Meet Najva Sol, the GO Neighborhood Coordinator for Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. Najva is another one who knocked our socks off during her interview. She’s got more than a strong understanding of her neighborhood and she’s a multidisciplinary artist, performer, and experience curator; check out her collective, the Lowbrow Society for the Arts. While Najva is all over the interwebs thing, she’s a firm believer that working on the ground is where it’s at and that was something that impressed us. In her own words…
I’ve lived in the area for 3 months, but I have been staying with friends here for over a year- I was working in DC but I’d stay for a week of every month!
You’ll find me hanging out at Imhotep Health Foods, obsessing over the curried pumpkin. Or picking up stacks of books at the Brower Park Library. If it’s sunny, I’ll be sneaking a swim at the (highly under-rated) Kosciusko Pool!
I’ll never move from the neighborhood because the Central Brooklyn CSA, a library branch, a community garden, and a park are all within a block from me. Not to mention a bunch of creative energy and the people here say hello when they see me!
Meet Victoria Cho, the GO Neighborhood Coordinator for Crown Heights. Victoria is a writer and she founded Crown Writes, a writing workshop in the neighborhood. She also leads creative writing workshops at a settlement home for the New York Writers’ Coalition. Victoria’s passion for GO really struck us her interview - her cover letter alone was pretty amazing. She walked in the door with an incredibly clear understanding of the project and how to translate it in her neighborhood, including some of the best ideas we heard for community outreach. In her own words…
I lived in Crown Heights for 3 years.
You’ll find me hanging out at LaunchPad, Veggies, Breukelen, Franklin Park, Crown Inn or just walking up and down the street!
I’ll never move from here because Crown Heights is amazingly diverse. Businesses and activists are making sincere efforts to make the area safer, improve communication and solicit discussion about neighborhood concerns and strengthen the presence of arts.
Meet Steffani Jemison, our project coordinator for GO. We received more than 300 hundred applications for the GO project coordinator and neighborhood coordinator positions, and if you’ve ever been through the hiring process, you know that sometimes you find an applicant that just jumps out at you. For us, Steffani was that person. Steffani has the perfect combination of what we were looking for in a candidate. She’s an incredibly smart and talented artist with a strong commitment to community, but also an experienced arts administrator up to the challenge of coordinating such a large and complex project as GO (73 square miles to cover with 22 neighborhood coordinators; over 500 registered artists as of today; massive community outreach; and then, of course, there’s the internal workings of a large museum). She’s already handling it all with great initiative and enthusiasm. She lives in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and will soon be moving her studio to Bushwick, and we’re thrilled to have her on board! In her words…
I’ve lived in Prospect Lefferts Gardens for one year.
You’ll find me hanging out at Prospect Park.
I’ll never move from PLG because of the diverse community, tree-lined streets, and proximity to Prospect Park.
Meet Bridget Priolo, our neighborhood coordinator in DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights and the Navy Yard. You may know Bridget already because she’s one of the people at Rabbit Movers, artists with moving trucks. She leads the RABBIT ART ATTACKS! program with her creative partner and speaks for a love about working with artists and the DUMBO community that cannot be matched. In her own words…
I’ve been working with RABBIT since 2010.
You’ll find me hanging out at my Bushwick rooftop on a clear night or down the Rabbit Hole in DUMBO.
I’ll never move from Bushwick because my muse rides the M train.
Every project like this one needs a good floater and that was the advice I got from the team running the Guggenheim’s Stillspotting project. For GO, we’ve got a great one in Sophie Buonomo. Sophie is a masters candidate at Pratt and she’s been working with Sharon in our Exhibitions Department. We are excited to bring her on board for GO and she’ll be helping us fill gaps where they are needed. It’s impossible to hire a coordinator for all of the 67 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, so finding someone versatile enough to handle many areas is key. In her own words…
I’ve lived in Clinton Hill for a little less than a year - before moving to Brooklyn I was in college in Boston.
You’ll find me hanging out at art openings, concerts, museums, barbeques and beer gardens in Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg.
I’ll never move from my area because Clinton Hill is gorgeous - love those brownstones!
Leslie Ward is, well, basically, your average rock star. She’s another one of the neighborhood coordinators that came into her interview and knocked our socks off and she’s representing Prospect Lefferts Gardens for GO. Leslie has been working over the years with PLG Arts, but what really impressed us was her enthusiasm for the project and stategies for how she would reach out in her neighborhood. She literally came in with a list that she had researched, including artists that had shown at the Brooklyn Museum who lived in PLG, and started running down all these avenues for outreach that just blew us away. In her own words…
I’ve lived in PLG for 12 years.
You’ll find me hanging out at Lincoln Park Tavern, Sweet Basil & Prospect Park with my dog, Mali.
I’ll never move from PLG because the location is perfect….so close to the park, botanical gardens and museum. Plus only 10 minutes by train into the city….love that.
Renee McGarry joins us as the Neighborhood Coordinator for the areas of Kensington, Ditmas Park and Flatbush - including Midwood, where we are seeing a number of artist registrations pop up. Renee comes from a background rooted in community activism and grassroots organizing. She’s an art historian, an organizer and a long-time Brooklynite. In her own words…
I’ve lived in Kensington for 4 years.
You’ll find me hanging out at Sycamore. Always Sycamore.
I’ll never move from Kensington because I love hearing this many languages spoken in a city block.
Last night we had our final meeting with the neighborhood coordinators before the open studio weekend and this was a final chance for us to come together as a group to talk about logistics for the upcoming weekend. Museum staff working on GO were also invited because we were celebrating amongst the big agenda.
Baked in Red Hook helped make this meeting something incredibly special by donating an amazing cake. Beer was lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery, who’s also sponsoring the GO map, which you’ll find in all of the neighborhood information spots.
We are incredibly proud of and indebted to the local businesses who’ve supported us in GO. They’ve helped us get word out, will be running info points during open studio weekend and have allowed us to host a series of incredibly successful meetups in their establishments. They’ve been vital in helping us ensure that GO stays local throughout this very large borough.
Baked will be operating as one of our neighborhood info points during the open studio weekend and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to have this amazing cake to share as we covered a very big agenda. We hear they’ll be making special GO cupcakes for the open studio weekend.