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First Lower East Side Community Hero Awards Set for 5/4 at Pier 42

The Steering Committee of Lower East Side History Month announces the inaugural ceremony to present the first Lower East Side Community Hero Awards. The awards are being presented to Ruth Taube, Steve Cannon, Robert Graf, Mimi Stern-Wolfe, and Detective Jaime Hernandez. Presenting the awards will be Bob Holman (Bowery Arts & Science), Carolyn Ratcliffe (Arts Loisaida), Silva Ajemian (First Street Green), Lori Weissman (LES Jewish Conservancy), David Garza (Henry Street Settlement), and the office of Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 4th at Pier 42 in East River Park at 2PM, as part of a community picnic to kick off the first Lower East Side History Month this May. Lower East Side History Month honors the cultural diversity and vibrancy of the neighborhood and includes all the communities traditionally part of the LES such as Chinatown, Little Italy, the East Village, Alphabet City and Loisaida. More than 60 organizations are participating in LES History Month and more than 80 events are planned. For more information, go to

The LES Community Hero Awards were created to honor 'unsung' heroes of the community. Nominations were open to all organizations and individual participants of LES History Month. Panelists included Wellington Chen, Chinatown Partnership; Kerri Culhane, Two Bridges; Carlina Rivera, GOLES; Carolyn Ratcliffe, Art Loisaida; Elena Feliciano; and Jan Hanvik, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center.


Ruth Taube (pictured above in pink) 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.

Lower East Side History Month is an annual celebration of the rich and diverse history of the Lower East Side. Taking place during month of May, LES History month is an umbrella for a variety of public events, exhibits, tours, and learning opportunities taking place in the historical definition of the Lower East Side-which includes the East Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Alphabet City. Conceived and launched by LES-based cultural and community groups, LES History Month aims to connect our present to our past, exploring how our history can inform and inspire our future.

Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) FABnyc was founded in 2001 as the nonprofit leadership organization for the East 4th Street Cultural District, a historic and vibrant arts corridor in Manhattan between Second Avenue and Bowery. Now a neighborhood-wide coalition of arts and community groups, FABnyc drives community and economic development, while also preserving the Lower East Side's rich heritage and creative energy.

Pictured: LES Community Hero Ruth Taube (second from left) has been Program Director of Henry Street Settlement's Home Planning Workshop since 1966! Photo by Susan LaRosa.

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