Events

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!

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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.

This event will include appearances 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 runs from November 2, 2017 to April 29, 2018 and 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, and the mid-century landfill of Fresh Kills on Staten Island.

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, a tech company that turns spent grains from breweries into flour

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.

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.

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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