Manny Cantor Community Center Events & Exhibitions

Events and Exhibitions Header


Manny Cantor Center and Educational Alliance Art School’s Exhibition and Special Programming provide a space and an opportunity for community dialogue around the arts. Exhibits highlight the work produced by program participants as well as the work of emerging and established artists. Special programs related to current exhibits allow for greater connection by exploring exhibit themes and subjects. Learn more about our current exhibit and scroll down to see past exhibitions.


The Ernest Rubenstein Gallery has been an integral part of the Educational Alliance’s programming and mission for more than 100 years, bringing art to the community at no-cost and gives Educational Alliance program members – from Head Start classrooms to the senior centers – the opportunity to view their artwork curated in a professional setting. In this way, the Ernest Rubenstein Gallery opens the door to the world of art, making art accessible for all community members.


CelebratEArts 2024

On View May 2024

Educational Alliance invites you to experience the vibrant creativity and rich cultural contributions of older New Yorkers during the third annual CelebratEArts Festival. This month-long event, held throughout May, celebrates the unique talents and artistic skills fostered by older adults in our City. 

In alignment with the theme of Older Americans Month 2024, “Powered by Connection,” this year’s festival emphasizes the importance of social connections and meaningful relationships in promoting health, well-being, and independence among older adults. 

The festival is hosted across five Educational Alliance sites, including the Weinberg Center for Balanced LivingSirovich Center for Balanced LivingCo-Op Village NORCProject ORE, and the 14th Street Y. Throughout the month, attendees can enjoy a diverse array of gallery exhibits, performances, workshops, art sales, advocacy events, and intergenerational programs. 

Below, you’ll find the schedule of events for CelebratEArts 2024, including dates, times, and locations. Be sure to mark your calendar!

You can also view our online exhibition at coming soon!


Educational Alliance Art School 2023 Community Exhibition
On View Until February 2024

“Panoply” draws inspiration from the rich tapestry of life itself, embracing the multiplicity of perspectives and mediums. Each piece displayed is a brushstroke in the collective masterpiece, weaving together a narrative that celebrates the beauty found in the convergence of diverse materials, techniques, and ideas. Our community of artists featured in this exhibit challenge the boundaries of their chosen mediums, pushing the limits of creativity and inviting viewers to question, explore, and appreciate the limitless possibilities inherent in creative practice. The exhibit serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and the profound impact that arises when artists come together to create a collective panorama of inspiration.


On View Until December 15th, 2023

Emerges as a photographic journey through the lens of Marlis Momber and Maylyn “Zero” Iglesias, venerable artist-activists entrenched in the heartbeat of the Lower East Side, NYC. Illuminating impermanence, their photographs transcend time, resurrecting vanished fragments of the LES, echoing in their minds. From the early 1970s to the present, each image is a testament to the ongoing battles for space and culture, a visual narrative where resilient families thrive amidst the upheaval.

The frames unveil the dichotomy of the Lower East Side – Momber’s haunting silhouettes, a ballet of smokestacks and cranes, converse with Iglesias’s rosary beads, gracefully dangling on scaffolding. Gentrification’s reach, captured in fleeting moments, becomes palpable through their lenses. The Nuyorican culture, a vivid tapestry in their work, emerges as a silent rebellion against the homogeneity of change.

Marlis and Maylyn, artists intertwined in friendship and mentorship, epitomize the ceaseless spirit of the LES. Their shared journey, a visual call and response, paints a portrait of beautiful brown bodies and big city blocks blending from one scene to the next. The documentation of a whole era in one long spirited day captured in Marlis’s portrait of four local guys hanging out in a vacant lot that foreshadows Maylyn’s recent image of a mural depicting similar characters hidden in the shadows of a lush garden that reads, “La Lucha Continua. The Struggle Continues.”

CONSTANT | CONSTANTE mirrors the evolving neighborhood and the strong bond between these artists. This exhibition is the first time they present work together after working closely with Loisaida, Inc. These selected works add to the storied lineage of powerful female artists who have taken a defiant stance against ill-intentioned development. Facilitated by the Loisaida Center Cultural Archives, the duo’s energy propels them into a dialogue with the past, preserving a visual heritage over 50 years in the making. United against the eroding tide of change, CONSTANT | CONSTANTE is a testament to the unwavering spirit of the Lower East Side and the unyielding power of artistic collaboration.

