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Exploring Virtual Village Voices, Part 6: Larry Kramer, Helen Levitt, and Edna St. Vincent Millay

In 2021 and 2022, Village Preservation developed an innovative outdoor public art exhibition that was displayed throughout Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. VILLAGE VOICES featured photographs, artifacts, and soundscape recordings to celebrate and honor the artistic, social, political, and cultural movements that have grown in our neighborhoods, and the people who gave them voice. 

We have now made those exhibits permanently available online. Today we explore three more of our 31 shadowboxes from the event: Larry Kramer, Helen Levitt, and Edna St. Vincent Millay

Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer was a pioneering gay-rights activist and author. He lived at 2 Fifth Avenue beginning in the 1980s. It was in his apartment here where a group of friends met to discuss the recent announcement of the outbreak of Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer attributed to AIDS. The group mobilized quickly, raising $6,600 for medical research and founding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). Kramer later helped found the grassroots activist group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). 

The audio was narrated by actor, playwright, and director David Greenspan.

Click here to read more about Larry Kramer.

Helen Levitt

A visual poet laureate of life in the streets of New York City, Levitt created wondrous photographs that captured the playful dance of urban life. Levitt lived in a fourth-floor walkup at 4 East 12th Street for more than 40 years.

The audio was narrated by Jeffrey Rosenheim, Curator in Charge of the department of photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Click here to read more about Helen Levitt.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

In 1917, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and acclaimed playwright Millay lived in a top-floor apartment at 25 Charlton Street when she first arrived in New York with her sisters. Later she famously lived in the narrowest house in Greenwich Village, 75½ Bedford Street. Few people are as closely associated with Greenwich Village as Edna St. Vincent Millay. The neighborhood even appears in her name! Her middle name, St. Vincent, honored the hospital located on West 11th Street where her uncle’s life was saved just before she was born.

This audio was narrated by Leslie Mason, Village Preservation Trustee, Co-Chair of the Benefit Committee, and Curator of Village Voices.

Click here to read more about Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Click here to access all 31 Village Voices exhibits.

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