Hester Street (HST) facilitated and produced Making Gowanus: a 10-week, intergenerational arts forum in the context of a Gowanus rezoning for increased density. We convened a Steering Committee comprised of public housing residents, artists, representatives from neighborhood organizations, arts groups, tenant associations and the offices of NYC Council Members Stephen Levin and Brad Lander to implement arts and cultural planning recommendations laid out by Bridging Gowanus, CreateNYC and Creative Transformations.
Over 10 weeks the Steering Committee produced original artwork, engaged in skill-building and leadership training. The process culminated in an exhibition and social justice performance held at BRIC, directed by Gowanus NYCHA Houses artist Imani Gayle Gillison and featuring a team of highly talented residents and artists. Making Gowanus presented a model for collaboration between creative NYCHA communities, neighborhood organizations and major arts institutions. It reopened and programmed the NYCHA Gowanus Houses Community Center for 4 months, then resulted in public commitment to renovate and permanently reopen this critical community asset.