Acker Awards to honor D’town’s avant-garde

BY ROSE ADAMS | On Tues., March 26, the sixth annual NY Acker Awards will once again honor some of the best and brightest local contributors to the Downtown arts community.

Among this year’s diverse group of recipients are writer Cynthia Carr, who will receive the Candy Darling Award; director Larry Fessenden; squatter artist Andrew Castrucci; Trigger, formerly of the Continental; Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation; musicians Chris Iconicide and Jesse Malin; writer Michael Carter; and Lilah Mejia, of Why Not Care, who will be honored for Community Support.

The flier for this year’s Acker Awards.

Produced by documentarian Clayton Patterson, the Acker Awards recognize avant-garde artists, writers, musicians and community organizers that enliven the Downtown arts scene. While the event’s name pays homage to the late feminist writer Kathy Acker, it’s also an archaic Dutch word that means “a visible current in a river.”

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards will go to Crystal Field, the co-founder and artistic director of Theater for the New City, and Jam Herman, an arts and culture writer who runs a blog called “Straight Up” on artsjournal.com. Forty artists, writers, filmmakers and community leaders in all will receive awards — all of whom were nominated by other community members.

Artist Anthony Zito has once again done portraits for this year’s posthumous Acker Award winners on flattened found paper coffee cups.

Each awardee will receive a pizza box filled with CDs, art and memorabilia contributed by the other Acker recipients. Each box will also include a crushed coffee cup decorated with the portrait of a late Downtown arts hero. Artist Anthony Zito has been scavenging and painting these found cups for the Acker Awards ceremonies since 2016.

In addition to the recipients’ speeches, the ceremony will feature performances by local musicians Gryphon Rue and Keith Patchel. This year’s sponsors are Jump into the Light, Groupe Collective at 198 Bowery, and Overthrow Boxing, of 9 Bleecker St.

The NYC Acker Awards will be held Tues., March 26, at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (between Ninth and 10th Sts). Doors open 6:30 p.m., and event starts 7 p.m. Admission is free.

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