The Lo-Down Culture Cast

The Lo-Down Culture Cast

Conversations with culture changers in downtown New York City. Hosted by Arts & Culture Editor Traven Rice.


February 18, 2024 22 mins

Kicking off our next series of interviews with culture changers in downtown New York is our conversation with gallery Founder and Director Hannah Traore. 

Hannah Traore Gallery, located at 150 Orchard Street, opened just over two years ago. It is a space "committed to advocating for and celebrating artists who have been  historically marginalized from the mainstream narrative. Whether underrepresented, overlooked, or  exploited, HT...

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Host Traven Rice speaks with Niki Russ Federman for episode 11 of The Lo-Down Culture Cast. She's the 4th generation co-owner of the esteemed appetizing shop, Russ & Daughters.

Known for the best bagels, lox, herring, caviar babka and other traditional baked goods and smoked fish in New York City, the landmark shop has been in the same location at 179 East Houston Street since 1914.

Russ & Daughters was the first small bus...

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November 19, 2023 21 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with tattoo artist and historian Michelle Myles. Michelle started tattooing on the Lower East Side in the early 1990's, before it was legal. She opened Daredevil Tattoo in 1997 with her business partner, Brad Fink. Michelle was one of the first female tattoo artists around.

Brad has always been a collector. They ended up with so many interesting historical tattoo artifacts on hand, they created The Daredevi...

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November 12, 2023 27 mins

This week we spoke to Orchard Street Runners Founder, Joe DiNoto. 

DiNoto created a weekly running group that has blossomed into an organization that is known globally for its creative, high intensity, late night (threshold pace) races that take place on the live streets of NYC.

A born and raised New Yorker, Joe DiNoto founded Orchard Street Runners after a successful yet unfulfilling career in architecture. Growing up, Joe spent h...

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October 15, 2023 29 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with Whitney Browne, an experimental and commercial photographer whose work explores themes of movement and gesture as reflections of mental states.

Best known for her involvement in the dance community, she currently works in New York City and Los Angeles.

She has spent the last decade developing her own experimental movement photography methods, working to build a visual language between photography and p...

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October 9, 2023 24 mins

MM Serra joins host Traven Rice to talk about her career as an avant garde and experimental filmmaker. Serra has been based on the Lower East Side for over three decades. She is also an author, curator, and professor at Parsons at the New School. For 32 years, she was the Executive Director of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, the world’s oldest and largest archive of independent film.

Serra has created over 34 films, and her first fiv...

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October 1, 2023 21 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with the folks from Nonhuman Teachers, a new non-profit that takes a creative approach to ecological storytelling. 

Executive Director Christian Cummings, Events Coordinator Joey Valley and Board Director Sandeep Rangi spoke with host Traven Rice about the newly formed project that aims to help deepen the relationship between humans and the natural world.

The non-profit sprang out of their creative stud...

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September 26, 2023 25 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with Yin Kong, Director and Co-founder of Think!Chinatown. Yin is a community-based designer and curator living and working in Manhattan's Chinatown. Think!Chinatown is the culmination of her work in urban design, museum, culinary & cultural instruction, and community engagement. 

Think!Chinatown is an intergenerational non-profit based in Manhattan’s Chinatown, working at the intersection of storytellin...

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September 16, 2023 36 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with Alex Knowlton, Director of Joe's Pub at The Public.

Joe’s Pub is an eclectic downtown cabaret space that was named for Public Theater founder Joseph Papp. Since it opened in 1998, Joe’s Pub has been supporting an array of artists at different stages of their careers, offering an intimate space to perform and develop new work.

They present a wide variety of live music, comedy and performance nightly. ...

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September 9, 2023 22 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with photographer Destiny Mata for the latest episode of The Lo-Down Culture Cast.

Mata is a rising star who grew up in the neighborhood. She is a Mexican American photographer and filmmaker who focuses on issues of subculture and community.

After studying photojournalism at LaGuardia Community College and San Antonio College, she spent 2 years as Director of Photography Programs at the Lower East Side Girl...

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September 3, 2023 28 mins

Host Traven Rice speaks with artist and documentarian Clayton Patterson. Patterson has been living and working on the Lower East Side since 1979.

He's known for his portraits of the wide array of people representing the street culture of the LES in front of his front door on Essex Street as well as his rebellious designs for what became known as the "Clayton Cap," which he created with his long-time partner, Elsa.

Clayton is a stre...

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August 27, 2023 23 mins

Host Traven Rice kicks off The Lo-Down Culture Cast with a conversation with gallery owner Natalie Kates. She's the founder of Style Curator, Inc. and co-founder of Kates-Ferri Projects.

An early supporter of urban art, Natalie has established herself as a leader in discovering and promoting emerging artists.  She has curated numerous exhibitions and site-specific art installations, developed close relations with artists, galleries...

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