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Month: February 2023

Jack Waters Les Bio Project

Excerpt from 28 minute biography

Steve Zehentner:  Producer, Co-director/editor, Director of Photography

Jack Waters works in all forms of visual, performance and media art. He is a BFA graduate in dance of the Juilliard School. His choreography credits include his Personifications staged for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center Repertory Workshop, and his works created as a founding member of POOL, the choreographer’s collective that was the resident dance company of the legendary Pyramid Club in New York City of the 1980s.

Jack’s films have shown on Sundance Channel, and on PBS. Among Waters recent screenings of note is his video short “Occupy My Ass, Not Iraq” at the Panorama section of the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival. As a journalist he has published articles on politics, cultural affairs, and reviews in visual arts, film, and media. He was a founding contributing writer for both Gay City News, New York City’s LGBT news bi-weekly, and Color Life, the news journal for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and two-spirited people of Color.

Waters and partner Peter Cramer, former co-directors of ABC No Rio, are co founders of Le Petit Versailles, a Green Thumb garden presenting screenings, music, performance, visual art exhibitions, and new media. They are ongoing and frequent collaborators with the Inbred Hybrid Collective, whose mandate is: to stimulate a consciousness of the external factors affecting our human existence.

The Jack Waters Biography was produced by The Lower East Side Biography Project and was directed and edited by Justin O. Silverman and Steve Zehentner in collaboration with Penny Arcade.

The Lower East Side Biography Project was created in 1999 by performance artist Penny Arcade and video producer Steve Zehentner as an ongoing biography series and oral history archive. The LES Bio Project’s biographies and archive will help to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention and rebellion that built the Lower East Side’s international reputation as an incubator for authenticity and iconoclasm in art, culture and politics.

The project seeks to stem the tide of cultural amnesia by bridging the cultural gap between long time residents and newcomers to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side. To this end, the LES Bio Project has a community-media training component where young filmmakers are trained in production and post-production technologies and then become shepherds of an individual oral history that they edit into a 28-minute biography. Since its inception, the LES Bio Project has trained over forty individuals, completed forty 28-minute biographies, videotaped dozens more interviews and live events.

The completed biographies are cablecast and streamed live every Monday at 11 p.m EST on Time Warner Cable Channel 34 and on Manhattan Neighborhood Network Community Channel One.

View the current livestream and cablecast schedule on the project’s Facebook page.

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Lower East Side Biography Project

The Lower East Side of New York City is one of the most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. Once known as a mostly Jewish immigrant stronghold, it has now become home to people from all over the world seeking new opportunities in America’s greatest city. From its iconic street art to its rich history, there is something for everyone on the Lower East Side.
This bustling neighborhood continues to draw locals and tourists alike with its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and more. It may be an old-school part of town but it still remains hip and on trend with some of the best nightlife spots around. Whether you are looking for a slice of pizza or a place to dance the night away, you can find it all here on this unique stretch of Manhattan.
It’s no wonder that so many flock to the Lower East Side: With its fascinating culture and growing reputation as a destination for foodies and partygoers alike, this little corner of NYC offers up plenty for anyone who visits! So get ready to explore one of New York City’s oldest districts – come take a walk through time along the ever-changing streets of The LES!

Cultural Amnesia

The Lower East Side of New York City has a long and rich history, full of stories that have been forgotten or overlooked. This area is an epicenter for cultural amnesia – the loss of memory from one generation to the next.
Various factors contribute to this phenomenon: overcrowding in tenement buildings, immigration trends, urban development projects, gentrification and more. All these elements can lead to displacement of communities and the erasure of memories associated with them. Furthermore, it’s not just physical landmarks that are lost; traditional customs and practices also fade away as newcomers bring their own culture into the mix.
Cultural amnesia creates a sense of identity crisis for those living on the Lower East Side who may feel disconnected from both their ancestral roots and what’s currently happening around them. It’s important to remember our past so we can better understand where we are today and prepare ourselves for tomorrow.


Biographies provide an intriguing look at the lives of people who have lived in New York’s Lower East Side. They detail not only their successes, but also their trials and tribulations – giving us a unique insight into the past. From these stories we can gain a better understanding of the cultural amnesia that often takes place when a community changes overtime.
These biographical accounts offer a glimpse of what life was like for individuals living in this bustling metropolis. Through them, we learn about the struggles they faced to make ends meet, as well as their resilience in overcoming adversity. These tales remind us that even amidst great change and upheaval, there are still remarkable individuals with inspiring tales of strength and courage to share.
From these stories, it is clear how deeply rooted our connection to the city’s history truly is; reminding us that culture does not disappear over time, no matter how much it shifts or evolves.

Invention That Built New York City

The Lower East Side of New York City is known for its rich cultural and historical roots. But what many people don’t realize is how much invention has built this bustling metropolis. From the steam engine that revolutionized transportation to advances in steel production, countless inventions have shaped the city we know today.
From early on, entrepreneurs harnessed power from nearby rivers with water wheels and millstones. In the late 1800s, steam engines powered ships along the coastlines while elevators became a safe way to move goods up and down buildings without manual labor. Steel production was also essential as it provided materials for building strong bridges and skyscrapers throughout the city. As technology advanced, so did new possibilities – like electric lights that transformed urban streetscapes at night or telephones that connected everyone far beyond their local surroundings.
Innovation continues to shape our lives in ways both small and large. The legacy of these inventions remains alive in New York City’s vibrant culture and ever-evolving skyline – a testament to human ingenuity over time.
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