CHARAS served the low-income, activist, and artist communities of lower east side for over 20 years, providing artist’s space, performance and gallery space, after school programs, workshops, English classes and meeting space for countless neighborhood organizations. In 1999, despite a community use restriction & widespread opposition, the building that housed CHARAS was auctioned off to private developer Gregg Singer, who immediately moved to evict them. After a hard fought battle, CHARAS was evicted on December 27, 2001. The building, still zoned for community use, has sat vacant and derelict ever since. This Sunday, it’s time CHARAS gets their community center back! Event Page
CHARAS/El Bohio Cultural and Community Center was founded in 1965 by Latino youth leaders of notorious New York City gangs who resolved to organize to improve the Lower East Side. CHARAS was born from the awareness of the need for change, namely by addressing the broader issues impacting the community such as racism, police brutality, the lack of economic resources, services, quality education and housing.
Please join us to mark the Ten Year Anniversary of the Eviction of Charas Community Center with music, food, friends and a community speak out! Dance, speak out, and help us to create a community center in the street. One day the developer’s blue wall will come down, and that community center will be back inside where it belongs. With a General Assembly and performances by Great Small Works, Hungry March Band, Rev. Billy & the Church of Stop Stopping, the Peoples Mic and kid friendly activities including face painting, dance, and art making! Its a Potluck! Bring a dish to share!
CHARAS/ El Bohio Holiday Party and Community Potluck! Sunday, December 18 12pm – Rally at Tompkins Square Park 12:30pm – Process to CHARAS 605 East 9th Street (bet. aves. B & C)