The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week

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Founded in the aftermath of 9/11, the River to River Festival is an annual celebration of the arts in Lower Manhattan that in the past has included work by Yoko Ono and Pam Tanowitz. The challenges of the present moment led the organizers to rethink how the public can interact with art — and the result is River to River 2020: Four Voices, where projects take on a physical presence that can be viewed in open spaces over time. In “Blessing of the Boats,” the artist Muna Malik asks us to consider what concrete actions can lead us to a better future, write them on an origami boat and place them in a 20-foot maquette of a ship in the Battery’s Belvedere Plaza. The artist Jean Shin has two pieces — “Floating MAiZE” and “The Last Straw” — that repurpose plastic waste to raise questions of belonging and identity. The multidisciplinary artist Mona Chalabi, known for transforming statistical truths into visual narratives, has used census data to condense the city’s sprawling population down to a graphic project called “100 New Yorkers,which will be displayed on posters and screens around the Oculus building. Finally, the poet Asiya Wadud presents “Echo Exhibit,” in which she and other writers have transformed 15-minute phone calls with residents of Lower Manhattan into poems that are displayed on vinyl posters in storefronts throughout the neighborhood. From over 200 hours of conversations in half a dozen languages — including American Sign Language — Wadud has curated a series of 20 poems, which she calls echoes. “Poems in public spaces create the potential to encounter something new and unexpected,” said Wadud, who teaches poetry at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn. All events are free and run through August 30 in various locations in New York City,

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