This event was co-curated and organized by AWWW Collective members Bashira Webb, Cher Scott, Mark Nevers, and Danny R. Peralta.

Clay Encounters: Imagined Worlds

On View Until November 13th, 2023

This exhibition is a capstone project created by our three ceramic apprentices, Vicki Lam, Audrey Tse, and Bibi Belo (pictured left to right). Over the course of a year, these artists delved into the technical aspects of ceramics, experimenting with clay composition, glaze chemistry, and multi-part mold making. Given time, space, materials, and mentorship, each apprentice has developed a body of work that is reflective of their creative voices and the skills acquired through their time in the apprenticeship.

Together, the artists have constructed portals into spaces of communal joy, inviting you to engage in play, derive comfort from pillowy forms, and be transfixed by spiraling tendrils. You are encouraged to join them in their creative exploration. Enter their realms and encounter the complexity of clay.

Clay On The World

This exhibit is a celebration of the talent and tireless efforts of our faculty of ceramic artists. Each member of our staff brings a unique and exciting perspective to a craft that is as old as civilization itself. The collection of work on display in this group show challenges our preconceived notions about ceramic art. This forces the viewer to look past any utilitarian aspects and invites us to appreciate the innate beauty of each object.

From sculptures to saucers, the artwork featured in this gallery is as diverse as the community of artists who created it. Educational Alliance Art School welcomes you into the Ernest Rubenstein Gallery to view a truly mesmerizing display of ceramic virtuosity.

CelebratEArts 2023

An Exhibit Celebrating the Creative Works of Older New Yorkers

May 1 – May 31 | Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM | Open to the Public

Our annual CelebratEArts Festival honors older adults who bring color, creativity, and compassion to our community through their varied artistic endeavors.

This year’s festival theme—Aging Unbound—offers us an opportunity to explore diverse aging experiences and to recognize how we all benefit when older adults remain engaged, independent, and included. You can also view our online exhibition at

We are proud to showcase art from older adult members of the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, Co-Op Village NORC, Project ORE, and the 14th Street Y.

The MCC Jewish Communal Fund Gallery will feature painting, drawing, and watercolor works by older adult artists in our community.

CelebratEArts is brought to you by Educational Alliance and the Administration for Community Living (ACL).


On View April 2023

Clay on the Wall is an exaltation of the beauty of ceramic art! This exhibit aims to recontextualize how we look at ceramics and appreciate the innate aesthetic qualities of the medium. Pieces on display in this exhibit are on loan from Educational Alliance Art School’s Ceramics Department Faculty.



On View January 2023- February 2023

This exhibit is celebration of the creative force that drives our instructors to create. We asked that our mixed media staff of teaching artists submit artwork that is centered around what they find truly inspiring (a moment, a person, an image, a place, a song, a story, etc.). As a community, our instructors and students have chosen to walk the path of an artist. This exhibit is not only a celebration of the artwork that is produced while walking that path, but also the personal motivation for why we chose to be artists at the outset.


To honor the theme of Older Americans Month – Age My Way – and to celebrate our community members, Educational Alliance invited all of our arts programs across five older adult sites to participate in the first CelebratEArts Festival. This month-long festival will feature art galleries and creative performances highlighting the work of our older adults at the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living @ Manny Cantor Center (MCC), Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, the 14th Street Y, Co-Op Village NORC, and Project ORE.

CelebratEArts is brought to you by Educational Alliance and the Administration for Community Living (ACL).


Whether purchased new or upcycled, found or passed on from generation to generation, made by machine or human hands–objects tell a story. They provide insight into both their maker and their collector, clues to our individual and community identities, and they serve as a marker of time.

 In 2021, what stories can we share about where we find ourselves and where we yearn to be, those we hold close and those we miss dearly, the past we mourn, and the future we envision based on the objects in our possession?

The six themes of this exhibition, composed of images submitted by members of the Manny Cantor Center community, showcase our relationships to the objects that carried us through a year filled with uncertainty.

For some, these items carried a semblance of much-needed normalcy; for others, they invited curiosity and wonder.

Through narratives and works on display, the Life of Objects also celebrates our youngest makers — children of our Early Childhood classrooms — as they unearth their own creativity through their exploration of objects in their environment.

From marker caps to special lovies, from understanding wolves to mapping the city, the young artists take us on a journey of new ways of seeing. We hope we captured a glimpse into their reality, their learning, and their wonderment through this exhibition of storytelling through objects.

