What Is Howl

About HOWL! Arts, Inc

HOWL! Arts, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicating to preserving the past and celebrating the contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side. Inspired by the late poet-philosopher Allen Ginsberg—a lifelong spokesperson for peace, justice, and freedom of expression—HOWL! Arts Inc. embraces his insightful, iconoclastic, and irreverent legacy to inspire and galvanize new artists and audiences. HOWL Arts gives the public the tools to join in the creative process and to experience first hand the value of a creative life; the heritage of social justice; and the flourishing of diverse cultures which are the signatures of this vital community. The Howl! Community Includes:

Howl! Happening

Gallery / Performance Space / Archive

“What is a Happening? A game, an adventure, a number of activities engaged in by participants for the sake of playing.”

— artist Alan Kaprow

Like the neighborhood in which it was born and the Howl! Festival that began it all, Howl! Happening is a space of untamed creativity. Howl Happening curates exhibitions and stages live events that showcase the historical legacy and contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side. It is also dedicated to preserving the archives of artists who spent their creative lives working in this vibrant community and houses the Estates of artist Arturo Vega and the beloved performance artist, Tom Murrin aka “The Alien Comic.” The history of the East Village is still being written. The mix of rock and roll, social justice, art and performance, community activism, gay rights and culture, immigrants, fashion, and nightlife are even more relevant now and Howl Happening aims to shine a light on art and social history in the heart of the community where groundbreaking creativity and influential ideas still thrive.

Howl! Festival

Named the Village Voice’s Best Outdoor Festival, Howl! Festival is the quintessential community event celebrating the history and creativity of the East Village and Lower East Side. Held annually inside and around Tompkins Square Park, the spirit of Allen Ginsberg comes alive as more than 350 artists, poets, and performers, including youthful new talent, light up the Main and Kid’s Stages and transform the Park into a participatory artwork infused with the creative energy, flamboyance, and panache that’s the hallmark of the neighborhood. A three-ring circus of wonderment and amusement, HOWL Festival is entirely FREE.

Howl! Emergency Life Project (HELP)

A safety net for artists, HOWL! HELP provides emergency financial assistance and social service support to artists who have participated in the annual HOWL! Festival or who made or make their careers in New York City’s East Village and Lower East Side arts communities. Services include counseling and referrals for personal, family, or work-related problems and linkage to community resources for such needs as medical care, legal services, public benefits or elder care. Workshops are offered on a variety of topics and include: affordable housing, financial education, and health insurance options. Financial assistance is available for rent, utilities, mental health, and medical care as well as other basic living expenses. Grants are approved on a case-by-case basis based on need.

Howl! Press

(PDF) Press Release, March 11, 2015

“Howl! is pleased to announce the opening of a new gallery and performance space—Howl! Happening—With the exhibition Arturo Vega, American Treasure on Sunday March 29th” …

(PDF) Press Release, April 3, 2015


Known as the fifth Ramone, for his close association with the band and his iconic art direction, Arturo Vega (October 3, 1947–June 8, 2013) was a Mexican-born artist who lived and worked in New York City from 1971 until his death in 2013. As a young artist, he fled the violent government repression of the student movement of the late 1960s in Mexico and became widely known for graphic visual imagery that defined Punk music and fashion. … 

(PDF) Press Release, April 3, 2015

“Arturo Vega: Art in the Age of Pop,” a panel discussion moderated by Marc H. Miller with Carlo McCormick, Sandra Schulman, and John Holmstrom, Thursday, April 23, 7-9 p.m. Located at Howl! Happening, 6 East 1st St., NYC & in conjunction with Arturo Vega, American Treasure exhibition. …

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