Lower East Side History Month is an annual celebration of the rich and diverse history of the Lower East Side. Each year in May, Lower East Side cultural and community groups, small businesses and residents create a variety of public events, exhibits, tours, and learning opportunities. All events take place in the historical boundaries of the Lower East Side—which includes the East Village, Chinatown, Two Bridges and Loisaida.
Conceived and launched in 2014 by Downtown Art and FABnyc in partnership with LES-based cultural and community groups, LES History Month aims to connect our present to our past, exploring how our history can inform and inspire our future.
6th & B Garden, ABC No Rio, Abrons Arts Center, Allied Productions, Inc., Anthology Film Archives, Art Loisaida Foundation, Artists Alliance Inc., Below the Grid Lab, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, Bowery Arts + Science, Carmen Pabon Del Amanacer Jardin, Centre-fuge Public Art Project, Chen Dance Center, Chinatown Partnership, The Clemente, Commend, Cooper Square Committee, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, Dixon Place, Downtown Art, Earth Celebrations, East River Alliance, East Village Community Coalition, East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA), East Village Vintage Collective, Eight BCD Block Association, Essex Street Market Vendor Association, Exit9 Gift Emporium, FABnyc, First Street Green, FRIGID New York, Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), Grand Street Settlement, Green Map System, IATI Theater, International Center of Photography, Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, La MaMa, La Sirena Mexican Folk Art, Lo Fi Dance Theory, Loisaida Inc., Lower East Side Girls Club, Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, Lower East Side Partnership, Lower East Side Preservation Initiative (LESPI), Lucky, Magnum Foundation, Manny Cantor Center/Educational Alliance, Marlis Momber Photography, Mark DeGarmo Dance, Merchant’s House Museum, Moving For Life, MUD COFFEE, Museum at Eldridge Street, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, Nazareth Housing, Neighborhood Preservation Center, New Museum, New York Marble Cemetery, New York Theatre Workshop, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Office of Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Office of Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Office of Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Office of New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Overthrow, Pageant Print Shop, The Poetry Project, Queen of Hearts Productions, Inc., Queer | Art, Random Accessories, Rod Rodgers Dance Company & Studios, Siempre Verde Garden, Sixth Street Community Center, Sixth Street Synagogue, The Source Unltd Print and Copy Shop, Stanton Street Shul, Swiss Institute, Tenement Museum, Theater for the New City, Third Street Music School Settlement, Tompkins Square Library, The Ukrainian Museum, University Settlement – The Performance Project, Village Preservation (GVSHP), Vision Urbana, Inc., Why Not Care, Wild Project, WOW Café Theatre
Ways to Celebrate
Chalk the LES – May 1 & 2
Volunteer to chalk! We’ll get together for breakfast, hand out chalk and provide some historical, location-specific facts and we’ll all chalk the sidewalks! By the end of the day, you can get a history lesson of our neighborhood just by walking the streets.
Attend a Local Event
All participating organizations will be celebrating with LES History related programming and cultural festivities. Join a walking tour, see an exhibit or performance, join a conversation, come east street food and dance! Check the People’s LES calendar of events.
Ways to Participate
For organizations, community groups, companies and small businesses.
Link Your Programming
A walking tour, a story circle, an exhibition… your organization may already have something planned in May or year-round programming that connects easily!
Chalk the LES – May 1 & 2
We’ll provide some historical, location-specific facts & we’ll all hit the streets with colorful chalk. You can join us for breakfast & pick up chalk, write in front of your building and around the block, or even host your own chalking event!
Add to the People’s LES
Does your organization have a story, oral history project, piece of writing, lesson plan or photo archive you’d like to share? Let’s add it to the website!