Image courtesy of ChrisGoldNY/Flickr
Three summers ago, we were deep in the planning stages for the launch of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, both thrilled and a bit terrified to be stepping into new territory as the first and only charitable foundation for Brooklyn.
But we were fueled by a strong belief in our mission—to connect Brooklyn’s burgeoning prosperity and brand power with a new philanthropic ethos that builds a stronger, better Brooklyn for all.
Media coverage of Brooklyn increasingly focused on luxury condo development, new boutique hotels, and artisanal cheese and pickles. The bigger story—that Brooklyn is home to more poor people than Detroit; that 40% of its students drop out of high school; that it has more people on Food Stamps than any other borough; and a quarter of its seniors live in poverty—remained largely unexamined.
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But we were not content to live out this "Tale of Two Brooklyns."
We all live in the one Brooklyn: known for its colorful characters and get-it-done attitude, which also welcomes people from all over to live out their dreams here, whether you’re an artist from Idaho or an entrepreneur from Ecuador.
It’s a spirit that links all 2.5 million of us, from Brownsville to Brooklyn Heights.
Our borough is a hotbed of talent and new ideas, which when applied to our greatest challenges, can breed substantial progress. We know that change for Brooklyn comes not from the top down, but from within, led by individuals who know their neighbors and love their community.
Over these three years, we’ve invited you to join us in making change happen here.
Your generosity has boosted the work of people dedicated to seeing this difference. Like Ian Marvy and Jill Eisenhard who have spent 10-plus years improving their Red Hook neighborhood and the lives of young people growing up there. Through their work at Added Value Community Farm and the Red Hook Initiative, respectively, they’ve been a force for good, bringing about unmistakable change.
The Brooklyn Community Foundation is proud to be a part of their success stories, told in this newsletter, and to be the spark that lights the blaze of change.
You can see it for yourself this summer in Red Hook. And you can see the effective work driven by nonprofit leaders taking hold in Sunset Park, Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Cypress Hills, Flatbush, and other communities across the borough.
We’re rising up, Brooklyn, to take on our challenges. But we need more believers in our cause, to bolster our fight. Brooklyn is changing. Let’s make it a change we can all be proud of.
Marilyn Gelber, President
Brooklyn Community Foundation
"Special Needs Kids Get A Room of Their Own at Brooklyn Children's Museum"
DNAinfo.com writes about our grants in support of new programs and spaces for children with special needs, particularly kids on the autism spectrum. Read the article here!
First Saturday: Caribbean Rhythms
Head to the Brooklyn Museum tomorrow for Haitian music, Afro-Caribbean dance, film, and much more, presented in partnership with our Arts for All grantees the Haiti Cultural Exchange and Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy. Details here.
Our Arts for All grantee Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) presents two exciting upcoming events. First, tonight they kick-off the start of the Kids Flix Bed-Stuy Film Festival in Fulton Park at 7pm, continuing each Friday throughout August. See the full schedule here. Then, tomorrow they help take over Fulton Street between Lafayette and Carlton for the Soul of Brooklyn Block Party, featuring live music, DJs, fashion shows, dance and theatrical performances, kids activities, a West Indian Labor Day Parade masquerade preview, and informational tables for over 20 dynamic arts organizations. Details.
The second in our series with Citizens Committee for NYC, this September and October residents of Brownsville, community groups, associations, and start-up nonprofits will have the opportunity to learn valuable organizing, fundraising, and outreach techniques to make their community stronger. See the flyer here for full details. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Arif Ullah, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-822-9580.