Help save 5C Cultural Center & Cafe

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5cSadly, it's an all-too-familiar story: Another cherished downtown cultural hub is in danger of disappearing. Tomorrow, Bruce Morris and Trudy Silver, co-owners of 5C Cultural Center & Cafe (68 Ave C at E 5th St; 212-477-5993, 5ccc.org), will fight in court for the continuation of their Alphabet City space, which started throwing events 15 years ago. In a neighborhood that's always changing, it's helped foster a sense of sense of community by hosting performances that appeal to all ages (everything from puppet shows to Russian poetry readings to live jazz), and offering admirable services like alternative cooking classes to raise obesity awareness and legal advice to educate low-income residents who are facing eviction.

Now 5C faces eviction itself. Morris says he "certainly wasn't expecting" the notice they received in mid-August, despite occasional tensions with their landlord. "The basic claim is that we violated the terms of the lease," explains Morris, noting that he feels "the landlord's thought is, How can we harass them enough to get them out?" Based on the landlord's claims—that they changed the facade, altered a window and didn't soundproof the space, all of which Morris denies—Morris is optimistic that they will emerge victorious after their hearing tomorrow at 10am.

But he realizes that 5C needs the support of the community it's served for so long, now more than ever. If you're interested in helping out, Morris encourages people to stop by the center, enjoy a jazz performance, sign their petition and make a donation to their legal fund. "We're not exactly making money here," he reasons, "but we want to keep doing what we've been doing."

Check out the space's schedule of events and do your part to help save another fine spot from biting the dust.

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