LOWER EAST SIDE — Friends of a pioneering Lower East Side performance artist are raising money for her medical costs after she recently fell down a flight of stairs in her home.
Arleen Schloss, 70, is recovering at Bellevue Hospital after breaking her collarbone and suffering a head injury in a fall at her Broome Street apartment building Jan. 16, friends said.
Now, a campaign is underway to raise $25,000 to help Schloss — whose 30-year avant-garde career spanned everything from poetry to film — pay for the care she will need when she leaves the hospital.
"People really love her and want to help her, and she deserves it," said Stuart Ginsberg, 47, a professor of communications at Montclair University who met Schloss in 2002. "She deserves to be recognized for what she has done in the art world and for people."
Ginsberg is finishing a documentary on Schloss called "Wednesdays at A's" celebrating her Broome Street loft known as "A's," where she hosted performance art events.
After Schloss fell last month, she was discovered by a postal worker who called 911, Ginsberg said. She was then rushed to Bellevue, where she underwent emergency brain surgery, he said.
"It was a hard head injury," he said. "She is still in the hospital and she may not return home for another few months."
Schloss is able to talk but has not yet been able to walk, Ginsberg said. She will hopefully begin rehabilitation next week, he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly $5,000 had been raised to support Schloss. Medicaid is paying most of her medical bills but likely will not cover all of the care she will need in the future, Ginsberg said.
Before the accident, Schloss, who has multiple sclerosis, was already receiving medical assistance in her home, and now she will likely need additional help, Ginsberg said.
Emma Zakarevicius, 35, a friend who described Schloss as a mentor, has been visiting the hospital daily.
"She has really been instrumental in developing my confidence in my art practice — visual arts and singing career," said Zakarevicius. "She has always been pushing me to believe."