I began the first of 43 visits to an after-school intergenerational art program in Lower East Harlem, New York, with the expectation of a straight-forward research project, one which would perhaps ratify my growing conviction that young people and older adults together would provide a natural learning environment for art. My first personal encounter with the Lower East Harlem community began when I crossed 96th Street, an informal boundary separating its decaying tenements and public housing projects from the newer, more prosperous neighborhood to the south. I soon realized that there was no need for a line on the map indicating the division between Manhattan and Harlem. And referring to a travel guide of New York City, I noticed that it listed no restaurants, hotels, or shopping highlights above 96th Street. Subway tracks emerged above ground and loomed over Central Harlem's neighborhoods. The only new building in the vicinity north of 96th Street was the impressive Muslim Mosque.


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