10 March 2014
Beloved Wordsmith and Living Treasure Honored
“Steve Cannon is the only admittedly blind gallery owner in New York City, as well as the only Paid Heckler in town,” says Dean of the Scene Bob Holman, founder/proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club and board member of HOWL!. “When you walk into his gallery aka his living room, you know this is the secret portal to the real Art World—as open, creative, wild, and outside the establishment as it’s been since the days of the Beat poets and Abstract Expressionist painters.”
But as the neighborhood changes, artists and creative spaces are being displaced by rising rents and gentrification. “This is a call to arms,” says Holman, as Mr. Cannon is being threatened with eviction from his residence and Tribes as an incubator of visual and performing artists may be shuttered. To help out, contact Tribes Here.
Tribes was conceived as a venue for underexposed artists, as well as a networking center and locus for the development of new talent. The formation of Tribes was motivated by the thriving artistic community in and around the Lower East Side: poetry at The Nuyorican Poets Café; performances and plays at the Living Theater; activist art at Bullet Space; as well as hundreds of artists trying to find and develop a voice in their medium and a place in which their work might be appreciated. Housed in a historic federal house built by the founder of The Nation magazine, (Hamilton Fish), Tribes is located on East 3rd Street between Avenues C and D.
About HOWL! Festival
Founded “to lionize, preserve, and advance the art, history, culture, and counterculture unique to the East Village and Lower East Side,” the HOWL! Festival is a call to arms across time and boundaries of culture, taste, and creative expression. Named the Village Voice’s Best Outdoor Festival, HOWL! Festival is the quintessential community event celebrating the history and creativity of the EV/LES. The spirit of Allen Ginsberg comes alive as more than 350 artists, poets, and performers, including youthful new talent, transform the Park into a participatory artwork infused with the creative energy, flamboyance, and panache that’s the hallmark of the neighborhood. A three-ring circus of wonderment and amusement, HOWL! Festival is entirely FREE. Signature Events include:
• The Great HOWL! OUT LOUD Kids Carnival
• Art Around the Park and Kids Around the Park
• The group reading of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl
• Riki Colon’s Men in Skirts
• Chi Chi Valenti and Johnny Dynell’s Low Life 8
• Soap Box Poets
• The Beatification Station featuring dance and theater
• And continuous performances on the Main and Kids Stages
X X X X X
From: Steve Cannon
Director of A Gathering of the Tribes
SUBJECT: Help us turn 285 E. 3rd St into a non-for-profit arts residence ! !Dear Friends:
As you may already know, our landlord Lorraine Zhang has put 285 E. 3rd St. on the market, and has taken Steve Cannon to court for what she asserts is an unlawful use of the premises. As a result, we are now subject to a legally binding agreement to leave by April 15.
We are reaching out to you now with an urgent appeal to avert the displacement of Cannon and the dissolution of this internationally recognized arts space.
A Gathering of the Tribes was founded in 1990 here at 285 E. 3rd Street. We are a 501 C3 and have received funding support from the New York State Council of the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Jerome Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation, Bloomberg LP, as well as an abundance of private donors.
Our literary magazine, which is published annually, is distributed to museums, schools and libraries worldwide. Our gallery space showcases both seasoned and emerging artists from across the US, as well as Russia, India, China, Africa and beyond. We host an average of 10 exhibitions per year, in addition to the annual Charlie Parker Festival in August. Fly By Night Press, our publishing arm, publishes poetry by writers from diverse backgrounds. Tribes also sponsors and hosts music and dance performances, poetry readings, lectures, forums, open mic’s, and other happenings. We have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, literary magazines, art journals and numerous local and international publications.
Because we’ve been established for close to 25 years and have made the East Village our home, we would like to continue to operate here and offer a base of support and community for artists in our neighborhood.
This is why we need your help. Tribes is in search of a benevolent donor to purchase this property on behalf of our 501 C3. We plan on continuing and expanding our activities on the second floor as described above (gallery, poetry and performance salon, publishing magazine bi-annually, as well as 2 to 4 books per year). And we would like to convert the rest of the building to residences for poets, writers, musicians, and artists of all stripes. Our plan is to partner with foundations, schools or other institutions that can provide stipends to artists to reside here for 3-6 months, up to 1 year periods of time. We will continue offering internships through local universities to young artists, who can get involved in our programming and be mentored by the artists we house.
