LOWER EAST SIDE COMMUNITY HERO
Nominated by Bob Holman, Bowery Arts & Science
Steve Cannon was a New York City icon and an American writer and the founder of the cultural organization, A Gathering of the Tribes. He penned the novel “Groove, Bang, and Jive Around” which author Darius James called in the New York Press “an underground classic of such legendary stature that New York’s black cognoscenti have transformed the work into an urban myth.”
Cannon founded the multi-cultural interdisciplinary arts organization, A Gathering of the Tribes, in his home in the New York City borough of Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood in 1991. The organization publishes a literary magazine and has now presented its fourteenth issue. The collective also hosts a gallery and performance space where numerous exhibitions and concerts have taken place with notable artists and musicians such as the Sun Ra Arkestra, Chavisa Woods, John Farris, Bob Holman, Ishmael Reed, Billy Bang, Max Blagg and David Hammons.
Located on the Lower East Side of New York City, Tribes has been in existence since 1991. In that year, Steve Cannon, poet, playwright, novelist, and retired professor from the City University of New York, converted a portion of his apartment into an informal salon. Despite his loss of eyesight to glaucoma, he encouraged the exchange of alternative points of view traditionally overlooked by mainstream media. The ideas raised in the discussions served as inspiration to the pieces later published in A Gathering of the Tribes Magazine.