Sunday, May 15, 2011


On June 5, 2011, JACKIE FACTORY producers CHI CHI VALENTI and JOHNNY DYNELL will present their fifth annual LOW LIFE to crown the 2011 HOWL! FESTIVAL. LOW LIFE is the free and fabulous Sunday evening climax to HOWL! - a two hour spectacular inspired by East Village decades past. Each year's theme is served up in a lavishly costumed production starring dozens of downtown's finest. This year's LOW LIFE 5: FLAMING QUEENS celebrates the East Village (and its pivotal nightclubs and boites) as the birthplace of brilliant Gay, Trans and Lesbian performers and performance genres for over a century. LOW LIFE 5: FLAMING QUEENS pays homage to movements and moments including the mid-century 82 CLUB and its lavish shows, the protest performance art of ACT UP and GRAN FURY, Tompkins Square's own WIGSTOCK and the notorious 19th century Bleecker Street Tranny Bar THE SLIDE.
This hour and a half show features multiple dance companies, vocal and musical performances, burlesque and drag renderings and of course - brilliant lip synch! The bill (still in formation) includes showstopping trans songstress SADE PENDAVIS (Paris is Burning), HOWL! resident butoh company VANGELINE THEATER, Low Life chorines the PIXIE HARLOTS (costumed by MACHINE DAZZLE), former MISS BOYBAR HRH PRINCESS DIANDRA, Neue dance/performance ensemble the RACHEL KLEIN THEATER and the Low Life debut of Bowery Boylesque star Go-GO HARDER. LOW LIFE MC PAUL ALEXANDER (of THE ONES and JACKIE 60) will join SADE PENDAVIS and voguers from the HOUSE OF XTRAVAGANZA to debut the new 21 century Voguing Anthem BRING IT! from new Jackie Factory music label ENDLESS NIGHT MUSIC.
LOW LIFE events were inspired by the seminal LUC SANTE book "LOW LIFE: The Lures and Snares of Old New York" and are produced by local performance collective THE JACKIE FACTORY NYC. The annual LOW LIFE extravaganzas at HOWL! continue a body of work born at the seminal Meat Market nightclub JACKIE 60 in 1997, with past editions in London, Minneapolis and of course, the HOWL! FESTIVAL since 2007. For the show's producers, East Village residents for over two decades, this annual spectacular is a Valentine to the neighborhood's past, present and future stars.
THE HOWL! FESTIVAL, the East Village festival of the arts, was named in honor of the groundbreaking poem by ALLEN GINSBERG and began in 2002. This year HOWL ARTS, INC brings the 8th annual HOWL! to Tompkins Square Park from June 3-5 - moved from its former September dates to a new June weekend. This "exceptional, existential and uplifting weekend of cutting edge art, fantasy and fun" arrives just in time to celebrate Allen Ginsberg's 85th birthday on June 3. That evening, the stage opens at 5pm with the festival's traditional reading of Ginsberg's famed poem HOWL, his impassioned words delivered by his friends and contemporaries led by BOB HOLMAN and including Beat poets JOHN GIORNO, HETTIE JONES, ED SANDERS and BOB ROSENTHAL. This weekend of poetry, performance art, music and dance will once again feature ART AROUND THE PARK, a two day exhibit of EV/LES artists exhibiting their work as they create it; main stage performances of HIP HOP HOWL!, HOUSE OF HOWL and LOW LIFE and this year's brand new children's attraction, the Great HOWL! OUT LOUD Carnival for kids of all ages. Please visit HOWLFESTIVAL.COM for details on all of the weekend's exciting programming.
THE JACKIE FACTORY is the NYC based nightclub arts collective founded by husband and wife team CHI CHI VALENTI and JOHNNY DYNELL in 1990. Most famous for the 450 themed editions of its decade-long party JACKIE 60, venue MOTHER, and annual Stevie Nicks extravaganza NIGHT OF A THOUSAND STEVIES, THE FACTORY also creates large-scale spectacles in New York and cities nationwide and worldwide, including LOW LIFE @ HOWL!
More on the 2010 show at the LOW LIFE 2010 FLICKR SET
More on the 2009 show at the LOW LIFE @ HOWL 2009 FLICKR SET
Image: The 82 CLUB marches in the 1973 GAY PRIDE MARCH, photographer unknown, courtesy of

HOWL! 2011: Saturday & Sunday In Tompkins Square Park

Photo: Vangeline Theater

Saturday, June 4th, South (Adult) Stage (East 7th Street between Avenues A & B)

Starts at 2 PM
Performances include:

Ekayani and the Tom Glide Space 
Chris Rael 
Bina Sharif
Vangeline Theater
Arthur's Landing 

Sunday, June 5th, South (Adult) Stage (East 7th Street between Avenues A & B)

Hip Hop HOWL! 2 PM- A Massive live mixtape showcase featuring the hottest, up-and-coming hip-hop artists...

Images/Design: Jermaine Daniels

House Of HOWL!- 3 PM- Is a vivacious variety show featuring voguers, vocalists, dancers, and trendy fashion designers. This year's them is "The High Life" featuring JSTN, the star of Broadway's mega-hit, "Rent".

