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The Village Awards — A Tradition Since 1991!

Each year Village Preservation proudly honors about six remarkable people, organizations, businesses, and restorations at Village Preservation’s Annual Meeting and Village Awards. We’ve been doing so since June 10, 1991, when we held our very first Village Awards. That year the awardees were Anglers & Writers Café; Paul Egita; First Presbyterian Church Restoration; Jefferson Market Garden; Mercer-Houston Dog Run; Florent Morellet and Restaurant Florent; and Three Lives Bookstore.

Our very first awardees, from our 1991 newsletter.

Since then we’ve presented awards to well over 200 amazing small businesses, community groups and leaders, local institutions, public spaces, and restorations — see an alphabetical list here, and see videos of past award ceremonies and a year-by-year list of awardees here.

Just some of our recent past awardees.

Our 2024 awards ceremony has an amazing lineup that continues that proud and inspiring tradition. The event is free and open to all. Click here to register.

Lenny Kaye, the emcee for the 2024 Village Awards is a legendary musician, writer, producer, and music historian. An original member of the Patti Smith Group (Lenny met Patti while working at a record store on Bleecker Street), Kaye has recorded dozens of albums and songs with various groups and as a solo artist. He’ll be introducing our 2024 awardees, who are:

Bus Stop Cafe, 597 Hudson Street

Bus Stop Cafe (read more here) and owner Georgia Danalis are beloved neighborhood fixtures. Since 1995, they have served delicious diner and Greek favorites.

Barbara Kahn

Barbara Khan (read more here) is a playwright who has produced dozens of works rooted in history, especially the history of New York and marginalized or oppressed people, with a frequent focus on the experience of women, LGBTQ+ people, and personal trauma. Her award-winning plays have been produced at the Theater for the New City since 1994, though she has produced plays throughout New York, Paris, and London, and her career as a playwright stretches back decades. Access her oral history here.

Sixth Street Community Center, 638 East 6th Street

Founded in 1978, the Sixth Street Community Center (read more here) and its executive director since 1992, Howard Brandstein, ensure that the beauty, character, and persistent community strength of the East Village has been preserved.

Penny Arcade

East Village icon Penny Arcade (read more here) is known as “Queen of the Underground.” She says she is “fundamentally a poet,” but also sings, dances, acts, and helped define performance art in the 1980s.

Trash & Vaudeville, 96 East 7th Street

Ray Goodman became owner of the St. Marks Place icon now known as Trash & Vaudeville in 1975. Now located on East 7th Street, they have maintained their gritty charm and eclectic vibe. 

Regina Kellerman Award: Washington Square Park Conservancy

Over the past decade, the Washington Square Park Conservancy (read more here) has worked with the NYC Parks Department to maintain and improve the park for the 50,000 locals and visitors who use it every day. This includes regular tasks supported by fundraising and donations, including paying for 14 dedicated employees, a horticultural budget that pays for plants and two gardeners who focus exclusively on this Village landmark, and maintenance equipment and supplies. One of the group’s most significant accomplishments, said the Conservancy’s executive director, Will Morrison, is “getting the staffing this park deserves and needs to beautify gardens, clean restrooms, activate playgrounds five days a week with our playground associates, and more.”

We hope to see you at the awards, at 6pm on Wednesday, June 12th at the Great Hall at Cooper Union. All are welcome and it’s free and open to the public, followed by a reception catered by neighborhood favorite Veselka. Register for your spot here.

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