Sneak Preview of September Village Preservation Events (and Some August Programs Still Open)

We’re sharing a special sneak preview of three of our September programs today (all co-sponsored by Village Trip Festival), as well as notice of those August programs that still have spaces available, so you can reserve a spot today (two of our August programs are already full, and several are nearing capacity). 

Did you know that Village Preservation members usually receive advance notice of our public programs? Our tours and other programs sometimes offer limited seating or spaces. By becoming a member of Village Preservation, you can take advantage of that advanced notice and register before the general public. Find out how to become a member here.

For videos, details, and other media from our past programs, click here

NEW: September Programs (more to be added soon!)

To Be Heard in Print: Black Gay Writers
in 1980s New York

Thursday, September 14, 2023 

Zoom Webinar
Pre-registration is required.

New York City in the 1980s witnessed the establishment of several organizations founded by and for Black gay men. Among these organizations were two writing groups, the Blackheart Collective and Other Countries, both with ties to Greenwich Village. Begun in 1980 by a group of Black gay men involved in the arts and in politics, the Blackheart Collective was followed by Other Countries, a writing workshop established in 1986. Other Countries included several men who had been associated with Blackheart. Other Countries eventually grew to include a writing workshop (which continues today), a publishing initiative, and a performance program. The work created and presented by the Black gay men in the Blackheart Collective and in Other Countries represented continuing efforts by these men to make their presence known to both the Black community and the LGBTQ community and to leave a record of their ideas and of their lives.

This event is co-sponsored by the Village Trip Festival

Kevin McGruder, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of History at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He joined the Abyssinian Baptist Church in 1987, and was among the founders of the Abyssinian Development Corporation. He also served as Assistant Church Clerk, and led the Archives and History Ministry for many years. He is a co-author of Witness: Two Hundred Years of African-American Faith and Practice at the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, New York (2015), and author of Race and Real Estate Conflict and Cooperation in Harlem, 1890-1920 (2015) and Philip Payton: The Father of Black Harlem (2021). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University, an M.B.A. in Real Estate Finance from Columbia University, and a doctorate in U.S. History from the City University of New York.

The 2nd Birthplace Tour (Hip-Hop at 50 Tour) 

Friday, September 22, 2023
Afternoon Tour – 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Evening Tour – 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Outdoor Walking Tour
Pre-registration is required. Spaces are limited.

Meeting Place: Washington Square Park 

Did you know that the first place in NYC where all four Hip Hop elements were presented together for the first time outside of the Bronx was at a club/concert hall in the East Village? 

Did you know that rappers like Mos Def and Biggie got their start at an open mic show in the West Village? 

The 2nd Birthplace Tour (Hip-Hop at 50 Tour) is a two-hour walking tour (10 stops) that honors the artists and entrepreneurs, and explores spaces and sites in the Village that were pivotal in introducing Hip-Hop cultural elements (B-Boying, DJ-ing, Graffiti, Fashion and Emceeing) to the world. During a pivotal 20-year period in Hip-Hop history (1979-1999), nightlife venues, art galleries, walls and parks throughout the Village functioned as a secondary incubator and stage for B-Boys, Graffiti artists, Emcees, DJs and designers creating what we now call Hip-Hop Culture. It’s part of a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop, which began in The Bronx, but which grew and developed substantially in our neighborhoods. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Village Trip Festival

Leading the tour is Tara Crichlow, aka “big tara,” a native of the Lower East Side. As a pioneering B-girl, MC, cultural ambassador, performer, and curator, she is dedicated to accurately representing New York’s underground music and dance culture. She has been featured in books such as Vibe Hip Hop Divas, We Bgirlz, Girls Got Kicks and God Save the Queens.

August Programs: Spaces Still Available

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Zoom Webinar
Pre-Registration is Required.


Did you know that only 11% of all major museum art acquisitions in the last decade were works by women artists?

On This Spot NYC is a nonprofit digital mapping project that aims to tell the stories of a diverse group of women artists through short-form documentary videos. It explores the places where they lived and worked, their favorite spots to eat and drink, their dreams and laughter, and the places where they danced and found inspiration and community to create their art. Through these videos, On This Spot NYC shines a light on the numerous boundary-breaking women artists, both known and unknown, who have been at the forefront of the New York art scene.

