Sign language interpretation

About the event

CHARAS and the El Bohio Community Center: Reclaiming Public Space on the Lower East Side

Grab your lunch and join Centro Library and Archives as we kick off their Library Lunch Hour on October 12, 2021! Susan Klein, the Centro Library and Archives Project Archivist, will be taking us through historical records of community organizing in the Lower East Side in Manhattan. We will also be discussing the importance of how the community reclaimed itself by coming together and making a statement.

Free and open to all, but please click here to REGISTER for this event.

The Real Great Society was founded in 1965 by former youth gang members and changed its name to CHARAS in 1971. This is an acronym for its founders Chino, Humberto, Angelo, Roy, Anthony, and Sal. CHARAS was devoted to the empowerment of disenfranchised people by organizing cultural events and providing low-cost studio space for artists and exhibitions. It started the housing development ideology called sweat equity which catapulted the artistic and economic revitalization of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Centro Library and Archives house these documents including awards, banners, clippings, correspondence, financial records, flyers, minutes, photographs, programs, reports, and slides from its time.

*This event will be closed captioned and interpreted in PRSL, with live Spanish and English translation available. Please reach outto [email protected] for accommodation requests, questions or concerns.


Susan M. Kline is the Project Archivist at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives at CUNY Hunter College. She organizes and describes archival collections to preserve and provide access to historical records and foster learning. She has a Masters of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Cincinnati.

Aníbal Arocho
is the Library Manager at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archive at CUNY Hunter College. He manages library reference services and a growing collection of over 18,000 items. He holds a Masters of Science in Library and Information Science from the Pratt Institute.Connect with him on Twitter: @arocho


Have a specific collection you’d like to see? Want to know more about what we have in store on CHARAS and other historical organizations? We want to hear from you! Fill out this form & tell us what themes you'd like the Library & Archives department to explore in our upcoming Lunch Hours!