#PickoftheWeek | Queens Groups to Participate in Nationwide Insect Event
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Insectageddon is a nationwide homage to creepy, crawly, buzzy, blood-sucking arthopods. The multi-site, multi-genre activity explosion is centered at the High Line in Manhattan, but three Queens venues will host related programs on Saturday, Sept. 25.
The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and Newtown Creek Alliance will farm a pollinator meadow at the medians on 48th Avenue and Fifth Street in Long Island City, starting at 11 am. Participants will plant native flora on the existing meadow and learn about the importance of these ecosystems and the insects that inhabit them.
A few blocks away at 10 am, Smiling Hogshead Ranch members will lead an info session and walk through the urban farm collective at 25-30 Skillman Ave. They’ll highlight the different types of bees and butterflies that live there.
At 1 pm, the Voelker Orth Museum will explore bees, their ecosystems, and how they support communities through storytelling and art. The historic house, which is located at 149-19 38th Ave. in Flushing, has a Victorian garden where a thriving bee colony lives.
The Best of the Rest
Cecilia Vicuña spearheads Insectageddon. The NYC-based artist and poet has united artists, activists, citizen scientists, climate change scholars, entomologists, performers, and youngsters to reflect and raise awareness on nature’s interconnectedness. The following outerborough agencies are involved: Bronx River Alliance; James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center in collaboration with Van Cortlandt Park Alliance; Brighter Choice Community School; Farmers Garden; Newtown Creek Alliance in collaboration with NOoSPHERE Arts; Pioneer Works in collaboration with Red Hook Farms; Freshkills Park Alliance; and Staten Island Museum. Click here for their Sept. 25 programs.
Now, here’s the schedule for the High Line.
Speakers and Performers
The 10th Avenue Overlook at 17th Street from 3 pm to 6 pm.
Poets, scientists, artists, and climate activists speak about their work involving insects. Speakers include sixth-grade entomologist Anusha Vaish, poet Julie Patton, mycologist Giuliana Furci, renowned activist Bertha Lewis, bee biologist and American Museum of Natural History Field Associate Sarah Kornbluth, High Line staff gardener Scout Kerensky-Coodley, Vicuña, musician Ricardo Gallo, and the theatrical troupe Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir.
The Backyard at Hudson Yards near 32nd Street and 11th Avenue from 3 pm to 4 pm and in the High Line’s 14th Street Passage from 8 pm to 9 pm.
Artists and filmmakers present a series of videos and shorts exploring the creativity and ingenuity of insects. The series features: Aaron Huey, “There is No Us Without Them” (2021); Vicuña with Gallo, and Robert Kolodny, “Death of the Pollinators” (2021); Pedro Neves Marques, “YWY, The Android” (2017); Matthew Wilson, “Geological Evidences” (2017); Maria Fernanda Cardoso, “On the Origins of Art I & II” (2016); Isabella Rosellini, “Green Porno: Bee, Mantis, Spider” (2008); Vicuña, “Rari en New York” (Directed by Jody Shapiro and Isabella Rossellini).
The Chelsea Market Passage between 15th and 16th streets from 3 pm to 6 pm.
Celebrating Insects: Insect masks and endangered and beneficial insects, hosted by High Line Education.
This workshop will explore why insects are important and what humans can do to protect them. After learning about endangered insects and why insects are important, participants will create an insect mask inspired by four endangered insects that call New York State home. Participants will use paper, markers, cardstock, and string to design their masks, choosing to create pop-up elements or decorate them with drawing supplies.
Celebrating Insects: Vicuña, artist spotlight and mini wire insect sculptures, hosted by High Line Education.
Participants will learn about Vicuña and her body of work. They’ll create a small wire sculpture of an insect out of various wire materials. The sculpture will be attached to a pencil to mimic the movement of insects while writing or drawing. These sculptures reference Vicuña’s insect hat, as well as wire kinetic sculpture that will appear during the festival.
Celebrating Insects: Exploring native bees on the High Line, hosted by High Line Education.
Participants will learn about the essential role different kinds of native bees play on the High Line, what they need to thrive, and how pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change threaten their survival. Participants will explore a bee box by taking it apart and putting it together, learn about the different types of native bees in the “Which bee lives where?” matching game, and draw different kinds of native bees found on the High Line.
iNaturalist Workshop, hosted by Chris “Flatbush Gardener” Kreussling.
Kreussling leads a walk on the High Line to explore plant and insect interactions and learn about the citizen scientist observation gathering tool iNaturalist. Tours begin at 3:30 pm and 4:45 pm; sign up upon arrival at Kreussling’s table in Chelsea Market Passage. Kreussling is a Brooklyn naturalist and gardener specializing in gardening with native plants to create habitat for pollinators and other invertebrates.
Native Plant Finder Workshop, hosted by Sarah Ward from the National Wildlife Federation.
A native oak tree can support caterpillars for more than 500 species of butterflies and moths. When it comes to attracting beautiful bees, butterflies, and birds to a yard or community garden, the best thing to do is use native plants. The National Wildlife Federation explores its Native Plant Finder to help find the best native plants for specific zip codes that attract butterflies, moths, and the birds that feed on their caterpillars.
On the Flyover between 25th and 27th streets at 3:30 pm
Francisca Benitez and Sunder Ganglani will present a harmonizing vocal duet inspired by the Latin and common names of the insects found on the High Line in synchronicity with an ASL interpreter.
Meet at Gansevoort Street at 4 pm
Christy Gast will present a durational performative walk around goldenrod, a native plant found in several locations throughout the High Line. Gast will have a giant soft sculpture of a goldenrod as a prop for educational, creative, and interactive collaboration. The performance will travel between Gansevoort Street and 16th Street.
Throughout the High Line at 5 pm
Poets will perform at different spots spontaneously in conversation with guests. They will wear insect cyborgian costumes designed by Vicuña and created by Gregory Corbino. The event will culminate at the 10th Avenue Overlook with a poetry performance by Vicuña. Poets include Omar Berrada, Lee Ann Brown, Laynie Brown, Brenda Coultas, Latasha Diggs, Marcella Durand, Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola, E.J. McAdams, Sarah Riggs, Eleni Sikelianos, and Edwin Torres.
Images: The High Line