public 21+.
Friday, May 13 at 9 p.m.
Ece Canli will perform using investigative tools such as text, voice, sound and artifacts. A Turkish scholar and artist, based in Porto, Portugal, her work focuses on feminist and queer epistemologies, decoloniality, material regimes and the politics of the body; more specifically, the socio-spatial-material constitutions of gender, sexuality, race and other categories of identity. Concert to be held at the Narrows Center for the Arts at 16 Anawan Street. Advance tickets must be purchased.
Friday May 13 at 10 p.m.
Known as one of the most appreciated musicians in Portugal in the last two decades, Norberto Lobo will give a special concert. Primarily a guitarist, his work has revealed inexhaustible detail, a sense of discovery and creativity spanning multiple albums and countless live appearances. Concert to be held at the Narrows Center for the Arts at 16 Anawan Street. Advance tickets must be purchased.
Saturday May 14 at 9 p.m.
Shabazz Palaces, an American hip hop group from Seattle led by Ishmael Butler aka Palaceer Lazaro in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire, will perform dazzling Afrofuturistic sutras to illuminate distant constellations of sacred abstractions. The concert will take place at the Police Athletic League Hall at 31 Franklin Street. Advance tickets must be purchased, 21+.
Saturday May 14 from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
The closing night will feature techno, house and electro music from Scott Mx & Jacob Herschel of Symposium Records. The party will be held at Police Athletic League Hall at 31 Franklin Street. Advance tickets must be purchased, 21+.
The projects are made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the Azores, the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), the SouthCoast Community Foundation, BayCoast Bank, Bank5, Portugalia Marketplace, Matouk and the MassDevelopment TDI program , among others.
About the FABRIC Arts Festival
FABRIC Arts Festival is a project organized by Casa dos Açores da Nova Inglaterra (CANI), a non-profit organization in Fall River, MA. FABRIC Arts Festival is a celebration of art, music, community and the city of Fall River. It aims to be a platform for artistic creation through multidisciplinary contemporary programming that seeks to create a cultural and community experience. The project was co-founded by local business owner Michael Benevides in collaboration with Jesse James, Sofia Carolina Botelho and António Pedro Lopes, a curatorial team from Portugal. Currently, FABRIC brings together a multidisciplinary team working on both sides of the Atlantic. www.fabricfallriver.com.
About Casa dos Açores de Nova Inglaterra
Casa dos Açores de Nova Inglaterra is the main local organizing entity of the FABRIC Arts Festival. CANI was established in June 1982 in Fall River, MA. It promotes educational, cultural, and social opportunities as well as cultural and tourism exchange between the Azorean immigrant community in southwestern New England and the Azores. It does this by promoting events, meetings and cultural manifestations that maintain an active link between the local community and the islands, preserving traditions and creating new opportunities. Michael Benevides is vice president of Casa dos Açores de Nova Inglaterra and co-owner of Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River. www.casasdosacores.org
About Jesse James and Sofia Carolina Botelho, curators
Jesse James and Sofia Carolina Botelho are the artistic directors of Anda&Fala, a non-profit cultural association that promotes new centralities for contemporary creation in the broader field of visual arts, facilitating the production, presentation and circulation of knowledge, artists and projects. Operating from the Azores archipelago, they aim to involve communities around the world and were founded in 2011, with the first edition of Walk&Talk – Arts Festival. This project is at the origin and guides the mission of promoting artistic creation and dissemination, alongside the development of audiences. In 2020, Anda&Fala established its headquarters in vaga, a space for art and knowledge, and its most recent programming project in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel. www.andafala.org