East Harlem LGBT And El Barrio Walking Tours

June 5, 2012

This June, The Municipal Art Society of New York’s walking tour program offers two tours focusing on Harlem . On June 10, in honor of Gay Pride Month, urban planner Laurence Frommer leads a walk through the history of LGBT Harlem. The excursion delves into the critical role Harlem played in the emergence of New York’s LGBT culture 50 years before 1969’s historic Stonewall rebellion in Greenwich Village. A week later, on June 16, artist and educator Luke Nephew, co-founder of the community-based arts collective The Peace Poets, leads a walk through El Barrio, highlighting this East Harlem neighborhood’s rich artistic culture.

Sunday, June 10, 2:00 PM; $20

LGBT Harlem

Contrary to popular opinion, New York ’s LGBT life did not emerge with the Stonewall rebellion of 1969. During Prohibition, gay men and lesbians had a grand “coming out” party in salons and speakeasies that created the myth of urban sophistication and saved NYC during its “dry spell.” While most people are aware of the historic importance of Greenwich Village, Harlem also played a major role in the development of LGBT culture – particularly during Prohibition. If the drag balls of Greenwich Village attracted hundreds of people, similar events in Harlem attracted thousands. Harlem ’s speakeasies and salons were major haunts for those “in the life,” including many leading intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. Many white downtown LGBT residents felt less inhibited in Harlem than in the Village and many prominent entertainers were gay, lesbian or bisexual (some made their sexual identities a central part of their acts). Join urban planner Laurence Frommer, an active member of NYC’s LGBT community, for a walk through Harlem ‘s amazing lavender past.

Reservations (REQUIRED) + Information: www.mas.org/tours or 212- 935-2075

Saturday, June 16, 2:00 pm; $20

El Barrio


Join Luke Nephew, artist, educator and co-founder of the community-based arts collective The Peace Poets for a tour of El Barrio Today Arts Cluster. This coalition of East Harlem organizations was created to raise awareness of the cultural richness of El Barrio. This tour explores the vibrant public art, beautiful community gardens, rich cultural organizations and one-of-a-kind stores that make East Harlem a unique place in New York . Highlights include the Graffiti Wall of Fame, Julia de Burgos Boulevard , local murals and much more.

Reservations (REQUIRED) + Information: www.mas.org/tours or 212- 935-2075

For more information visit MAS.org.

Tickets: $20/person ($15/MAS members)

Information + Reservations [REQUIRED]: www.mas.org/tours, 212- 935-2075


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