News

Help Us Celebrate Our City in 2018

A message from City Reliquary Founder Dave Herman:

Dear Civic New Yorkers,

Today The City Reliquary is launching its 2017 Year-End campaign. As we close another eventful year, I wanted to reflect on the compelling programs and exhibitions made possible because of Civic New Yorkers like you, and to ask for your support in the coming year.

15316-Statue-of-Liberty-pic5Our staff and volunteers rely on you to help make the Reliquary possible. Joseph Pulitzer’s 1883 “Pedestal Fund” for the Statue of Liberty revealed the powerful result when people of all economic and cultural backgrounds unite towards a common goal. The symbol of our city–and of the American Dream–literally stands on the contributions of the people.

In that spirit, and during this challenging time for small and feisty non-profits, we remind you that even the smallest contribution makes a difference. To this day, the majority of our funding comes through individual gifts under $100. All gifts are tax-deductible.

If you can make a larger gift and wish to do so, consider sponsoring a specific Reliquary initiative: ensure the maintenance of our permanent exhibits, support a signature event or public program, or make possible a special exhibition. You can find more details on our Artfully page.

Thanks to your generosity, our community museum has been For the people, not for profit since 2002. Please help us continue to offer the exhibitions and events that deepen our connection with the great City of New York.

Always Civic,

Dave Herman, Founder
The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization


2017 Reliquary Highlights–with your help, 2018 will be an even bigger success! Support The City Reliquary today!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Exhibitions of Overlooked New York

Our 2017 special exhibition calendar opened with Heroes Of The Knish: Making A Living And Making A Life, which traced the history of the knish from its arrival in the US with Jewish immigrants to its current status as an iconic NYC street food.

Following knishes came Closet Archaeology, one of our most successful exhibitions to date. This exciting show featured over a century’s worth of everyday objects excavated by fourth-grade students from beneath the floorboards of their school building and received a wealth of press coverage, from the New Yorker to the New York Post.

We’ll close out 2017 with NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future, which considers the history and anthropology of trash in New York from the nineteenth century slums of Manhattan to present-day innovations for reuse and recycle to trash as a cultural archive.

Civic-Minded Events

This was also a banner year for classic City Reliquary events and new annual traditions.

Collectors’ Night, our celebration of collectors and collecting, drew a greater crowd than ever before–triple the average size.

Equally successful was the 2017 Miss Subways Extravaganza This anti-pageant addressed the current deplorable condition of the NYC subway system and raised funds for the Riders Alliance advocacy group. Celebrity judges including Janeane Garofalo and NY1’s own Roger Clark evaluated contestants who embodied the diversity of our city and showcased the unique talents of New York.

We also hosted a brass-band blowout party to herald HONK NYC 2017, and we even marched in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Thank for you helping us achieve a phenomenal 2017. With your help, 2018 will be an even bigger success. Support The City Reliquary today!

Nov. 12: Opening Reception for NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future

NYC Trash

Join us for a brunch reception on Sunday, November 12 at noon to celebrate the opening of NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future.

We will be joined by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, representative for District 34 and Chair of the council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management. Representatives from the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability of the NYC Dept. of Sanitation will distribute free bags of compost to promote their new curbside Organics Collection program.

$5 admission includes complimentary coffee courtesy of Oslo Coffee Roasters and light refreshments. Brunch cocktails and Brooklyn Brewery beer available by suggested donation.

This exhibition presents the stories behind New York’s solid waste, from “one man’s garbage is another man’s gold” to the inventive ways New Yorkers are reusing and recycling. It traces the trajectory of waste management in New York, from the squalid nineteenth-century tenements documented by Jacob A. Riis, to the Dead Horse Bay landfill and the beginnings of the NYC Department of Sanitation at the turn of the century. It also addresses the mid-century landfill of Fresh Kills on Staten Island and the ecological restoration project currently underway to convert this site into park space.

The exhibition culminates in profiles of seven artists and nonprofits that offer innovative ways of considering waste now and in the future:

  • Mierle Laderman Ukeles, whose work highlights overlooked social aspects of trash disposal. Update: Mierle Laderman Ukeles will attend the Nov. 12 reception for NYC Trash. Unfortunately, her artwork “The Social Mirror” will not be on display at the Reliquary. DSNY has discovered damage to the truck that precludes moving it from its storage facility. Ukeles’s 1983 work The Social Mirror will be on display at the Reliquary for the November 12 opening reception.
  • Larry Racioppo, NYC 2016 Best Unknown Photographer, whose work focuses on the urban landscape. See his recent blog post for the Brooklyn Public Library.
  • Hack:Trash:NYC, aims for zero waste sent to NYC landfills by 2030. Their 2017 hackathon invites creative solutions to waste management.
  • Industrial/Organic, dedicated to converting organic food waste to high-value resources
  • Lower East Side Ecology Center, a nonprofit that collects electronic waste and separates it for reuse and recycling
  • Materials for the Arts, a nonprofit that collects and distributes art supplies and materials to nonprofit organizations with arts programming and public schools
  • RISE Products, creates nutritious ingredients from upcycled organic byproducts, which reduces waste and preserves the environment

The exhibition will also explore the role of trash as cultural archive through objects selected from the Treasure in the Trash collection of Nelson Molina. In his thirty years on the job as a DSNY employee, Molina amassed a monumental collection of ephemera picked from the castoffs of everyday New Yorkers. Read more about his museum in this New York Times article.

