Manhattan-based photographers James and Karla Murray have been documenting independent stores and their owners in New York City for more than 20 years. Their work has resulted in three books and several photo exhibitions. They shared their commitment to this work with participants in a two-part workshop that has culminated in the show Capturing the Faces & Voices of Manhattan’s Neighborhood Storefronts, on view through October 1 at the Little Underground Gallery in the Jefferson Market Library on Sixth Avenue.
In the workshop, held this past spring in partnership with the Neighborhood Preservation Center, the Murrays taught participants how photography and oral history can be tools to raise public awareness of local businesses, build community, and encourage advocacy. Participants learned how to capture images and record the corresponding stories through interviews with shop proprietors. In this second year of the workshop, the Murrays expanded their geographic range to cover all of Manhattan, from Harlem south to Chinatown. In 2017, the workshop focused on Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood.
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