Moving Forward Toward the Past

420 West Broadway back when it was the center of SoHo's gallery scene in the early-1970's

420 West Broadway back when it was the center of SoHo’s gallery scene in the early-1970’s

We did it!  And we did it SoHo style.  Everyone in our community came together this past month and gave what they could to fund The SoHo Memory Project’s Portable Historical Society through Kickstarter.  We could not have done it without each and every donation.  Thank you all so much for your support!

Things are moving forward! I am already busy thinking about how to adapt the Uni Project’s Portable Reading Room to accommodate a fabulous exhibit about SoHo.  I am compiling a list of possible popup spots. I’m talking to people about donating items to our archive.  I am meeting with old-timers as well as newcomers with stories to tell.

I will be spending the summer making plans and making contacts and making new SoHo friends so that we can hit the ground running come Fall. If all goes well, our portable historical society will begin popping up around SoHo in Spring 2016, with possible previews this coming winter.

In the meantime, I am asking you to keep in touch and to let me know if you have any ideas.  Do you know a great place that might host us for a popup event? Do you have material related to SoHo history that you would like to donate to our collection? Would you be interested in being interviewed for an oral history?  Do you have any ideas for future events?

And looking farther into the future, I am seeking supporters to sustain us for the long run—grants from public and private sources and corporate sponsors who care about preserving our neighborhood’s past as we bring it into the future.  If you can think of a good fit for us, please let me know.

This project is not about me, although my story is a very small part of a much larger whole.  This is about us and our collective memories. I have volunteered to be the memory keeper, but I need everyone’s help to tell the stories. So please keep in touch.  I look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

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10 Responses to “Moving Forward Toward the Past”

  1. Steve Linn Says:

    Hi Yukie, Will be in NYC first two weeks in July from France, I’m happy you were successful with the kickstarter campaign. If there is anything I can do to help while I’m in NY let me know. Love to meet you and your French husband. Steve Linn

  2. Steve Linn Says:

    Sorry it won’t work out this time we leave on the 13th. Maybe on another visit.

  3. Dorothy Koppelman Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS YUKIE, I LOOK FORWARD TO A REAL HISTORY WITH ALL THE ITEMS SHOWN, AND IF I FIND MORE RECORDS I WILL TELL YOU,. I HOPE THE ARTICLES PLANNED REALLY TELL THE ROMANTIC, REALISTIC, TRUE STORY, —WE DIDN’T THINK ‘PIONEERS’ WE JUST THOUGHT WORKING ARTISTS! DOROTHY KOPPELMAN

  4. Yukie Ohta Says:

    Thank you Dorothy! Great to hear from you.

  5. Skip Blumberg Says:

    The Videofreex, pioneer early video collective, which had a studio on the fifth floor of 98 Prince Street 1969 -1971, have a large archive of videotapes documenting the nabe at http://www.VDB.org; e.g. http://mediaburn.org/video/our-day-in-nyc-2/

    Check out “Here Come the Videofreex” at the BAMcinemafest Sunday June 21, 2015, which includes excerpts of some of those tapes, incl the infamous Towson Bayrak’s “Love America or Live” performance on the street.

  6. Peter Myers Says:

    I was associated with a drug program at 150 Spring St. from 1967 and thereafter for a few years. It was called Encounter, Inc. and was founded by Village kids including Brendan Sexton, Jr. who later was Sanitation Commissioner. You can contact me at NYProf@gmail.com I wrote my doctoral dissertation about Encounter and similar “therapeutic communities”.

  7. Robert Barnett Says:

    I read the NYTimes article about your project and commend you for your vision and initiative. I lived-worked at 336 Canal Street from 1970-76. The lower 4 floors of the building were occupied by light manufacturing (plastics, printing – I can smell it now!) and the upper floors by artists. 1300 sf for $125/month, but roach infested, a fire hazard, and incessant noise from Canal Street. I photographed facades, details and interiors of buildings in SoHo and Tribecca. I would be pleased to contribute an oral – or written – history and some of my photos (I have digitized some negatives) to the project.

    • Yukie Ohta Says:

      Hello Robert! Great to hear from you. I had a friend who lived on Canal Street in 1975. It was indeed noisy and smelly. I would love to have you contribute a oral or written history and photos. I am putting together an oral history component for my project right now, so I will let you know how that progresses. Please stay in touch via yukie@sohomemory.org. Looking forward to hearing your story!

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