Interior Lives Contemporary Photographs of Chinese New Yorkers

October 26, 2018 | 10:00am – 6:00pm – On exhibit daily until March 24, 2019

Three photographers explore the lives of Chinese Americans.

New York City’s nine predominantly Chinese neighborhoods are home to the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia. Interior Lives features the work of three photographers who have spent years documenting the lives of Chinese New Yorkers: Thomas Holton, Annie Ling, and An Rong Xu.

Thomas Holton has followed the trajectory of a single family, the Lams of Ludlow Street, since 2003. Starting as a family of five in a 350-square-foot apartment, the family has changed over the past 15 years, with the growth of the children and the eventual separation of the parents. For more than a year, Annie Ling documented the lives of the 35 residents of the fourth floor of 81 Bowery—the “invisible immigrants” who live cramped quarters and work for low wages, many sacrificing in order to support their families left behind in China. And An Rong Xu has used photography to explore his Chinese-American identity with a series of photographs that explore the intersection of “two sometimes polarizing cultures.” Together, the works of these photographers provide a window into the complex realities of immigrant life in New York City.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of the City of New York in conjunction with the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) exhibition Interior Lives: Photographs of Chinese Americans in the 1980s by Bud Glick.

On exhibit until March 24, 2019. The Museum and Museum Store are open seven days a week from 10:00 am–6:00 pm. Chalsty’s Café is open daily from 10:00 am–5:00 pm.

Cost: Suggested Admission: Adults: $18; Seniors (65+); Students: $12 (with I.D.); and Under age 20: Free and Members: Free.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue btwn 103rd and 104th Streets
New York NY 10029

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New Black Power! Exhibition now open at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (until Dec 2017)

Black Power exhibition at the Schomburg Center - Feb 16 to Dec 2017.jpg

March 20, 2017 to December 2017 | 10:00am – 8:00pm

On February 16, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will open its latest exhibition Black Power! in the newly-renovated Main Exhibition Hall. On display through December 2017, Black Power! will invite visitors to delve deeper into the heterogeneous and ideologically diverse global movement that shaped black consciousness and built an immense legacy of community organizing and advocacy that continues to resonate in the United States of America and around the world today. Visitors will also confront misconceptions and truths about the Black Power movement.

Black Power! serves as another touchstone in the Schomburg’s “Black Power 50” focus, a year-long examination into the 50th anniversary of the Black Power movement. Stokely Carmichael and fellow Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worker Willie Ricks introduced Black Power as a concept in June 1966.

In February 2016, the Schomburg launched “Black Power 50” with a two-part digital exhibition in partnership with Google Cultural Institute. The Schomburg has since released the new exhibition’s catalog Black Power 50 and hosted a “Grandassa Models” © Kwame Brathwaite, 1968 series of public programs featuring conversations with leaders of the Black Power movement such as Kathleen Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Iris Morales, and Black Arts Movement luminaries Nikki Giovanni, Askia Touré, and Sonia Sanchez, among many others.

Highlights from the Black Power! exhibition include:

•Black Panther Coalition Flyer –  A flyer capturing the efforts of the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican Young Lords, the white Young Patriots, the Chinese-American I Wor Kuen, and the Inmates Liberation Front united to demand the release of the Panther 21, who were arrested in April 1969 on suspicion of planning to bomb several sites in New York City.

•First Issue of The Black Panther –  Bobby Seale and Elbert “Big Man” Howard published the first mimeographed issue of The Black Panther on April 25, 1967. Howard, an original member of the Black Panther Party, served as the publication’s first editor. ·

•Letter from Arab Women to Angela Davis – A letter of support to Angela Davis from The Arab Women’s League of Jordan, capturing how the fate of political prisoners in the United States received worldwide attention.

•Photo of Black Panthers in Israel – A photo of Black Panther Party Members in Israel who were part of the Mizrahi community: Jews from North Africa and the Middle East who denounced and fought against the economic and cultural domination of European Jews. Their leader wears a T-shirt reading Black Panthers in Hebrew.

Cost: FREE. Schomburg Center’s hours: Monday: 10am – 6pm; Tues – Weds: 10am – 8pm; and Thurs – Sat: 10am – 6pm.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street
New York NY 10037
Phone: 917-275-6975

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What Will Be Different for Environmental Activism?

