Jewschool Goes To Howl! — Day 1

Whatsa matzo you?
by David Kelsey
Howl!, the festival produced by the Federation of East Village Artists, runs from Aug. 21 – 28th, and “celebrates the neighborhood’s role as the cradle of counterculture.” The neighborhood includes both the East Village and the Lower East Side. Jewbilation is organized by the 14th Street Y, and begins tomorrow night, Aug. 22.
But the Jewish role in Howl! is not limited to Jewbilation, and today was the opening of the temporary exhibit “Reliquaries”, which features relics from both the Streit’s Factory and City Reliquary Archives, including a police billy club with the Hebrew word “kosher” engraved in it. No one is sure why.
This partnership is not as exceptional an event as it sounds, as Streit’s retail store is home to “The Matzo Files”, which presents art work from over 250 artists right inside Streit’s retail outlet, and eliminates the role and of art curators and dealers. The Artists Alliance facilitates this and other programs in hopes of “fostering the relationship between contemporary art and the local community.” The works are kept in boxes and folders, and are sold alongside macaroons and other kosher for Passover items produced on the premises of this Matzo factory, which is still in operation on Rivington Street and has been since 1925.
Streit’s donates the space, and in return? Sara Eichner, a file coordinator, shrugged. “They have that sort of spirit about them. They sell a lot of matzo, though.”
It is, perhaps, this sort of bizarre corporate sponsorship that proves that despite the continued malling of Manhattan, particularly downtown Manhattan, something good, community oriented, and “only in New York” has survived.
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