In order to manage such an operation, we would expand our staff to include at minimum a full-time office manager, grant writer, program coordinator, online editor and maintenance staff.
[The cost of running this building is relatively low. Fuel is approx. $10,000 per year (heat and hot water), insurance is approx. $5,000 per year, and real estate taxes are just $3620 per year. That’s a total of $18,620 annually. ]
There are many possibilities for how Tribes can thrive and grow—including leasing floors to groups that could fund such artist residences. We are open to any and all kinds of creative financing. At this point what we need is to secure the building.
If you are interested in buying the building or donating to a fund to purchase the building, please get in touch. We have exhausted our legal appeals, so we either need to find someone(s) to purchase the property or get out.
This year, the HOWL! Festival will honor Steve Cannon by naming him the poet laureate of the Lower East Side. There is even now a Two Boots pizza named after A Gathering of the Tribes.
It would be a tragedy to lose our space in spite of such ongoing recognition of the services we provide as an arts incubator on the Lower East Side. We are one of last places left that nurtures young aspiring artists in all disciplines. Please help, or help pass the word. SAVE TRIBES!
Thank you for your careful consideration of this matter. If you would like further information about the property or any details of our legal situation, please do not hesitate to call.
Director, A Gathering of the Tribes aka the Blind Guy
The Return of the End of New York:
Paintings and Films by Nick Zedd
with works by John O’Grodnick
April 25 – 26
presented by Microscope Gallery with Millennium Film Workshop
at Brooklyn Fire Proof Gallery #104
Opening Friday April 25, 6-9 PM
Screening Saturday April 26, 7 PM
Microscope Gallery is very pleased to present along with Millennium Film Workshop The Return of the End of New York: Paintings by Nick Zedd with works byJohn O’Grodnick a two-day exhibition opening on Friday April 25th, taking place during a brief return to New York City by the legendary founder of the Cinema of Transgression movement from Mexico City where he now lives. With The Return of the End of New York, Zedd debuts new and recent additions to his ongoing Entities series, a series first shown in a solo show at Microscope in 2011. The oil on canvas circular works are manifestations of the artist’s “Theory of Xenomorphosis”, which posits the possibility of a super-evolutionary process leading to mutation through the injection of an alien genetic code.
A series of 2 x 3 inch oil paintings made both as a technical challenge and to explore more explicit imagery will be premiered. The miniature works can also be seen as an exercise in economy undermining the hegemony of size. Additionally, several paintings by Bronx street artist John O’Grodnick, whose work Zedd became acquainted with earlier this year, will also be on view.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a program of Nick Zedd’s classic underground films Police State (1987), Why Do You Exist (1998), Ecstasy in Entrophy (1999) will be screened in original 16mm on Saturday April 26 at 7pm. Additional information about the screening is available at www.microscopegallery.com &
NICK ZEDD is a film-maker, painter, writer, actor, political satirist, and a leading figure of the Lower East Side cinematic revolution, the Cinema of Transgression – a term he coined in a manifesto proclaiming “a new generation of filmmakers daring to rip off the stifling straight jackets of film theory in a direct attack on every value system known to man.” Zedd’s provocative, humorous, yet often intensely beautiful films have transcended their cult origins to influence mainstream culture from music videos to John Waters and Quentin Tarantino, who even refers to him in Pulp Fiction. Throughout the years, he has collaborated with Lower East Side artists including Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, Kembra Pfahler, Lung Leg, Annie Sprinkle, Taylor Mead, Reverend Jen (Electra Elf public access tv series), and others. Zedd’s works have been shown world-wide and are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
The Return of the End of New York: Paintings and Films by Nick Zedd with works by John O’Grodnick is presented by Microscope Gallery with Millennium Film Workshop at:
Brooklyn Fire Proof
119 Ingraham Street
Brooklyn, NY 11237.
Gallery Hours: April 25 6-9pm (opening reception) and April 26th noon-6pm, with screening at7pm.
LAST SWAN SONG @ TRIBES/STEVE CANNON’S PLACE