Ex Voto NYC is a series of off site programs designed to activate votive sites in each of the five boroughs. A celebration of New York’s rich history and culture, this series kicks off with a walking tour of Sacred Spaces of the Lower East East Side led by Terri Cook on October 7.


Immigrant groups invariably made their way to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to find housing with relatives or friends when they first arrived in America. They also found a land where they could freely work and worship, and in thanksgiving for this freedom, they built sacred havens as their votive offerings of gratitude. Churches, synagogues, temples and public gardens anchored neighborhood and were utilized for sacred rituals as well as for cultural and social celebrations.

During this tour, participants will explore St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery where Peter Stuyvesant is buried, hear the German history in the Church of The Most Holy Redeemer, walk into Tompkins Square Park to visit the venerable Hare Krishna Elm Tree under which the spiritual movement from India was started in 1966 and more.


Terri Cook, graduate of New York University and native New Yorker, is author of Sacred Havens: A Guide to Manhattan’s Spiritual Places and Sacred Havens of Brooklyn: Spiritual Places & Peaceful Grounds. She is a marketing consultant, writer and licensed tour guide.


Additional Events in this Series

October 13
Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catholic Life in New York

November 2-4
Border Crossings: This and Other Worlds
BGC X Greenwood Cemetery

December 7
Objects of Care & Resistance from the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

We are also pleased to extend complimentary need-based community tickets by request to all ticketed events. To learn more, please emailpublic.programs@bgc.bard.edu.


Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.