The project covers various decades, starting from the 1950s and extending to the end of the 20th century. It has begun in the West Village and East Village, and will be expanding to SoHo, the Lower East Side, Chelsea, TriBeCa, Midtown, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Harlem.

On This Spot NYC aims to play a pivotal role in addressing the gender imbalance in our museums, galleries, and textbooks. Its objective is to inspire a new generation of women artists. Learn more about this amazing new project and the light it shines on trailblazing women of our neighborhoods and beyond. 

This program will consist of a screening of On This Spot NYC short-form videos and conversation from the Co-creator and Executive Director Loretta Howard. She’ll explore the origins and future of the project and the extraordinary role Greenwich Village women played in advancing 20th-century art. 

Wrecking Ball: A Conversation with Adrian Untermyer About How Government Has Shaped New York’s Defining Preservation Battles, with Village Preservation Executive Director Andrew Berman

Wednesday, August 16

Pre-registration required

Location: Jefferson Market Library

Preservation battles are fought in all sorts of places — the streets, corporate boardrooms, and the court of public opinion. Sometimes they are fought in the actual courts, as well as in the halls of government, and those legal battles have profoundly shaped how preservation works and has taken root in New York City and State. The intersection between historic preservation, the law, and the great City and State of New York is an often misunderstood and rarely discussed space, but it has a bigger impact upon what is preserved as historic and what is destroyed as expendable than perhaps any other factor.

Attorney, urbanist, and historian Adrian Untermyer aims to lift that veil, and reveal the inner workings of the three branches of government and how they have shaped and affected the preservation movement — its successes and the challenges it still faces — in our city and state. He’s launched a new podcast called “Wrecking Ball” in association with the Historical Society of the New York Courts to do just that, in which he brings in legal and preservation scholars to discuss some of these defining preservation battles, such as those to save Castle Clinton, Penn Station, and Washington Square Park. It’s only appropriate that this conversation, with Village Preservation Executive Director Andrew Berman, take place at Jefferson Market Library — subject of one of the great preservation battles of the 20th century, and itself formerly a New York Courthouse. Come hear more about these battles, about the new podcast Illuminating them, and about Adrian’s fascinating ongoing work.

Book Talk: Swimming to Jerusalem with Author Seth Bornstein

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Pre-registration required

Location: Hudson Park Library

Swimming to Jerusalem is a new novel by Seth Bornstein, inspired in part by his many years living in the West Village, which he’ll discuss along with other inspirations for and stories behind his new literary outing. The novel follows Bram beginning in 1980, when he was the coolest, most confident, and self-assured guy in the world – or so he thought. After his discharge from the Israel Defense Forces and finding himself in Paris three years later he is anything but. Aimless and disillusioned, he has no idea what comes next. Busking on the Boulevard Saint-Germain he meets Liz. Following her back to New York, he moves into her apartment on Grove Street.

Thirty-two years later the “next” has happened. Despite any grand plan, Bram’s life took its course. Liz did have a grand plan – and he goes along for the ride. Alternating between past and present, Swimming to Jerusalem is the story of that journey. This includes the family he never imagined, a career he fell into, and memories that are like rogue waves, strong and unexpected.

Everything can change in a heartbeat. But the past never does. We know that memory should be a reference, not a residence – though sometimes that just isn’t possible.

Kirkus Reviews called Swimming to Jerusalem, “A great novel of New York in the Trump era and a tender look at the way the progression of time makes immigrants of us all.”

About the author:

Seth Bornstein has written plays, short stories, and essays. Swimming to Jerusalem is his first novel. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended Parsons School of Design and has had a career in urban economic development with positions in the public, private, and academic sectors. He is an avid though very slow swimmer and has participated in winter swimming competitions around the globe. A consummate city guy, he prides himself on never needing a GPS and can usually find a parking space anywhere. He resides in New York City with his wife, Diane Loughran.

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