ALLEN + ALLAN + ARTURO = Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project

Celebrating Five Years of Inspiration and Imagination

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

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

Taking its name from Ginsberg’s epic poem and clarion call of freedom, artist Allan Kaprow’s unpredictable free-form Happenings of the 60s and 70s, and Arturo Vega’s shining example of generosity and support for artists and our community, Howl! Happening has become an intergenerational cultural hub—a club house of experimentation, camaraderie, collaboration, and crazy wisdom.

In our exhibitions, live events, and public programs, we evoke and invoke our mentors and invite active participation of the community to circulate ideas, generate discussion, and celebrate the fearless innovators who are inexorably tied with our collective future. The values and lifestyle of artists and creators from the neighborhood are the stuff of legend. Giving voice to the “other,” the dissident, the overlooked, we also acknowledge that history is a continuum: the East Village’s legacy of rock and roll, social justice, poetry, art and performance, social activism, gay rights and culture, fashion, and nightlife is even more relevant now. As freethinkers, serious intellects, and thrill-seekers, we at Howl! Happening welcome change, dialogue, discourse, and dreaming as we move into the future.

As Howl! celebrates its 5th anniversary, we’re pleased to have presented 43 exhibitions and 509 events: from major shows about the art of our time to readings; poetry and theater festivals; film screenings; and workshops and discussions about relevant issues like health care, housing, gender, incarceration and restorative justice, and the status of women. We thank the artists, creators, and community activists who have embraced the gallery.

Howl Happening - five year anniversary

This year we are proud to launch Howl High, a free series of hands-on workshops for high-school students 13 to 16 years of age that focuses on the signature creative arts of the East Village and Lower East Side. Facilitated by artists from the Howl community, participants will learn skills and create individual works of art in diverse mediums. Field trips, artist talks, and gallery tours round out the Howl High experience and culminate in an original capstone art exhibition at Howl. Last year, we instigated the free Vega Arts Workshop Series, designed to offer individuals access to the creative process and broaden community members’ opportunities to meet new people and express themselves through the arts.

“Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.”—From “10 Rules for Students and Teachers”, a list popularized by John Cage and originated by Sister Corita Kent.

We’re all perpetual students. Growing and changing with our times. Listening and learning. In the coming days, we will tap into our collective agency to empower others, speak our minds, and shed light upon the hypocrisy, conservatism, and dark side of our country and our culture. The East Village is a metaphor for untamed creativity. Artists as activists lead the way now as they have always done.

We call out and honor those of the Howl community that we have lost—groundbreaking artists, performers, and friends who contributed to the culture and enriched our lives. We will never forget you:

Adam Alexander
Adam Purple
Alan Vega
Anita Sarko
Arturo Vega
Brian (Hattie Hathaway) Butterick
Clark Render
David Bowie
Edit DeAk
Holly Woodlawn
Ivan Kral
Jo Andres
John Giorno
Leslie Sternbergh Alexander
Jonas Mekas
Philly Abe
Richard Hambleton
Robert Frank
Stanley Love
Steve Cannon
Steve Dalachinsky
Susan Springfield
Taylor Mead
Terence Sellers
Toyo Tsuchiya
Walter Cessna
Adam Alexander
Adam Purple
Alan Vega
Anita Sarko
Arturo Vega
Brian (Hattie Hathaway) Butterick
Clark Render
David Bowie
Edit DeAk
Holly Woodlawn
Ivan Kral
Jo Andres
John Giorno
Jonas Mekas
Leslie Sternbergh Alexander
Philly Abe
Richard Hambleton
Robert Frank
Stanley Love
Steve Cannon
Steve Dalachinsky
Susan Springfield
Taylor Mead
Terence Sellers
Toyo Tsuchiya
Walter Cessna

Don’t forget to laugh. Don’t forget the irreverence, the subversive, the satirical, and the intersections of freedom of expression that are a through line from the East Village to contemporary life. Don’t forget the energy and spirit of Allen and Allan and Arturo.

The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

–Allen Ginsberg

Stay in, stay safe, and stay connected.

Your Friends and Fellow Travelers,
Jane and all of us at Howl

Five Years of Howl Happening