Low Life- 5 PM- Inspired by the seminal Luc Sante book, Low Life: The Lures and Snares of Old New York and produced by local performance collective The Jackie Factory NYC... The annual Low Life extravaganzas at HOWL! continue a body of work born at the seminal Meat Market nightclub Jackie 60. For the show's producers, colorful downtown self-described impersarios Chi Chi Valenti and Johnny Dynell, East Village residents for over two decades, this annual spectacular is a valentine to the neighborhood's past, present and future stars. This year's edition is entitled, "Flaming Queens."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Eighth Annual HOWL! Festival Presents Poetry Circles Throughout Tompkins Square Park Saturday 6/4 & Sunday 6/5, 2011

As part of the late Allen Ginsberg's 85th birthday celebration, HOWL! 2011 will be presenting more poetry/spoken word events than we've ever had before. This year, ALL poets are invited to participate in Open Air Poetry Circle Readings which will be featured throughout the park on both Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th.

Each poet will read for 5 minutes. To sign up, simply send an email to: with the following information:

1. Your name
2. A one sentence bio.
3. Any online links to website(s) blogs etc.
4. A photo with permission to post and photographer credit.
5. The day Saturday or Sunday you would like to read in one of the circles.
6. The preferred time you would like to read 12-1pm, 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm, 3pm-4pm, 4pm-5pm.
7. In a few words, describe your poetry.

The HOWL! Festival will confirm your participation by email in advance of the reading.

Space is limited only by the number of poetry circles we create, and that depends upon the number of poets who respond.

So... write poem (or two) today!

Photo From Art Around the Park: Nathaniel Siegel

The 8th Annual HOWL! Festival Takes Off!

JUNE 3rd, 4th and 5th
In Tompkins Square Park, NYC: East Village
Howl Arts, Inc. brings its 8th Annual HOWL! Festival to Tompkins Square Park (located between 7th –and 10th Streets, between Avenues A and B, in Manhattan), from Friday June 3rd through Sunday night June 5th, for an exceptional, existential and uplifting weekend of cutting edge art, fantasy, fun and superb family entertainment.
With sculpture, interactive installations, poetry circles, yoga  and acoustic performances in the park each day from 11am – 7pm, the HOWL! Festival, the East Village festival of the arts, arrives on June 3 just in time to celebrate the birthday of the late poet, Allen Ginsberg, who would have turned 85 years old on this day.
Opening the stage on June 3 at 5pm with the festival’s traditional reading of his famed poem HOWL, Ginsberg’s impassioned words will be delivered by his friends and contemporaries led by Bob Holman and Beat poets John GiornoHettie JonesEd Sanders, and Bob Rosenthal, just to name a few.
Paving the way for the customary weekend of poetry, performance art, music and dance, the HOWL! Festival will once again feature Art Around the Park, a two day exhibit of East Village/Lower East Side artists exhibiting their work as they create it; the live-on-stage performances of Hip Hop HOWL!, House of HOWL and LOW LIFE, as well as the amazing talents of Rosie’s Theater Kids, just the highlights of numerous performances on both the adult and children’s stages.   
This year’s surprise addition introduces a brand new children’s attraction, the Great HOWL! OUT LOUD Carnival for kids of all ages, offering carnival games, fairway attractions, arts and crafts activities, miniature golf and live  entertainment provided by Rosie’s Theater Kids among others...  It's free fun for all ages!
Since its founding in 2002, thousands of artists and performing groups of every genre and background have taken to the streets, to the Park and to the stage when the HOWL! FESTIVAL roars through the East Village.
HOWL! Arts, Inc., a not-for-profit arts organization producing all things HOWL! also presents the HOWL! Arts Project (HAP),  a  month-long performance series which will take place throughout the month of October (2011)  to benefit the HOWL Emergency Life Project (H.E.L.P).  Administered by the Actors Fund,  H.E.L.P is an emergency services and health fund available to East Village and downtown artists in need of assistance. HOWL! Arts Project is sponsored by Actors Fund (administrators of H.E.L.P) and presents poetry, theater, film, dance, music and performance art programs.
HOWL! Arts channels the spirit and artistic invention of the namesake poem and poet Allen Ginsberg to deliver firsthand examples of the creative, cultural, and historical forces that have made the highly original downtown arts of the EV/LES community world-renowned.
For information, photos, press passes, and to request interviews, please contact
Claire O’Connor Public Relations  212.245.5784 / email:
Jane Friedman / HOWL! Arts Inc   917.749.9210 / email:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Allen Ginsberg!

It just so happens that the opening of this year's HOWL! Festival (June 3-5, 2011) coincides with what would have been Allen Ginsberg's 85th birthday.

Each year we kick-off the open air festivities in NYC's Tompkins Square Park with a group reading of Allen's ground-breaking 1956 poem, Howl, just before dusk, conducted in a symphonic manner by Bowery Poetry Club mastermind, Bob Holman.

The line up of poets lending their voices to bringing Howl to life this year (in no particular order) include:

Darian Dauchan
Alice Whitwham
Nicole Wallace
Curtis Jensen
Julie Patton
Fay Chiang
Miguel Algarin
Andy Clausen
Eliot Katz
Bob Rosenthal
David Henderson
John Giorno
Hettie Jones
Steven Taylor
Ed Sanders
sick prose
Elisabeth Velasquez
Helena D. Lewis
Eliel Lucero
Nikhil Melnechuk
Jon Sands