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NY ACKER Awards honor LES essential workers

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | The NY ACKER Awards are known for honoring Downtown avant-garde artists who have not always gotten their due of recognition. Now, for the first time, during this extraordinary moment, the ACKER Awards are recognizing unsung essential workers.

The awards ceremony took place Aug. 18 at the Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center, at 466 Grand St. Previously, there was a digital version of the awards ceremony in 2020.

From left, Clayton Patterson, the awards’ founder, with Eric Diaz, head of Vision Urbana food-relief services, and David Garza, Henry Street Settlement president and C.E.O. (Photo by Destiny Mata)
Clayton Patterson, fourth from right, with the NY ACKER honorees, from left, Eric Diaz, Don Hong, Sandra Strother, David Garza, Camille Napoleon and Jenny Dembrow and Ian. (Photo by Destiny Mata)

The NY ACKER Awards were started in 2013 by Clayton Patterson, the longtime Lower East Side photographer and archivist. The awards are given each year in recognition of those who have contributed to the avant-garde — creators and those who have made the creativity possible — but who are often overlooked by the mainstream.

Jenny Dembrow, part of the Lower Eastside Girls Club’s executive leadership team, and David Garza. (Photo by Destiny Mata)

This past year, the awards’ reach was expanded to “give thanks to essential service workers.” Inspired by local Lower East Siders and services who took care of neighbors throughout the pandemic, the NY ACKERS also honor the essential workers who kept people fed, safe, healthy and entertained, kept the neighborhood clean and made sure the community survived.

Clayton Patterson, left, with NY ACKER Award honorees Camille Napoleon and David Garza. (Photo by Destiny Mata)

The honorees included Dr. David Ores, Marty Martin, Camille Napoleon (Baruch Houses), Power Malu, David Garza (Henry Street Settlement), Jenny Dembrow and Kelly Webb (Lower Eastside Girls Club), Eric Diaz (Vision Urbana), Don Hong (UA3 digital divide), Sergio Chicon (Overthrow Boxing), Tanya Castro (Two Bridges), Sandra Strother (Grand Street Guild), N.Y.P.D. (Seventh Precinct), F.D.N.Y. (Engine 15), Department of Sanitation, Dalia Soto (Gouverneur Gardens), Coss Marte (CONBODY) and Sanjida Rashid Fancy Pharmacy.

(Photo by Destiny Mata)

The recipients received two special commemorative posters produced by two talented New York City artists, Jerry Pagane and Ray Felix. Pagane is a past NY ACKER recipient.

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