Billie Holiday, Martha Graham, Jackson Pollock and James Baldwin are some artists, writers and activists who have made their mark in Greenwich Village. Their life and work are recorded in the “shadow boxes” that are distributed throughout the village.
“It’s such an incredible way of educating the public about all of these really important historical figures associated with Greenwich Village, the East Village and NoHo,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of Village Preservation.
It’s the second year for Village Voices, presented by Village Preservation, the 40+ year old organization dedicated to preserving the architectural and cultural history of these Manhattan neighborhoods.
what you need to know
- Village Voices is an interactive exhibit featuring shadow boxes and other installations based around Greenwich Village, East and West Village, and NoHo
- There are over 20 exhibits on the self-guided tour
- QR codes on each exhibit allow visitors to learn more about the individuals through an audio portion
- Village Voices is presented by Village Preservation, which works to preserve architecture and explores the history of Greenwich Village and the surrounding neighborhoods
There are over 20 exhibits on a tour of the village. At each, visitors can scan a QR code and learn more about the people. Notable voices on the recordings include actors Jesse Eisenberg and Edward Norton.
Not all exhibits are shadow boxes. There is a 20 foot tall installation at 70 Fifth Avenue, a recently listed circa 1912 building that now houses the New School. It originally housed the headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and The Crisis magazine, the country’s first and oldest African-American magazine, which served as the launch pad for Harlem’s Renaissance.
“I really wanted to be able to look up and get a sense of what was happening in my neighborhood, to be inspired by something, to understand all the things that are happening in the world,” says Leslie Mason , co-curator of Village Voices, said.
The beginning and end of Village Voices is this location in Gansevoort Plaza, referred to as the Monument to Choice, which is a place for visitors to raise their own voice, as many in the village have to a multitude throughout history of civil rights issues have done.
“Celebrate those voices and add our own voices here in the present tense,” said Lannyl Stephens, co-curator of Village Voices.
Village Voices will be on view through October 30th to teach the story of the many pioneers who made a difference on the village streets.