On Saturday, popcorn, cotton candy, ring toss and other games along with a magic show and story telling ruled the afternoon for the Henry Street Settlement Community Day that brought out children and their parents and neighbors of all ages for a day of relaxation and fun.
Local politicians including Boro President Gale Brewer, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez and City Councilman-elect Chris Marte made an appearance.
Tables spread out along the closed street offered information about the many programs Henry Street Settlement offers. A wheel-of-fortune spinner provided chances at favors and masks were given out.
This settlement house has a long and proud history having begun in the late 1800s to offer health care to the industrial poor immigrants of the neighborhood. Over the years the service to the neighborhood has broadened.
Henry Street hosts a broad swath of programs that serve pre-schoolers to seniors. Education, sports and recreation, senior services, health and wellness, transitional and supportive housing and employment are among the services Henry Street offers the Lower East Side.
Their ATTAIN (Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking) laboratory offers free access to the Internet and free computer training to members of the community. Due to COVID, these Lab classes are being held virtually at the present time. Other Henry Street programs are also being conducted on-line.
Henry Street Settlement’s commitment to the arts is apparent with its Abrons Arts Center on Grand Street built in 1975. Adjacent to its national landmark the Harry De Jur Playhouse, Abrons presents performances, exhibitions, educational programs and residencies.
A home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts in this Lower East Side neighborhood, the Abrons Center is a core program of Henry Street that believes that access to the arts is essential to a free and healthy society.
Spirits were not dampened during Saturday’s overcast—rain threatened but did not occur—day. Folks were inspired to dance by DJ Tra$e who kept the beat going all afternoon and rocked Henry Street with his 80s and 90s musical mash-ups.
The mid-afternoon performance from Daso El Afro Caribeno Band —that’s Afro Latin Caribbean soul—provided the pure joy which comes with live melodies and rhythms. The band’s cello adds even greater dimension to its feet stomping Latin sound.