February 22, 2017 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm

say-it-loudWhat Will Be Different For Environmental Activism?”
A discussion with Beth Ackerman, Phil Aroneanu, Tanya Fields, and Elizabeth Yeampierre. Moderated by Peggy M. Shephard.

Performance by Razia Said.
Cost: FREE
Contact: Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
Phone: 212-627-5258

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Gavin Brown’s Enterprise – A Contemporary Art Gallery
429 West 127th Street btwn Amsterdam and Convent Avenues
New York NY 10027 US

Hamilton and Washington – February 28, 2017 | 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Hamilton and Washington – February 28, 2017 | 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, America’s most storied Founding Fathers, shared a complex and, at times, contentious personal relationship. Three early American historians reveal the complicated story of these iconic statesmen who, though never true friends, worked together tirelessly to establish the Nation.
Carol Berkin is presidential professor of history emerita at Baruch College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. John Steele Gordon is the author of numerous books on American history, including Hamilton’s Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt. Richard Brookhiser (moderator) is a senior editor at National Review and the author of Alexander Hamilton, American.

Location: The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

Cost: $38 for Non-members; $24 for members.
To purchase tickets by phone: Please contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open 9 am–5 pm daily.

In person: Advance tickets may be purchased on site at New-York Historical’s Admissions desk during museum hours.

Tattooed New York

Tattooed New York – February 3, 2017 – April 30, 2017 | 10:00am – 6:00pm

tattoosketchbook_p18_wideFor more than 300 years, New York has played a central role in the development of modern tattooing, from its origins in Native American body art to tattoo craft by sailors in colonial New York to the three-decade tattoo ban instituted in 1961 and the subsequent underground tattoo culture. Its diverse history is explored in Tattooed New York, an exciting exhibition where history and pop culture converge to tell the complex story of a controversial art form in America’s cultural nucleus.
Among the 250+ elements on view are the New-York Historical Society’s set of 1710 Four Indian Kings prints and one of the earliest recordings (1706) in Western accounts of a pictograph done by a Seneca warrior representing his tattoos and personal signature. Highlights of the exhibition include Thomas Edison’s electric pen and early 20th-century tattoo machinery; dramatic sideshow banners and cabinet cards; a large selection of designs by the Bowery pioneers of modern tattooing, including Sam O’Reilly, Lew Alberts, Bob Wicks, Ed Smith, and Bill Jones; rare photography documenting the tattoo ban years and artwork by mainstream visual artists who tattooed during the ban; and works by some of the finest New York tattoo artists of today. Organized by the New-York Historical Society, this exhibition is curated by Research Associate Cristian Petru Panaite.

Museum hours: Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday – 10am-6pm; Friday – 10am-8pm; Sunday – 11am-5pm; CLOSED ON MONDAYS.

Cost: General admission: $20; $15 for Seniors; $12 for Students; free for children under 6 years old. Exhibit is free once admission is paid. On Fridays, donations are optional.

Contact: New York Historical Society
Phone: 212-873-3400

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West at 77th Street
New York NY 10024 US

Historic East Harlem Church Wants Security Fence Outside its Stoop

EAST HARLEM — A century-old church set to complete a multi-million dollar restoration wants to install a fence they say will protect the homeless people that sleep on the church steps every night.

Saint Cecilia Catholic Church has stood at 120 East 106th St. since 1883. More than 500 people attend their Spanish-language services on Sunday mornings.

The church is particular popular with Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, said member Alejandro Torres, 66.

“It’s the best church in Harlem,” he said in Spanish.

The church is also popular with a group of homeless people who have been sleeping on the church’s stoop for years. They mostly keep to themselves and eat at the food pantry sponsored by the church, said Wanda Santos, 50.

“They don’t bother anybody,” she said.

To cap off a year-long restoration project, that involved repairing the crumbling facade and roof, the church wants to install a four-foot fence in front of the steps. A similar fence was installed with the church in 1883 but was removed before the building was landmarked, said Arthur Sikula of Arthur John Sikula Associates, the organization working on the restoration.

