Sarah Schulman

The Lower East Side Biography Project
excerpt from 28 minute biography

Steve Zehentner:  Producer, Co-director/editor

Sarah Schulman is an American novelist, historian, playwright, and early chronicler of the AIDS crisis. She is the author of seventeen published works: ten novels, five nonfiction books, and 2 plays. Schulman's early novels were set in the artistic, bohemian, lesbian subculture of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  An activist and organizer, Schulman joined ACT UP in 1987; co-founded the Lesbian Avengers, was a principal organizer for the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization's efforts to march in the New York Saint Patrick's Day Parade; and with Jim Hubbard created the ACT UP Oral History Project.

The Sarah Schulman Biography was produced by The Lower East Side Biography Project and was directed and edited by Anna Wierzbicka, Geoff Bruen 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-six 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.