NYC Trash! runs from November 2, 2017 to April 29, 2018. A display of trash art by a number of local artists will complement the exhibition and will open in the Reliquary sculpture garden on April 5, 2018.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


This exhibition is generously sponsored by:

Jacquelyn Ottman (author of The New Rules of Green Marketing and founder of WeHateToWaste.com)
Sims Municipal Recycling

Sun Bear Media

Press Coverage for Miss Subways 2017

Miss Subways 2017 received a ton of great media coverage. If you weren’t able to attend this event, definitely check out some of the links below. And be sure not to miss Miss Subways 2018!
Articles with excellent event photos:
Gothamist
Post-event articles:
Atlas Obscura
Pre-event articles:

Here She Is, Miss Subways 2017!!

d18e2d46-54a1-4d1c-ad59-57f61f5ba8e8
The competition was tough, but our celebrity judges ultimately crowned Lisa Levy as Miss Subways 2017! Lisa impressed judges and spectators alike with a touching monologue on how the subway has been a character in her life. And at 61 years old, she’s proud to be the first post-menopausal Miss Subways. Congratulations, Lisa!

See the moment of coronation! (Warning: includes some NSFW language!)

You can see Lisa’s work as ambassador for the NYC underground on her Instagram account, MissSubways2017!

Join us at Market Hotel to #SaveNYCSpaces!

22254900_1934413120146400_124330760876689574_o

Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 PM
MARKET HOTEL
1140 MYRTLE AVE, B’KLYN
Free Entry

The City of New York is getting a Nightlife Mayor! Join us and other creative civic heroes from across the city at MARKET HOTEL to tell the Commissioners who decide: #SaveNYCSpaces!

This artist-led event is the only chance for public input before the Night Mayor is chosen. Cultures that inspire the world are born and grow here in NYC’s diverse grassroots spaces. They should be preserved, not targeted nor forced out of existence by the affordability crisis.

Hosted by Anya Sapozhnikova of House of Yes. Speakers include NYC hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow, and City Reliquary Events Coordinator, Molly Cox!

Oct. 14-15: Open House New York Weekend

2017 Weekend Save-the-Date

Enjoy open access to the Reliquary during Open House New York Weekend! We’re offering free admission to the public on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15. This is also your last chance to see our current special exhibition, Closet Archaeology!

Oct. 10: HONK NYC Kickoff Party

Photo credit: Alix Piorun

Photo credit: Alix Piorun


No Cover

Music Starts at 8:30pm

HONK NYC 2017 kicks off in our backyard with an evening of brasstastical antics and shenanigans: all-brass Nirvana covers; New Orleans standards; a renegade parade!

HONK NYC is an annual extravaganza of street bands and spectacle. For one fantastic week each October, HONK NYC presents over a dozen free and ticketed performances in schools, clubs, parks, gardens, galleries and other public spaces across metropolitan New York. Fun, revelry, audience participation and inclusion are the hallmarks of HONK NYC events. The festival brings together musicians and performers from around the globe who share a passion and dedication for playing and preserving the grassroots tradition of brass and percussion music. HONK NYC is a spin-off from the decade-strong, Boston-area HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands, the founding fest of a now multi-city network of HONK’s in the U.S., Brazil and Australia.

Featuring performances by NYC ensembles:

The Nevermind Orchestra
The L Train Brass Band
New Creations Brass Band


About The Nevermind Orchestra:

A phrenetic, psycho-jazz-grunge ensemble that reimagines the works of Nirvana through the lens of a modern brass band. Comprised of accomplished NYC musicians who have played with prestigious ensembles ranging from the Metropolitan Opera to the Commodores to Bruce Springsteen, the group has been leading grunge second-line marches on the stages, streets, and subways of the northeast since 2012. All of the classic Nirvana staples as well as some of their lesser-known covers and deep cuts receive a fresh but instantly recognizable overhaul with elements from funk-rock to blues to reggae to bhangra — but each is delivered with the same raw emotion displayed by Kurt, Krist, and Dave back in the day. As Time Out New York touts, “There’s no shortage of Nirvana cover bands floating around, but none are quite like the Nevermind Orchestra.'”
thenevermindorchestra.com

About The L Train Brass Band:
Founded by tubist Ryan Hall and trombonist David Joseph in March 2017, The L Train Brass Band quickly grew from a small, second-line brass band interest group on Meetup.com to a thriving community of nearly 40 contributing members. In June, they won honorable mention for Best Music Group at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. This rotating, ragtag ensemble is excited by the opportunity to play anywhere and everywhere, covering a wide variety of music, from pop and hip-hop to funk and traditional Dixieland jazz to eclectic original charts. No matter where this train ends up, the primary goals are “fun first” and “keeping it weird.” https://www.facebook.com/pg/ltrainbrass