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By Gustavo Solis | July 30, 2015

Republican William Hayward: Commanding Officer of the Harlem Hellfighters

On June 2, President Barack Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on Henry Johnson (1897-1929) for his heroism during World War I when he had been a private in the all-African-American 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed “the Harlem Hellfighters.” The award was made possible when an historian working with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s office, found a contemporaneous account of his heroism in a letter by his commanding officer, Col. William Hayward, printed in the September 4, 1918 Congressional Record. (Hayward wrote the letter to Johnson’s wife as Johnson was recuperating from his wounds. It is reprinted in full in Emmet J. Scott’s 1919 book, The American Negro in the World War here. The dramatic story of Johnson was well known in the United States within hours of the event. It was named “The Battle of Henry Johnson.”
That Johnson, who died in 1929, was buried in Arlington Cemetery came to light in 2001 by a Tuskegee Airman named Johnson who believed at the time that he was his relative.  See here and here. Johnson’s receipt of the Medal of Honor marks, presumably, the last chapter of the story of the Harlem Hellfighters.
By James Thunder | July 29, 2015

Jacob Lawrence’s 1941 Paintings Spark Talk About Racial Injustice Today

It’s begging for a comparison to Ferguson. But you’ll have to provide that yourself.

Art museums may seem like the guardians of the past, but they are also the provocateurs of the present, harnessing cultural artifacts to challenge — even incite — today’s visitors. Great exhibitions are organized not merely to rehash relics, but to reevaluate the artworks in new contexts. And, with those artworks’ aid, to reevaluate ourselves.

We have a tendency to forget that dynamic relationship between old art and new life until, by chance, a high-profile exhibit resonates with an even higher profile national conversation. Such is the case with the Museum of Modern Art’s current show “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North” in New York.

Its centerpiece is New Jersey-born Lawrence’s iconic series: 60 paintings depicting the northward migration of African Americans from 1910-1930. During that period, black populations increased by almost forty percent in Northern states, gathering around urban centers like Chicago and New York. The so-called “Great Migration” radically shifted the social and political landscape of America, setting the stage for everything from the Harlem Renaissance to today’s racially-charged stop-and-frisk debates.

Lawrence’s work, completed in 1941, cycles between different aspects of the journey. Some paintings depict the process of transit, some the social and economic reasons for departure, and others the mixed responses on arrival. His geometric, pared down scenes are done in a striking color palette: bold blue and yellow popping from a background of browns and black. Each image is paired with an extended caption — all of which were pre-written with the assistance of Lawrence’s wife, Gwendolyn Knight, before he ever set brush to paint.

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By Colton Valentine | July 28, 2015

‘Welcome to Fear City’ – the inside story of New York’s civil war, 40 years on

Travellers arriving at New York City’s airports in June 1975 were greeted with possibly the strangest object ever handed out at Uncollected garbage burns in Manhattan’s Lower East Side during a period when New York felt close to collapse.the portal to a great city: pamphlets with a hooded death’s head on the cover, warning them, “Until things change, stay away from New York City if you possibly can.”

Welcome to Fear City” read the stark headline on these pamphlets, which were subtitled “A Survival Guide for Visitors to the City of New York”. Inside was a list of nine “guidelines” that might allow you to get out of the city alive, and with your personal property intact.

The guidelines painted a nightmarish vision of New York; one that made it sound barely a cut above Beirut, which then had just been engulfed in Lebanon’s civil war. Visitors were advised not to venture outside of midtown Manhattan, not to take the subways under any circumstances, and not to walk outside anywhere after six in the evening.

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Kevin Baker is a novelist and historian who lives in New York City. His latest book, The Big Crowd, is based on the greatest unsolved murder in mob history. @kbbakerauthor

May 18, 2015 6:43 AM

NYC’S Oldest Bridge Re-Opens Above the Harlem River This July

New York’s City’s High Bridge, while currently in a dormant and closed-off state since the mid-1970s, is set to reopen to the public this summer, as a five year plan to rejuvenate one of the city’s oldest functioning relics nears completion.The High Bridge in present day. Photo:

Although public hearings began over design concerns in 2010, construction on the new High Bridge commenced in August 2012, after a bidding competition granted the Schiavone Construction Co. responsibility over the building contract. The project, although tentatively near completion, won’t see the newly minted High Bridge open until July 25th, when the city will welcome the public to an unveiling ceremony that will boast attractions like public art and guided tours.

Interestingly, the High Bridge, which was originally built in 1848 to funnel water down from Westchester to Manhattan as part of the Croton Aqueduct System, will be standing on top the system’s original pipes (yay history!), so you’ll get to traverse some of NYC’s original infrastructure, if you so choose to stroll down its broad path.

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By: Sam Blum | June 4, 2015