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GO is a
community-curated open studio project.

Showing posts tagged sunsetpark
Jun 06
Meet Eleanor Whitney, the GO Neighborhood Coordinator for Sunset Park.  Eleanor is a writer, musician and a Program Officer at the New York Foundation for the Arts where she supports artists’ fundraising. She loves to cook and bike and lives in Sunset Park with her cat. She’s also a former Brooklyn Museum educator! In her own words…
I’ve lived in Sunset Park for ten years.
You’ll most often find me hanging out at the Tacos El Bronco truck on 37th and 5th ave in the evening or on my fire escape, looking out on the park that gives the neighborhood its name.
I’ll never move from Sunset Park because I love the diversity, the architecture, and the vibrant, yet low-key vibe. And it is full of great, cheap food. 

Meet Eleanor Whitney, the GO Neighborhood Coordinator for Sunset Park.  Eleanor is a writer, musician and a Program Officer at the New York Foundation for the Arts where she supports artists’ fundraising. She loves to cook and bike and lives in Sunset Park with her cat. She’s also a former Brooklyn Museum educator! In her own words…

I’ve lived in Sunset Park for ten years.

You’ll most often find me hanging out at the Tacos El Bronco truck on 37th and 5th ave in the evening or on my fire escape, looking out on the park that gives the neighborhood its name.

I’ll never move from Sunset Park because I love the diversity, the architecture, and the vibrant, yet low-key vibe. And it is full of great, cheap food. 

Jun 15

Nonprofit Arts in Sunset Park: NARS Foundation

One of the reasons I am so excited about participating in GO as the neighborhood coordinator for Sunset Park is that it gives me an opportunity to get to know my neighborhood of ten years event better, especially focused on art! There’s been a few articles here and there over the past few years about artists moving their studios to Sunset Park’s industrial waterfront, but it’s great to get a chance to actually go see the artists and arts organizations in those buildings.

Earlier this week I met with the staff at the NARS Foundation, which stands for New York Art Residency & Studio Foundation. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists and curators on a local and international level. In their own words,

"NARS provides an array of creative support services and professional development opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists through short-term integrated residency programs, affordable long-term studio spaces, progressive exhibition programs, international exchanges, and engaging public programs that foster global understanding and dynamic cross-cultural dialogues. These services operate in conjunction with our community outreach initiatives to promote greater accessibility to contemporary art for the under-served local community in south Brooklyn. Our mission is to present diverse platforms on which to nurture creative inspiration and innovative cross-pollination of ideas."

NARS began in 2006 and began their public and educational programming last year. They currently have 70 studios in their building in Sunset Park and more in another building in Cobble Hill. Program Director Eun Young Choi, pictured above, who is an educator, curator and artist herself, gave me a tour of their Sunset Park building, located on the 3rd floor of 88 35th street.

It’s a fantastic industrial space full of art and includes a gallery and a “parlor room” for displaying art and public programming. She even pointed out the backyard where they hold barbeques and has a great view of the harbor, which she dreams of turning into a community garden. I’m so excited to know more about this neighborhood resource and plan to check out their programming all year long!

Above: The view on 35th street outside the NARS Foundation

Aug 17

Sunset Park Artist and Voter Meetup

The weekend’s just beginning, but I’m already looking forward to Monday because I will be hosting a meetup in Sunset Park!

If you’d like to learn more about GO and Sunset Park and meet some of the artists and voters in the neighborhood, please join me for a meetup on Monday, August 20th at the Sunset Perk Café, at 428 39th street between 6:30 and 8 pm.  I’ll be in the upstairs seating area and would love to see you there!

Aug 24

Discovering Sunset Park Community

The Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, where Chashama has artist studios

One of the reasons I’m so excited to be involved in GO as the neighborhood coordinator for Sunset Park is the chance to get to know my neighborhood better. I’ve been living in Sunset Park for over ten years and one of the things I like best about it is just how chill it can be. It’s a nice respite from the crunch of the city, but the downside of that is that many people tend to keep to themselves or within their own communities. While Sunset Park is a very diverse neighborhood, each group there can seem somewhat insular.

I will admit that at the beginning of artist registration I underestimated how many artists are working in Sunset Park. Over 160 artists with studios in Sunset Park signed up to participate in GO, which was a pleasant surprise! I had the pleasure to meet some of them at our Sunset Park GO artist and voter meet up on Monday night and everyone was excited to see a more tangible example of artists community in the neighborhood.

Many of the artists in Sunset Park have studios as part of the Chashama program at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (pictured above). As they explain on their website, Chashama’s mission is to support creativity in New York City by repurposing vacant properties; recycling them as artist work and show spaces, granting them at free or highly-subsidized rates, and invigorating the surrounding community with an influx of innovative programs, culture, creativity and commerce.    

Artists also have studios in the New York Art Residency and Studios Foundation program (NARS), which I profiled on the GO blog, and the Bush Terminal building, as well as other industrial and residential spaces scattered around the neighborhood.

Together the artists in GO are excited about what we can do to promote Sunset Park as an art destination. We have big plans for a Tumblr, more meet ups and a neighborhood blog, so more on that soon.

Additionally, I think that GO will be an opportunity to bring organizations focused on community organizing, development and education together with the neighborhood’s artists and arts organizations and let Sunset Park really showcase its diversity and dynamism.

Sunset Park has long had visible, active community organizations such as UPROSE and Neighbors Helping Neighbors. There are also several newer orgazations joinging the mix and some of them, including Rice and Dreams, La Union, Raza Youth Collective and Cetiliztli Nauhcampa held a join fundraising party last Saturday (if you went you may have noticed the GO flyers!). GO is a great reason to connect artists working in Sunset Park with these community focused organizations like these and let everyone know they can get out, see art, meet artists and perhaps even collaborate on projects in the future.

Aug 31

Sunset Park Artists Tumblr

One of my favorite things about participating in GO as the Sunset Park neighborhood coordinator is the opportunity to help facilitate community building between artists in my neighborhood. I’m really excited because at our meet up the other week artists with studios in the neighborhood were already talking about what they could do after GO to keep the connection between artists strong and raise the profile of Sunset Park as an art neighborhood. The artists decided a small step towards this goal was to start a collective Tumblr to share their new work and works in progress and showcase the diversity of artists working in Sunset Park.  We even have a tagline “Sunset Park: Artist Community on the Rise.”