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Discover the voice of the CITY

The Art of Everyday Life since 1985

Founded in 1985, City Lore’s mission is to foster New York City – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs in service of cultural equity and social justice.  City Lore encompasses a Lower East Side gallery space, performances, lectures, the People’s Hall of Fame, a POEMobile that projects poems onto walls and buildings, and programs throughout the five boroughs.

We document, present, and advocate for New York City’s grassroots cultures to ensure their living legacy in stories and histories, places and traditions. We work in four cultural domains: urban folklore and history; preservation; arts education; and grassroots poetry traditions. In each, we seek to further cultural equity and model a better world with projects as dynamic and diverse as New York City itself.

Upcoming Events

City Lore is closed for the Summer. Check back soon!

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Intro to City Lore

City Lore is The POEMobile
City Lore is Engaging Audiences with Exciting Event Programming
City Lore is NYC's only gallery dedicated to the City's Folk Culture
City Lore is a Resource for Educators
City Lore is Urban Culture
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Urban Culture

City Lore is a pioneer in working collaboratively with folk and community-based artists, embracing different aesthetics for the creation of art in an urban context.

Grassroots Poetry

While many groups are dedicated to traditional music and literary poetry, no other organization is systematically presenting the diverse oral and community-based poetry traditions of New York City and beyond.


Our in-school, after-school and professional development programs serve thousands of students and hundreds of teachers each year, drawing on the rich cultural traditions of the city’s neighborhoods and ethnic communities.

Place Matters

Since our inception, City Lore has documented and advocated for cherished local establishments, public spaces and community landmarks.

Special Projects

City Lore develops local and national projects in keeping with our mission, some generated by our staff and others by talented filmmakers, folklorists, artists, and historians.

Our Blogs

All Blogs

The Founding Director of City Lore along with guest bloggers find poetry and meaning in nooks and crannies of daily life. 

Sense & the City is a monthly blog exploring the hidden corners of New York City. Each month’s post is devoted to one of the five senses. Receive daily sensory impressions via Instagram @senseandthecity.

What People Say

What I love about City Lore is that you’re such wise renegades.
Sonnet Takahisa
City Lore Member
I hate to see people throwing good things out just to keep up with modern times. That’s why City Lore is so important.”
Khadijah Shaheed
Community liaison
City Lore takes on the practical sides of a utopian endeavor.
Marc Kaminsky
Writer and Poet
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