A Gathering of the Tribes is an arts and cultural organization dedicated to excellence in the arts from a diverse perspective. 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.
In 1993, a further transformation of the space by Dora Espinoza, a Peruvian photographer, produced Tribes Gallery. Since then, Tribes has evolved into a performance venue and meeting place for artists and audiences to come together across all artistic disciplines, all levels of complexity, and all definitions of difference. In this pan-disciplinary, multi-cultural environment, artists exchange ideas, create peer relationships and find mentorship. Through Tribes’ publications, readers encounter a unique synthesis of literature, visual art, criticism and interviews with promising artists of all kinds. In an attempt to attract a wider audience for these artists, Tribes additionally organizes an annual outdoor event — The Charlie Parker Festival — to engage members of the community who have seldom, if ever, attended literary or artistic events.