View Life of Objects here.


Educational Alliance Art School Exhibition, 2019
Curated by Yulia Topchiy & Paola Gallio, Assembly Room, NYC

ABOUT THIS SHOW Educational Alliance Art School’s Exhibition is a celebration of our creative community. As a community, each of our members has chosen to walk the path of an artist. The theme for this year’s exhibit, “The Road Less Traveled By,” is not only a celebration of the artwork that is produced while walking that path but also the personal motivation for why our artists choose to engage in their creative practices.


ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | Alex Price’s “The City Scene from the Sidewalk” is an ongoing project of watercolor paintings that depict (cut the)glimpses and visual impressions experienced when walking around this complex and diverse city. The locations vary, but they are mostly of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, many from the Seward Park neighborhood. Price strives to capture  (cut the) light, shadow, and atmosphere – the buildings, streets, and people. These paintings serve as a frozen record of our ever-changing urban landscape.

ABOUT THE ARTIST | Alex Price is a graphic designer, illustrator, and painter. He lives (Cut here) in the Seward Park neighborhood, and as an artist is committed to the ongoing project of painting what he sees from the sidewalks of the neighborhood and throughout New York City. He loves the diversity and energy of the city and is grateful that his work can capture the visual impressions of being here, and that he can share them with the community through these paintings.


On View: May 23, 2019 – June 21, 2019

The annual Older Adults Art Exhibit showcases the talents of seniors who participate in Educational Alliance’s Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, Project ORE, and Co-op Village NORC programs. From ceramics and art mosaic tiles to acrylic and watercolor painting, these art classes are open to members – and membership is free to all who are over age 60. Sign up and submission starts May 1st in Weinberg Office (MCC Room 402). Deadline to submit artwork is May 15th.

Older Americans’ Month
Every May, the Administration on Aging leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans’ Month. The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and build community. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities. We will be hosting various workshops for members, as well as presenting our annual Older Adults Art Exhibit in observance this May!


Work by the Children of Manny Cantor Center’s Early Childhood Programs

On View: April 8, 2019 – May 3, 2019


In accordance with the week of the Young Child Celebration, our annual Early Childhood Art Exhibition highlights the delightful and thoughtful work of our Preschool and Head Start students.

Children’s work in this exhibition explores questions of identity and community: Who am I? Who are you? How do we create community? This exhibition highlights the work of children ages 3 months to 5 years who have used a diverse array of materials, tools, and experiences to express their ideas.

YOUNG VOICES THROUGH ART – Home: Inside/Outside L.E.S.

On View: March 11, 2019 – March 29, 2019


The Young Voices through Art annual exhibition provides a platform for members of our Boys and Girls Clubhouses of America after-school program to express their creativity and world view.

Home: Inside/Outside L.E.S., a communal exhibition presented by Educational Alliance’s Community Schools and Youth Development Programs. This exhibition shares what makes our neighborhood great according to the extraordinary young people who know it best.


On View: February 12, 2019 – March 1, 2019


Participants will use a colored pencil or marker, all starting from the same circle, marked “Me”, and make a continuous line through a number of choices, indicated by vertically organized circles, such as age, languages spoken, political leanings, transportation choices, beliefs around faith, etc. This will create a multi-colored stream of lines that will all end up in the same circle, marked “Us”, thus highlighting our community ties.
Connect The Dots is a project by the public art collective, Illegal Art, whose mission is to create participatory-based works of public art that encourage self-reflection, thought and human connection.


On View: December 5, 2018 – January 18, 2019

Words have always had the potential to be catalyst for civil discord. In the current climate, hate speech is increasingly prevalent, tearing apart the fabric of our communities in ever more violent and destructive ways. It passes from generation to generation by written and spoken word, inculcating attitudes of intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination in both children and adults. This exhibit illuminates hate speech, its historically destructive manifestations, and its consequences for humanity. The exhibit also advocates the antidote: educating ourselves and taking responsibility to condemn hate speech in any form. In this respect, the show is both timely and timeless, resonating across ages and cultures.

