Sure, there’ll be some downtowners in the running at Monday’s James Beard Foundation Awards (Hearth, Christina Tosi, wd-50, David Chang). But they aren’t the only locals getting big upped: as part of Lower East Side History Month, some folks who are decidedly not celebrity chefs are getting some recognition.
Fourth Arts Block, one of the festival’s producers, has announced that during its inaugural LES Community Heroes ceremony, they’ll recognize the following individuals:
Ruth Taube has been the Program Director of Henry Street Settlement’s Home Planning Workshop since 1966. She is also a regular volunteer for the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy and a lifelong resident of the LES.
Mimi Stern-Wolfe is a pianist, conductor, and vocal coach with a long history of community collaboration with local youth and seniors, and the director of Downtown Music Productions.
Jaime Hernandez is a Detective and Community Affairs Officer of the 9th Precinct of the NYPD, celebrating twenty-five years working with the community this September.
Robert Graf is the president of the First Street Block Association. A resident of 1st Street for more than 30 years, Robert has played a leading role in realizing the children’s playground and courts of First Park.
Steve Cannon is a poet and founder of A Gathering of the Tribes which from 1991 until this past month has been an informal salon in nurturing a diverse range of artistic work.
It isn’t the only recent accolade for Cannon; the displaced gallerist was recently christened Poet Laureate of the Lower East Side, and would’ve had the honor of reciting “Howl” at the festival of the same name, had it not been indefinitely postponed. No matter: he and the above comrades will be honored this Sunday at Pier 42 in East River Park at 2 p.m. during a Picnic on the Pier.
Meanwhile over on East First Street, as part of LES History Month and the ongoing Centre-Fuge project, LES artist Lexi Bella continues work on her mural titled “Heroines of the Lower East Side.” Those being:
That’s about it for local heroes and heroines — until the winners of the Village Awards are announced.