HOWLelujah! Old P.S. 64-elujah!
Reverend Billy, a.ka. Bill Talen, the performance artist preacher, headlined Kid Slam! at last weekends HOWL! Festival of East Village Arts. Kid Slam! focused on the need to restore the old P.S. 64 building on E. Ninth St. as a community cultural and educational center. The former school building has many distinguished alumni, among them Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics for Somewhere Over the Rainbow and The Wizard of Oz. A developer hopes to build a 19-story university dormitory tower on the site but has no lease with an educational institution and has been rejected repeatedly by the Department of Buildings in his requests for a building permit. The East Village Community Coalition, Councilmember Margarita Lopez and others are calling for the building to be restored as a community and educational facility for the neighborhood.