May 2017 is our 4th annual Lower East Side History Month!

NEW YORK, NY – Lower East Side History Month (LES History Month) celebrates the rich, diverse history of New York City’s Lower East Side! Each May, Lower East Side cultural and community groups, small businesses, and residents organize cultural and community events, which range from exhibitions to walking tours to public art to festivals.

Co-founded and coordinated by FABnyc and Downtown Art, LES History Month explores the neighborhood’s past and present, and how our history can inform and inspire our future. All events take place within the historical definition of the Lower East Side which includes the East Village, Chinatown, Two Bridges, and Loisaida.

LES Stories, a public art chalking project to share memories of the Lower East Side on the city’s pavements, will help kick off the month’s celebrations on Friday, May 5th and Saturday, May 6th. Last year, volunteers chalked over 200 locations with drawings, stories, and historical tidbits about local heroes, happenings, businesses, buildings, parks and more. We encourage anyone and everyone to sign up to participate and/or get more info HERE.

LES Community Hero Awards, which celebrates unsung local heroes nominated by local community groups, will take place on Thursday, May 18th at Downtown Art. Last year, the LES community honored Wendy Brawer (Greenmaps), Mike Hoyos (Works in Progress), Ed Litvak and Traven Rice (The Lo-Down), Thea Martinez (GOLES), and Harriet Putterman (Cooper Square Committee), with a special acknowledgement to Michael Zisser (University Settlement).

LES History Month events include…

    • The 30th Annual Loisaida Festival on May 28th.
    • A Volunteer & Civic Engagement Fair connecting NYC residents with LES organizations at The Manny Cantor Center on May 20th.
    • East Village Political Art: The Murals of La Lucha Continua at CityLore, presented by Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation on May 23rd.
    • The Greek Jewish Festival hosted by Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum on May 21st.
    • Essex Street Market Block Party serves up delicious food on May 20th.
    • The Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration – 2017 Weekend Walks with Chinatown Partnership throughout May.
    • The State of the Lower East Side, a community dialogue facilitated by Carlina Rivera at Downtown Art on May 23rd.
    • Many, many more!

An updated calendar of events, upcoming news, and a list of participating groups will soon be available at the LES History Month website. Meanwhile, interested organizations are welcome to participate by getting in touch via filling out this form.

You can see more of last year’s LES History Month activities when you search for the #LESmonth on Instagram and Twitter.