Nazanin Monroe • Joyce Ellen Weinstein • Yohana Junker • Audrey Anastasi • Erling Hope • Frank Sabatté • Dorit Jordan Dotan • Charlotte Hart • Joel Silverstein • Ali Shrago-Spechler • Chana Wiesenthal Elias • Alan Falk • Ellen Alt • Shoshannah Brombacher • Jennifer Anne Moses • Phillip Schwartz • Elaine Clayman • Leslie Tucker • Vitaly  Umansky • Rachel Kanter • Robin Atlas • Nancy Current • Yona Verwer

Curator:                                                       Assistant Curators:
Rachel Kanter                                              Robin Atlas & Nancy Current


On View: September 4 – November 16, 2018

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | In this body of work, Melo explores identities of place, belonging, and migration in a work that is a hybrid of textile practices from South, Central and North America giving particular relevance to the gesture of stitching as metaphor of feminine labor.

ABOUT THE ARTIST | Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Michelle Melo is an artist living and working in New York City. She holds a BFA in Contemporary Sculpture from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. As a multidisciplinary artist, Melo has addressed the concept of the feminine from an intimate perspective by carefully selecting objects that have meaning in the field of memory to resignify them.


On View: July 11 – August 24

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | Manny Cantor Center is excited to highlight the service of our veteran teaching artist, Barbara Slitkin with her work titled “A House Cat’s Guide to the Galaxy”. This work is an adventurous collection of fantasy paintings, ceramics, and mixed media that playfully personifies earthly and celestial life as guided by a black and white cat. Through clay, collage, paint, and a lively stretch of imagination, Barbara embarks on a meditation celebrating the 21-year life of her now deceased family cat, Shayna, and the cat’s continued presence in the artist’s life as a soul transcending space and time.

ABOUT THE ARTIST | Barbara is currently an instructor for MCC’s Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, and Educational Alliance’s NORC Coop Village, and has been an educator serving Educational Alliance community programs for over 20 years. In addition to working with WCBL and NORC, Barbara has taught with Educational Alliance Art School, the 14th Street Y, and at various other Educational Alliance programs. Barbara Slitkin’s art has been shown worldwide, and in collections both public and private, including the The Museum of Modern Art here in New York City.


On View: May 23 – June 30

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | The annual Older Adults Art Exhibit showcases the talents of seniors who participate in Educational Alliance’s Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, Project ORE, and Co-op Village NORC programs. From ceramics and art mosaic tiles to acrylic and watercolor painting, these art classes are open to members – and membership is free to all who are over age 60.

OLDER AMERICANS’ MONTH | Every May, the Administration on Aging leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans’ Month. The 2018 theme, Engage at Every Age, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a different in our communities.


On View: April 19 – May 14

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | This exhibition features work created by young children in EA early childhood classrooms and Studio A at MCC. Studio A houses the Materials Center, created by Teaching Beyond the Square and developed in partnership with Manny Cantor Center, which is a public community resource that houses a large collection of found materials, gathered and donated by NYC residents and businesses.


On View: February 15, 2018- March 16, 2018

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | This series of paintings are her responses to the bamboo forest of Kyoto and the landscape, sea and architecture of Cadaqués, Spain, which she saw on her recent travels.
ABOUT THE ARTIST | Rifka Milder is from New York City, where she continues to live and work. She got her BFA at California Institute of the Arts. She has had many one person shows both nationally and internationally.


On View: December 11, 2017 – February 9, 2018

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | Sharing the Miracle: Storytelling in our Immigrant City, is the culminating exhibit of portraits and stories by photographer James Maher that illustrate our community members’ immigrant journeys. Within this space, we are celebrating the stories, struggles, successes, and life perspectives of twenty five people whose lives have been touched by immigration. These stories are of the neighbors, staff, volunteers, and family of the Education Alliance and the Manny Cantor Center.

ABOUT THE HAGGADAH PROJECT  | Haggadah: Storytelling in our Immigrant City is Manny Cantor Center’s newest program to celebrate the diversity of our city and our pride in the community of the Lower East Side.  Artist James Maher interviewed 25 immigrants from the Lower East Side, many of whom are members of the Manny Cantor Community. Most of these interviews were done during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot inside a Sukkah decorated by the Early Childhood programs at MCC. Within these safe walls, intimate stories were told and were later celebrated in an event called “A Story Booth Sukkot,”.  This event brought families of all backgrounds and faiths to share the stories of how they or their relatives came to this country.

Using the portraits and oral histories that the photographer created, as well as the comics from New York Magazine’s Golden Door project, we will create a Haggadah, which will tell the stories of New Yorkers’ journeys to freedom. During Passover, this Haggadah will help guide the Manny Cantor Center’s Freedom Seder. During this celebration, participants will share their stories in an effort to deepen our connectedness across our differences and create the rituals that celebrate our freedom.


