What began as a living room Salon dedicated to bringing new work into the public eye forty years ago in the East Village apartment of writer and poet Miguel Algarin, is now one of the country’s most highly respected arts organizations. The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (236 E. 3rd St.) is an acclaimed forum for innovative poetry, live music, hip hop, video, visual arts, comedy and theatre.
Over the years, the Nuyorican has presented groundbreaking works by a diverse community of artists from countless backgrounds and locations. Best known for originating and hosting the first ever New York City Poetry Slam in 1989, the cafe helped to establish a new generation of spoken word artists who have become a mainstay in today’s pop-culture landscape. Its many publications, such as ALOUD: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, have added to its universal recognition.
Like many of us in the Lower East Side, the Nuyorican was affected by Hurricane Sandy — unfortunately they lost their heating system. Many of its students and artists are still struggling in the aftermath of the storm. On Thursday, a lineup of the Nuyorican’s top talent will perform at Joe’s Pub in a fundraising event for the cafe and its community.
Joe’s Pub‘s website lists featured artists including muMs (“Poet” from the HBO series OZ); Mahogany Browne (host of the Cafe’s legendary Friday Night Slam); Jive Poetic (DJ and host of the Nuyo’s Slam Open); poet Caroline Rothstein (whose video “Fat” was recently tweeted by Lady Gaga); poet, actress and vocalist La Bruja; Nuyo Slam Team alums Bryonn Bain and Whitney “Witness” Greenway; vocalists Aurora Barnes and Melodie Nicholson; and poets Caits Meissner and Queen Godis.
Let’s help this neighborhood cultural institution “weather the storm.”
Nuyorican Poets Café Benefit // Joe’s Pub // Thursday, December 20, 11:30pm // $25 Reserved; $40 Premium