The People’s Hall of Fame is an awards celebration and party established in 1993 that honors grassroots contributions to New York’s cultural life. Taking as its symbol a historic New York subway token, we present “tokens of our esteem” to individuals and organizations who are contributing creatively to the folk culture of New York City.

Halls of Fame are usually reserved for famous baseball players, rock stars and the like. So why create a Hall of Fame for “ordinary” people? The honorees highlighted here are exceptional because of the way they live their art and embody tradition within their own communities. Their character, presence and exceptional talent render the songs, dances, customs and stories that are part of everyday life extraordinary, vivid and real. The People’s Hall of Fame shines a spotlight on the contributions of ordinary people outside the glare of mass media, and honors local heroes who contribute to the culture of the city and its neighborhoods. Awards are selected by a committee of New York City-lovers working closely with City Lore’s Board of Directors.  See the right hand column to read about these stellar individuals.

Would you like to nominate a cultural hero from New York City to the People’s Hall of Fame? Please e-mail us a note ( Be sure to give us your reasons for the nomination.