On View: October 16-November 22, 2017

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | Educational Alliance’s Art School has been home to painting students for more than a century. In our studios, artists discover the joy of painting, develop their own styles, and create
community. This exhibit includes the work of our students, who make our studios their home away from home and whose work encourages us to reflect on the world in new ways. We are grateful to our painting instructors, Jodie Niss and Julia Chen, who guide our students and inspire them.

Artists included: Addy Balajadia • Helene Berson • Mona Biblow • Tian Chan • Marcia Ehrlich •
Beverly Gross • Frank Martinez • Mike McGill • Jason Myers • Kay Newman • Sharlene Ni • Christine Pun Elba Rodriguez • Susan Shilling • Penny Sidi • Elena Weisner • Brenda Bowman

Co-curated by artists Rachel Libeskind and Zamber Diekmann


On View: September 5 to November 11, 2017

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | All people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. The Red Card was created by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center to help people know their rights.  Manny Cantor Center proudly presents an exhibit featuring the Red Cards in a number of languages, in the hopes that those who are unaware of the protections afforded to them will become informed and empowered.

ABOUT THE CURATOR | Rachel Libeskind is a New York- based artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her degree in visual studies and comparative literature from Harvard University and has shown her work in exhibitions in Paris, London, Milan, Rome, Miami and New York among other cities internationally. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, often merging her installation and performance with her studio practice. Her work deals with issues of identity, the transmutations of past histories and the collection and curation of images and found and conjured objects.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 


On view: July 13 to August 25, 2017

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | As the final event of Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc Manhattan series,
Manny Cantor Center is proud to present a display of work by our Lincoln Center Resident Artist, Cozbi Cabrera. Our Community Quilt, on view in the Jewish Communal Fund Gallery (MCC Lobby), is the
culminating artwork of a series of intergenerational community quilting workshops with Cozbi that explored personal history, family and community, answering questions like: where do we come from? Who came before us? The Ernest Rubenstein Gallery (M FL) display includes paintings from Cozbi’s children’s book, Stitchin’ And Pullin’: A Gees Bend Quilt, and a collection of heirloom dolls similar to those made by guests during our spring Lincoln Center events, created as heirlooms for safekeeping for another generation.

ABOUT THE ARTIST | Cozbi Cabrera is a New York City-based artist who walked away from a successful career as an art director at Sony Music to “discover, create and share pockets of grace and beauty.” Trained as an art director, this Parsons School of Design grad left her dream job make handmade collectible cloth dolls (Muñecas) in honor of her Honduran heritage. Her creations have taken on many forms including painting, clothing, illustrating, and writing several books for children as well as doll-making. Her dolls have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Martha Stewart Living, and many US networks.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


On View: May 17 to June 15, 2017

The annual Older Adults Art Exhibit showcases the talents of seniors who participate in Educational Alliance’s Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, Sirovich Center for Balanced Living, Project ORE, and Co-op Village NORC programs.  From ceramics and art mosaic tiles to acrylic and watercolor painting, these art classes are open to members – and membership is free to all who are over age 60.

Older Adults Art Exhibit 2017 is supported, in part, by the generous support of Local Business Partner, Karpoff Affiliates, Lower East Side Real Estate Brokerage featuring signature service Moving On NYC, New York’s only comprehensive single stop for senior move management. Learn more: | 212.358.8044

“We Are All One But Different, Different But the Same”
Week Of The Young Child Exhibit

On View: April 24 to May 7, 2017

Through art, children express thoughts, feelings, ideas, discoveries, and questions.

As you view the work in this exhibit, we invite you to take an extra moment to listen to what children say through their art.  Maybe a child is reflecting on a moment in time, a new friend, a special place. Or maybe he or she expresses delight at how sticky glue really can be.  Or perhaps a group of children investigate how different paint colors look when they are layered.

When children create art, they exercise creativity, observational skills, and imagination; they explore cause and effect, sequencing, translation, volume, direction, and more.  Art offers children limitless opportunities for learning, and adults can support this learning by taking the time to notice and celebrate it. We hope this exhibit offers the opportunity to do just that.


On View: March 31 to April 10, 2017 

The youth we serve through our Boys & Girls Clubhouses of America (BGCA) are a source of inspiration for so many of us here at Educational Alliance. In March, we have the opportunity to celebrate their creativity, talent and boundless potential at the Young Voices Through Art exhibit. The artwork illustrates and explores themes of their future in 2050, created by youth from all nine of our BGCA clubhouses.


