Founded in 1973, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe began as a living room salon in the East Village apartment of writer and poet Miguel Algarin along with other playwrights, poets and musicians of color whose work was not accepted by the mainstream academic, entertainment or publishing industries. By 1975, the performance poetry scene had started to become a vital element of urban Latino and African-American culture marked by the release of a “Nuyorican Poetry” anthology, and Miguel Piñero’s Short Eyes, which was a hit on Broadway. By 1981, the overflow of audience and artists led the Cafe to purchase a former tenement building at 236 East 3rd Street and to expand its activities and programs from the original space on East 6th Street.
Over the past several decades, the Cafe has emerged as one of the country’s most highly respected arts organizations. Their programming includes poetry slams, open mics, Latin Jazz and Hip-Hop concerts, theatrical performances, educational programs and visual art exhibits. The weekly poetry slams draw thousands of spectators each year and have popularized competitive performance poetry. Educational programs (which are funded in part by the city and state of New York and the NEA) provide literacy and public speaking to thousands of students and many school groups each year. Their theater program has been awarded over 30 Audelco Awards and was honored with an OBIE Grant for Excellence in Theater.
COVID-19 Safety Information
Masks are optional but encouraged.
Visit nuyorican.org for full performance schedule.