Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Finds a New Home at Clemente Soto Velez Center

Monthly Latin Event Begins at the Clemente on Thursday

Arts Watch: What To Do in October

Here are some highlights of events coming up this month.

Cutlog Reveals Participating Galleries, Partners For LES Art Fair

Photo by Daniel Greer.

Photo by Daniel Greer.

The art world descends on New York in early May for Frieze New York on Randall’s Island and several satellite art fairs, including two on the Lower East Side. One of those fairs, Cutlog, announced its exhibiting galleries and curated projects yesterday.  After four years in France, Cutlog is expanding to the U.S. with a May 10-13 debut at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center (CSV).

About 40 galleries from around the world will be taking part, as well as other curators and partners who will present a diverse mix of art, installations, performances, publications, talks, and films.  Cutlog is also transforming the 13,000 square foot parking lot at CSV into a lively space for large-scale sculptures, music, films, and food tastings.  “Après Cutlog” will take place each evening from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. and will include a “new commission, ‘The Nightclub,'” encompassing “performances, live music and DJ performances.” 

Jazz Luminaries Perform Tonight in Support of LES Live Music Venue

For many years, the New York arts community has been lamenting the state of experimental music on the Lower East Side.  Take a look at the chart posted above tracking he demise since the 1970’s of live performance spaces for cutting edge music in this neighborhood.  Tonight, Arts for Art (the organization behind the Vision Festival) is doing something about it.

To support the creation of a new music venue in the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, they’re holding a benefit featuring a pretty incredible lineup up of performers.  The event gets started at 7:15 with D.J. Spooky. Artists taking the stage throughout the evening include: John Zorn, Henry Grimes, Christian McBride, Roy Campbell, Milford Graves, Joe Lavano, Marshall Allen and many more.

Tickets are $45. Click here to order, or learn more about the event on the Arts for Art web site.


Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center Celebrates Reopening This Weekend

Clemente Soto Velez’s shining new facade.

In case you haven’t noticed, the scaffolding covering Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center (CSV) on the corner of Suffolk and Rivington streets, has come down after 18 years!  To celebrate the beautiful new facade of this 1898 former public school building, CSV has planned three-days of reopening festivities this weekend that include the annual Borimix celebration of Puerto Rican culture, building tours, theater and dance performances and exhibitions.

Manhattan Charter School to Host Benefit for Urban Gardening Program

The students at Manhattan Charter School will be hosting a special benefit celebration tomorrow night for their urban gardening program, “The Curious Garden,” in collaboration with P.S. 142 and through a partnership with the Horticultural Society of New York. There will be live music and spoken word performances by the students plus a showing and sale of student art work – not to mention some “Lower East Side delicacies and drinks!”

Ready To Meet The L.E.S. – Artist Marinella Senatore

Artist and filmmaker Marinella Senatore will be making a film with, and created by, Lower East Side residents

Italian filmmaker and artist Marienella Senatore creates site specific, group film projects with communities around the world.  Her film, Speak Easy, was created and produced by 1200 residents of Madrid, Spain. Over 400 residents of Trento, Italy, helped create All The Things I Need, a musical collaboration about the life of W. Bentley. Now she’s ready to create a project with the residents of the Lower East Side. I met with her yesterday as she was preparing for a three-day long casting call, which will take place at Clemente Soto Velez.

CSV to Become New Home for Children’s Arts Organization, Teatro SEA

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center has announced it will become the official home of the highly regarded Latino Children’s Arts-in-Education organization, Teatro SEA.  Teatro SEA has received grants from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs and NYC Council Memebers to go towards a major renovation of the first floor of the CSV building.  They hope to open the first phase of the expansion project in January, 2011.

Clemente Soto Velez Hosts Show by One of the Cuban 5

Che With Cigar - Airbrush by Antonio Guerrero

A month-long show of paintings by Cuban Five political prisoner Antonio Guerrero entitled “From My Altitude” will open tomorrow at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center. Guerrero began painting and writing poetry in 2003, after after serving his first year of a lifelong prison term in Florence, Colorado. Known as one of the Cuban Five, Guerror (along with four other Cuban intelligence officers) was indicted by the US government on 25 different counts, including charges of espionage, in 1998.

Fwacata! Closing Night Reception Tonight at Clemente Soto Velez

Fwacata! will host a closing night party/reception and mural unveiling tonight at the Abrazo Interno Gallery of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center Abrazo Interno Gallery of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center.  

My LES: Jan Hanvik

This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side.  If you would like to participate in “My LES,” please email us here.


What do you do?

Work-wise, I run the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center on Suffolk Street.  It’s a 98,000 square foot former P.S. 160. GORGEOUS. Built in 1897.  It fell on hard times when the City, which still owns it, more or less abandoned it in 1973. 

Artists Host Building-Wide Open Studios at CSV

The Artists Alliance will be holding it’s 14th Annual Building Wide Open Studios on Saturday from 4-8pm at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center (107 Suffolk Street at Rivington).