How We Spent Our Summer
Moviegoers at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Image courtesy of Dan Nguyen/Flickr.
With the start of the first day of school comes the sad realization that another fantastic summer in Brooklyn has come to a close. We’re saying goodbye (for now) to afternoons at the Red Hook Pool, movie nights under the Brooklyn Bridge, Celebrate Brooklyn shows in Prospect Park, and the non-stop action on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
And as we look forward to all the exciting things to come in the next few months, we’re taking time to catch you up on what we’ve been up to since June here at the Brooklyn Community Foundation. It’s been a busy time; we’ve gotten to check in on some terrific programs at nonprofits throughout our borough, we published a newsletter telling the story of our work in Red Hook, and of course, we announced our 2012 competitive grants—made possible by our generous donors like you.
Below, you’ll find a short summary to bring you up-to-date. And in the spirit of sharing, we’re asking you:
What was your favorite Brooklyn moment of Summer 2012?
Did you volunteer? Did you discover a new favorite place? Did you spend time with your neighbors? We want to hear what made your summer here so special.
Tell us on our wall at Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn, tweet us at @DoGoodBklyn, or simply hit “Reply” and email us your answer and any photos you’d like to share. Next week, we’ll feature your responses along with those of Brooklyn’s nonprofits!
And now, our summer in brief:
- Brooklyn Gets Greener!
To kick-off summer in Brooklyn, we distributed essential micro-grants to 31 community gardens across the borough, to strengthen their gardening and community engagement efforts. We also checked in on our Brooklyn Greens initiative partners, who are working together to build a roadmap for community-based sustainability and environmental improvement in Brooklyn.
- Making 140 New Ideas for Brooklyn Possible
In early July, we announced the recipients of our annual competitive grantmaking. The donor-supported investment totaled $2,299,600, and backed the most effective programs delivering essential, innovative services to our neighbors in need, provided by organizations with deep, local roots throughout Brooklyn’s distinct neighborhoods. We also put a priority on helping Brooklyn’s nonprofit community meet growing demand, by offering capacity-building support and challenge grants, to encourage them to raise more funds within their communities.
“We’re linking people who love Brooklyn and want to invest in its improvement with the organizations and institutions that are performing this essential work, often out of public view and without substantial resources. They may not all be household names, but they best understand our diverse communities and are getting real results.”
- Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber
- Our Red Hook Summer
Our first-ever summer newsletter shares our Red Hook story, and the partnerships we’ve formed with outstanding local leaders to spark change within the struggling neighborhood and create a new vision shared by residents of what Red Hook can be.
- Making the Most of Summer Vacation
Over a series of weekly updates, we told you about the summertime activities of a few of our Education & Youth Achievement Fund grantees: Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Stoked Mentoring, Groundswell, and the Brooklyn Girls Collaborative. The inspiring young Brooklynites involved with these organizations showed us how important our support for youth enrichment is, and how our borough’s nonprofits are taking the lead in creating innovative ways to empowerment students toward realizing their fullest potential.
- A Tale of Two Brooklyns
And finally, inspired by a graphic in our Summer 2012 newsletter, the Daily News dug into the growing economic disparities across Brooklyn—a dearth of pricey artisanal goods contrasted by nearly 30% of residents relying on food stamps; surging real estate values compared with sky-high foreclosure rates—and the need for Brooklynites to come together to address our challenges. It’s the same sentiment that informs our work, and drives our mission. Read the story here.
Brooklyn is home to more artists than anywhere else in the United States, making it the creative capital of the art world. GO: a community-curated open studio project is a borough-wide initiative designed to foster personal exchange between Brooklyn-based artists, their communities, and the Brooklyn Museum. This Saturday and Sunday, from 11 am to 7 pm, artists across Brooklyn will open their studio doors, so that you can decide who will be featured in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Details at gobrooklynart.org.
Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, Mark Morris Dance Center in Fort Greene will open its doors to the public for free dance and music classes for kids and adults, as well as free performances! Details here.
The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project has partnered with Architecture for Humanity NY to develop the Park Avenue Pedestrian Safety Plan, a set of proposals to improve pedestrian safety and calm vehicular traffic on Brooklyn’s Park Avenue between Navy and Steuben Streets, creating a safer neighborhood corridor for residents and visitors. Read the report and sign the petition for a safer Park Avenue in Brooklyn here.