About New Creations Brass Band:
New Creations Brass Band’s talented crew hail from all parts of New Orleans. Brought together by a shared love of making great new music, they’ve studied, played with, and lived around several greats, like Shannon Powell, Shamarr Allen, and Trombone Shorty, and have worked with several other active second-line brass bands in New Orleans. New Creations brings people together with their groovy, funky music, keeping the brass band style and the music of New Orleans alive as well as making new music of their own and sharing it with the universe!www.facebook.com/newcreationsbrass

Oct. 6: Opening reception for Land of the Free

image

Land of the Free
October 5 to December 3, 2017
Free Opening Reception Friday, October 6 at 7 PM

Join us for a free reception on Friday, October 6 at 7 PM  to celebrate the opening of Land of the Free. This exhibition in the front room of The City Reliquary captures the daily life of artist Moeinedin Shashaei, a newly immigrated Iranian US resident facing the absurdity of vilification.

The show presents Shashaei’s 90 photographs taken in the 90 days immediately following the signing of Executive Order 13769, entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States” and commonly referred to as the “travel ban.” It stands as an homage to all the memories forged by the artist in a city that he loves dearly.

Complimentary light refreshments. Wine and mixed drinks by suggested donation.

About Moeinedin Shashaei:
Moeinedin Shashaei is an Iranian interdisciplinary designer, artist and jeweler currently living and working in New York City. Oscillating between physical and digital contexts he works across different media to explore the limits of poetic interaction.

He received a Master of Fine Arts in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in 2016, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Tehran in 2013.

Oct. 3: Sara Velas on The Velaslavasay Panorama

"Facade of the Velaslavasay Panorama," Photo credit: Forest Casey

“Facade of the Velaslavasay Panorama,” Photo credit: Forest Casey

Sara Velas on The Velaslavasay Panorama
Tuesday, October 3 at 7 PM

Sara Velas, founder of The Velaslavasay Panorama, will present an illustrated lecture on creating and sustaining a small institution in a big city and the projects and programming activities at the Velaslavasay.

Admission: $7 gen.; $5 City Reliquary members & students/faculty w/ID.
Includes one free drink
!
All proceeds benefit The Velaslavasay Panorama and The City Reliquary.

The Velaslavasay Panorama is an exhibition hall, theatre, and garden housed in the Union Theatre (1910), one of the earliest purpose-built cinemas in the city of Los Angeles. Drawing on the illustrious history of the great panorama paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, it is dedicated to the production and presentation of unusual multi-sensory, immersive experiences with a focus on early cinematic phenomena. The Velaslavasay Panorama presents an ongoing series of illustrated lectures, traditional & experimental music and theatrical presentations that defy categorization.

"Effulgence of the North" Photo credit: Velaslavasay Panorama

“Effulgence of the North” Photo credit: Velaslavasay Panorama

Since its founding in the year 2000, the Velaslavasay has housed the only 360-degree panorama viewing hall in the West. In September of 2017, the Velaslavasay Panorama retired its Effulgence of the North panorama (on view for 10 years) in preparation for their next panoramic installation and held “The Last Arctic Show” in celebration – the first and last ever variety show dedicated to the retirement of an arctic panorama.

About Sara Velas:
Sara Velas is an artist, graphic designer, gardener, curator and native Los Angeleno. Velas has traveled around the world to investigate the panoramic art form with a special focus on the contemporary creation of panoramas in Asia. In 2014 she was elected President of the International Panorama Council, which meets annually to discuss the panoramic medium both historically and in a contemporary context. Her work with the Velaslavasay Panorama has been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the United States National Endowment for the Arts, California Community Foundation, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, among others. While her work is primarily focused on site at the Velaslavasay Panorama, related projects have been exhibited internationally at venues including the Songwon Art Center in Seoul, Korea and NGBK in Berlin, Germany.

Velas has participated in residency programs at locations around the world including the Cite des Arts in Paris, France and the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Indonesia. An avid architectural preservationist, she co-wrote the nomination which gave the USA’s first instance of cultural historic protection to a trailer park – the Monterey Trailer Park of Highland Park. In 1999, Velas received her BFA with a major in Painting from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.  She was born in Panorama City, California and resides in Los Angeles.

Introducing the 2017 Miss Subways Contestants!

We put out the call, and a fabulous group of civic New Yorkers responded. Here are the contestants who will compete for the title of Miss Subways 2017 on September 28. Each brings something special, but only one will take home the transit tiara.

Tickets on sale now! All proceeds benefit Riders Alliance and The City Reliquary! More event details here.

Let’s meet the contenders…

Don’t miss out on this weird, wonderful, and very New York event in support of the subway system! Get those tickets!
Event details here.