People’s Hall of Fame
Antonio “Chico” Garcia
for embellishing the city with gorgeous murals
Born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Mr. Garcia helped to transform an art form originally associated with subway graffiti into a new mural tradition on city walls. As a young neighborhood artist, he painted walls for small commercial establishments; then in 1988, he initiated what has now become a New York City tradition of painting memorial walls to commemorate people who have died untimely, sometimes violent, deaths on the City’s streets. His work can be seen in the seminal book RIP: Memorial Wall Art, available through City Lore’s Culture Catalog. Call (212) 995-0846 for information about Mr. Garcia’s work as an aerosol artist.
for creating the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade
Renowned puppeteer Ralph Lee started the Halloween parade in 1974, in collaboration with the Theater for the New City, as a way for his three children to celebrate the holiday. In the early years, the parade ran through the winding streets of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Along the route a spider crawled up the turrets of gothic Jefferson Market Library, angels and devils battled on tenement balconies and fire escapes, and a skeleton dangled from the arch in Washington Square. Mr. Lee gave up the reins in the mid-‘80s when the wild popularity of the parade forced a route change to broader thoroughfares. But his successors have helped to make this distinctive New York celebration known the world over.
for helping to initiate and carry on the Lindy Hop
In 1936, as a young member of Herbert White’s Lindy Hoppers, Mr. Manning developed the first “aerial moves” and the first ensemble routines for the Lindy Hop. Manning performed with many of the greats of the big band era, including Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, and was principal choreographer for Lindy Hop routines in movies and shows. He received a Tony Award in 1988 for his work on the Broadway show Black & Blue, and continues to perform and teach. For information, visit www.savoystyle.com/frankie_manning.html.
for preserving Yiddish folk songs and culture
Ruth Rubin was a pioneer in the documentation of Yiddish culture, and one of the first women in the United States to become a prominent folklorist. Her invaluable collection of field recordings of 2,000 Yiddish folksongs, along with her books, performances and recordings, have helped succeeding generations to learn about and enjoy the beauty, creativity, wit and wisdom of Yiddish culture. Her Voices of a People: The Story of Yiddish Folksong is in print. Ms. Rubin died in June, 2000, at the age of 93.
Reverend Floyd King
for keeping the gospel spirit alive in New York City
Anointed with the gifts of preaching and singing, Reverend King was one of the most respected members of the New York City gospel community. He began singing at the age of nine, performing with distinguished gospel groups in Birmingham, Alabama, and in 1970 moved to New York City. As part of the No Name Gospel Singers, Reverend King performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Town, Hall, and Central Park’s Summer Stage, as well as for cultural organizations and colleges, and in churches in Brooklyn and throughout the city. Reverend King died on Christmas day, 1994.