On View: January 23 to March 27, 2017

Following a divisive and contentious 2016 election campaign, Educational Alliance is doubling down on efforts to ensure that every person, regardless of their color, language, or creed is treated with respect. This community is a place where people of all are welcome and our celebrated diversity is one of our greatest assets. The goal of Educational Alliance’s “We The People” initiative to promote inclusiveness and denounce hateful rhetoric towards vulnerable members of our community.

The “We The People” mural, created by world-renowned artists Michael McDevitt and Otis Kriegel of Illegal Art, was unveiled at the launch of the”We The People” initiative, on January 23, 2017, at Manny Cantor Center.

The mural features lines from the Declaration of Independence that affirm “all men are created equal” in five languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic. Community members are invited to sign their name on the mural, signifying that they stand with the Lower East Side and East Village in celebrating our diversity.


On View: January 15 to March 17, 2017
In partnership with Lincoln Center’s Boro-Linc, Manny Cantor Center presents a FREE photography exhibition for families from January 15 to March 24. The exhibit,“Orestes Gonzalez: Studio Visit” provides a personal look at artists in their studios through the lens of NYC photographer Orestes Gonzalez, curated by community organizer Carolina Peñafiel.
About the artist: ORESTES GONZALEZ
New York City–based photographer Orestes Gonzalez focuses on portraiture and the urban environment in his work, lending a personal interpretation to the surrounding world. Gonzalez’s series on artists, which he started in 2011, has taken him to studios around the world, including to those in Buenos Aires, Miami, Havana, and Santiago, Chile. Currently, Gonzalez is part of Los Diez, a traveling exhibition of Latin American photography. He is also a contributing editor at Buenos Aires–based Casa FOA and contributing photo editor at LIC Courier Magazine in Queens.

About the curator: CAROLINA PEÑAFIEL
Born in the United States but raised in Chile, Carolina Peñafiel is a community organizer interested in curating and creating cultural projects. Peñafiel has more than 13 years’ experience working with culturally diverse community outreach programs and public relations, and worked extensively with children and adults as an art teacher. Currently, Peñafiel works as the Executive Director and Board Member of Local Project Org, a nonprofit art organization in Long Island City, Queens, and Co-Director of one of the largest art festivals in Queens, the LIC Arts Open Festival.

Major support for Boro-Linc is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.Generous support facilitated by The Honorable City Council members Jimmy Van Bramer and I. Daneek Miller.Lead Corporate Support is provided by Time Warner Inc. Additional Corporate Support is provided by DISNEY.


On view: November 10, 2016 – January 2, 2017
Home Away from Home” explores the collaborative 70-year relationship between renowned American sculptor Chaim Gross (1904-91) and Educational Alliance. Charting the artist’s expansive career, the exhibit explores how the Alliance served as a second home for an immigrant who came from Eastern Europe to America in 1921 to pursue his dream to be a modern artist. Growing from student to teacher, Gross taught sculpture for over 50 years to hundreds of students at Educational Alliance Art School, a symbiotic relationship that gave him a foundation in New York City to cement his own identity as an artist.

The exhibit features wood and bronze sculptures, as well as prints and drawings by Gross. A focused section on self-portraits by Gross helps tell the rich story of Gross’s artistic evolution as an immigrant artist within the Lower East Side community in the early 20th century. A highlight of the exhibit is a selection of historic African sculptures from Gross’s personal art collection that he began to collect in the 1930s.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


On View: August 30 to November 1, 2016
Re-imagining the journeys of found objects from daily life is a central theme ofMichal Nachmany’s art. In Three Balconies and a Door, her new exhibition at Manny Cantor Center, mixed media art pieces are intertwined between three balconies, each representing one of the distinct Lower East Side communities.

Michal Nachmany is an artist and educator based in New York City. Born in Jerusalem in 1958, Nachmany moved to New York in the 1980s. Her work juxtaposes themes of personal and cultural narrative, nostalgia, and repetition using memorabilia, legal contracts, letters, photo albums and other found objects. Her work brings together different elements that open up dialogues between communities of objects, giving them new life and new context. Thus, her exhibitions become a place where the community can come together to connect with art, objects, and each other.

