LOWER EAST SIDE BIOGRAPHY PROJECT

Stemming the Tide of Cultural Amnesia

The Lower East Side Biography Project is a biography series and oral history archive that was created in 1999 by theater artist Penny Arcade and video producer Steve Zehentner. The Project’s biographies and archive works to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention that built this New York City neighborhood's reputation as an incubator for authenticity, rebellion and iconoclasm. The project seeks to stem the tide of cultural amnesia by bridging the cultural gap between long time residents of New York’s Lower East Side and newcomers to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. To this end, the LES Biography Project has a community-media training component where young filmmakers are trained in production and post-production technologies. They become shepherds of an individual oral history that they edit into a 28-minute biography.  CLICK HERE for testimonials from filmmakers and project associates who trained or collaborated with the LES Biography Project.

The project’s biographies cablecast in New York City every Monday at 11pm EST on Time Warner Channel 34, RCN 82, FIOS 33, and stream live on Manhattan Neighborhood Network Channel One www.mnn.org.  CLICK HERE for the current cablecast schedule on the LES Biography Project Facebook page.

Since its inception, the LES Biography Project has trained over forty individuals, completed forty-six 28-minute biographies and filmed seventy oral history interviews and dozens of memorials and live events. The project’s archive holds over 1300 entries.

The Lower East Side Biography Project is produced by Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner and associate produced by Dean Lance and Rick Jungers. Through the fiscal sponsorship of ABC No Rio, the project has been funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and Manhattan Neighborhood Network.



OUR TREASURED INTERVIEW SUBJECTS


JONAS MEKAS, JUDITH MALINA, RICHARD FORMAN, MARY WORONOV, CRYSTAL FIELD, ROBERT CREELEY, MARTY MATZ, FAYETTE HOUSER, IRA COHEN, JOHN VACCARO, TAYLOR MEAD, HOLLY WOODLAWN, JAYNE COUNTY, ALAN MIDGETTE, RUBY LYNN REYNER, TULI KUPFERBERG, DANNY FIELDS, JEREMIAH NEWTON, STEVE BEN ISRAEL, SISTER ELIZABETH KELLIHER, CARMEN PABON, SARAH SCHULMAN, BETTY DODSON, LUKE CARSIN, KEN BERNARD, FROGIE CONGA, TOM O’HORGAN, JOEL MARKMAN, ROBERT BEERS, MICHAEL AUDER, BINA SHARIFF, DON SNYDER, ARIEL LIGHTNINGCHILD, PAUL BRIDGEWATER, GEO WYETH, GARY INDIANA, JERRY HARDING, MATHEW COURTNEY, PENNY ARCADE, JOHN HEYS, VICTOR BOCKRIS, JEANNIE CHAN, STEVE CANNON, CHI CHI VALENTE, BRUCE BENDERSON, MIGUEL ALGARIN, GARRY HAYES, LEEE BLACK CHILDERS, EDGAR OLIVER, SCOTT GIBSON, QUENTIN CRISP, TOM MURRIN, HAROLD STEVENSON, DANA BEAL, AXEL STOCKS, AL ORENSANZ, MALCOLM ANDERSON, ARON “THE PIEMAN” KAY, LOLA PASHALINSKI, BOB KOHLER, BILLY NAME, STANLEY "THE TURTLE" ALBOUM, JACK WATERS, KEN BERNARD, PROFESSOR IRWIN COREY, ALDO TAMBELLINI, ALFREDO IRIZARRY, TODD WEINSTEIN, RAY DOBBINS, KASOUNDRA KASOUNDRA

The project’s biographies have screened at: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture – Moscow. Outfest Film Festival – Los Angeles, Drexel University Television – Philadelphia, New York University, The New School, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Pioneer Theatre, Chashama Film Festival - New York, ABC No Rio, Hampshire College, Santa Fe State College, Portland State University, Theatre for the New City, City University of New York Graduate Center. 
site development:       copyright 2012 Steve Zehentner