St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, Host of Annual Day of the Dead Celebration, Competing for Partners in Preservation Prize

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Historic church will win restoration funds based on public support.

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery is one of 40 New York landmarks chosen from more than 500 competitors to compete for a portion of $3 million in grant money marked for historic preservation projects through Partners in Preservation. To publicize its participation in the competition, St. Mark’s launched a new social media campaign.

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery has a long history of supporting Latino and immigrant communities. Each year Mano a Mano holds its annual Day of the Dead the celebration at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, which includes a traditional procession through the streets of the village and altar blessing.

The church also has a long-standing relations with Rural & Migrant Ministry, a nonprofit devoted to helping rural and migrant communities throughout New York. Jeannine Otis, St. Mark’s accomplished music director, is also the music director for Rural & Migrant Ministry.

This year St. Mark’s hosts the Inti Raymi Andean Sun Festival, presented by AbyaYale Arte y Cultura. This ceremony originated in South American indigenous cultures more than 1,000 years ago and the event serves as a community-building effort between Andean, Latino arts and culture groups.

St. Mark’s is the oldest site of continuous worship in New York. A long line of notable architects have contributed to the church’s design, including James Renwick, Jr., the famed architect of the “Castle” in the Smithsonian Institute and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. If successful in the contest, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery plans to use the grant funds to restore the circa 1858 cast iron portico that serves as the church’s entry way. The cast iron in the portico is attributed to James Bogardus, noted early proponent and innovator of cast iron construction.

Online voters anywhere in the world cast votes each day for three weeks from April 26 through May 21, by visiting Partners in Preservation or The top three vote winners automatically receive grant funds, plus an additional number of finalists will receive some funds.

To encourage supporters to vote in the contest, St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery launched a 25-day social media campaign that will highlight its unique contributions to the community and involvement in the arts. St. Mark’s Facebook page can be found at

St. Mark's Church in the Bowery is located in New York City’s East Village, at the intersection of 10th Street and Second Avenue. The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three-and-a-half-centuries and is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan. St. Mark’s has a long history of supporting the arts and social justice, dating back to the 1920s. Today the church is a progressive Episcopal congregation and continues to serve as a center for modern dance, experimental theater and poetry and as a community gathering place for the Lower East Side.

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Erin White
Camino Public Relations
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