Connect with Michal Nachmany at

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


On View: July 2016

Our talented Educational Alliance Art School teachers usually helps student shine so we are so excited to put the spotlight on them with our Faculty Art Show opening in two weeks.
Our featured lobby exhibition will be Other Worlds: Rarely Seen Works by Jodie Niss. Jodie is one of our beloved painting instructors and we are thrilled to showcase her surreal, imaginative work.
Stay turned to our Faculty Art Exhibition page for new details on the upcoming show.


On View: April 13 – May 4, 2016

Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment at home, at child care, at school and in the community- that will promote their early learning.

From April 13th through May 4th we will display our children’s artwork in the Earnest Rubenstein Gallery in the celebration of the Week of the Young Child and Immigrant Heritage Week. Please stop by!


On View: January 31 to April 1, 2016

Born and raised in Trinidad, Geoffrey Holder revealed his genius in his long career in dance, theater, film, music, and art. As a choreographer, designer, director, and actor, Holder is well represented in all of the research and circulating collections of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. In this exhibition, he is honored for his performing career in dance and theater, his Tony Award–winning work as director and costume designer for The Wiz, and contributions to the repertory of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Presented in association with Lincoln Center Out of Doors as part of Boro-Linc at Manny Cantor Center. Exhibition is on view at Manny Cantor’s Jewish Communal Fund and Ernest Rubenstein Galleries.


ON VIEW: DECEMBER 17, 2015 – JANUARY 21, 2016

Structures, a group art exhibition curated by Keith Schweitzer, explores the built environment of the Lower East Side. By thematically connecting the viewer to the constructed surroundings of this neighborhood, Structures draws attention to the range of elements that create a framework for the common lived experiences of work, play, congregation, and learning. The exhibition will feature paintings, drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations.


Art Kibbutz Exhibition at Manny Cantor Center, New York City


Rooted explores the dual role of art embedded in the environment and in Jewish identity. Presented by Art Kibbutz, and co-sponsored by the Jewish Art Salon and Manny Cantor Center, Rooted highlights the complex and deeply rooted relationships featured artists have to the changing natural environment and to Jewish culture. This group exhibition invites art enthusiasts, environmental activists, and the wider community to experience the artwork in the galleries and contemplate their own roots.



Back to school season brings with it a pop-up exhibition in our lobby, featuring works by local, LES-based artist Feargal Doyle. Doyle’s paintings depict memories of people, places and events through the lens of his own experiential understanding of the world. Manny Cantor Center is thrilled to feature this work, which is in dialogue with the ways we encourage everyone at our center to grow through self expression – from preschoolers and youth, to art students and seniors.


Featured as part of the Annual Older Adults Art Exhibition in celebration of Older Americans Month and LES History Month

ON VIEW: MAY 13 – JUNE 24, 2015

…A laundered synagogue on Madison Street, A first kiss at Seward Park Library, Biking hands free on the East River Path…

Guided by artist and Lower East Sider, Laura Nova, Moving Stories is an interactive walking tour on the Lower East Side that encourages senior citizens to combine physical movement and memory developed through a series of storytelling workshops and group walks.

Created in partnership with the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living at the Manny Cantor Center, this immersive journey unravels stories of people and places and preserving personal identity, community and connection.


ON VIEW: MAY 13 – JUNE 24, 2015

May is Older Americans Month – a tradition dating back to 1963 to honor the legacies and ongoing contributions of older Americans and support them as they enter the next stage in life. Older Adults Month Art Exhibit celebrates work by seniors participating in our Weinberg Center and other Educational Alliance senior center art programs.


ON VIEW: APRIL 13 – MAY 5, 2015

Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing. Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community — that will promote their early learning.


A survey of Lower East Side Artists | Curated by Linda Griggs with Curatorial Advisor, Yona Verwer 


Lore would have it that the storied past of the Lower East Side and East Village art scenes ended with gentrification in the 90’s. But some of those very artists have stayed and continued making art. This show is a survey of current Lower East Side artists — those still engaged in a forever changing and a forever the same neighborhood; of those still making art, all together, different.

All | Together | Different is a project of the Educational Alliance Art School @ Manny Cantor Center 


ON VIEW: DECEMBER 10, 2014 – JANUARY 1, 2015

This exhibition, on view in the Ernest Rubenstein Gallery, features the work of nine celebrated Art School faculty members. Catch a glimpse of these sculptors, painters, ceramists, and cartoonists’ ideas, on art and about their personal philosophies.