After a year of meeting and listening to local residents and practitioners, Dept of Small Interventions is pursuing arts-based and history-inspired development projects in Newburgh, NY. The goal is to contribute to the revitalization efforts by promoting the city's assets while building its capacity, collaborations, tourism and inclusiveness.
Photo Credit: Found Postcard
The Newburgh Free Library, serving about 60,000 people is sited in one of the lowest income census districts New York State. The City of Newburgh was until recently the “Detroit of the Hudson Valley” an appellation perhaps unwarranted but was out there. However, over the past three years the City of Newburgh has undergone a renaissance as New Yorkers have discovered the abundant historic architecture, lots of un- or underutilized industrial buildings, access to the Hudson Valley recreational areas and more.
This has positioned the Library in a unique role to respond to this neighborhood change and bring the community closer together while also addressing other longstanding issues. The library seeks:
o To reconnect with the people in our service area that have left the city and are reluctant to return.
o To serve a population that needs access to education and reading opportunities.
o To convey to the (new and existing) residents the new resources that a library has and can provide.
In collaboration with Pratt Institute's Design Corp, we seek to address the service challenges of the library through communication design and audience development and engagement workshop(s). The will ultimately inform a larger goal of a spatial redesign project for the Library's interiors.
Photo Credit: Barak Pliskin of PANYC
Building shells, weathered by years of neglect and water damage, have become hazardous, an eye sore, a safety concern, a municipal burden, and depress property values. With each year that building shells stay on the market, the hope for contributing to the tax base diminishes. And with each passing year, the damage makes the rehabilitation more unlikely. In a city like Newburgh that has close to 10% of its building stock vacant, how does a city disrupt this downward spiral cycle?
Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has replaced the State's top-down, "one-size fits all" approach to economic development with one that is regionally-based, bottom-up, and performance-driven. As a result, there may more reliance on private investments to rebuild distressed properties/ thwart zombie homes. (NYS has c. 20 Land Banks. Read the 2017 report.) What other strategies has the State taken or could take to further advance the repurposing of these vacant buildings? Meanwhile, The City of Newburgh Vacant Property Revitalization Program, last updated in 2014, outlines different strategies to identify and repurpose vacancies. Since then, what has been the general progress and outcomes? What issues still persists or new constraints that stall redevelopment? What has been the role of ordinary citizens and neighborhood associations in furthering this program?
Photo: Stephen Zacks
More coming soon.
Located in the green East End District, The Fullerton Mansion Center for Culture and History revives the William S Fullerton mansion’s grandeur by hosting cultural programs, promoting historical discourse, and offering its facilities for public events in Newburgh.
In joining the Board for The Fullerton Center, Naomi seeks to open the historic venue to more outside organizations and individuals interested in hosting a public or private event in the impeccably restored Victorian mansion. With a generous sliding scale fee, The Fullerton Center offers four distinct indoor spaces: the library, the music room, the dining room, and the sun room, and the large lawn for outdoor events for your event.
To be considered, submit this questionnaire at https://goo.gl/forms/P3SNhdws5bTOXIVf1
Photo Credit: Michael Green
In identifying a missing committee in the American Planning Association NY Metro Chapter's structure, the Arts & Culture Committee was founded to amplify the value of arts and culture in the planning field to achieve economic, social, environmental, and quality of life goals. The committee's main work has been to organize events and network opportunities but also provide education, strategy, and guidance for incorporating arts and culture into policy and development initiatives in the New York area.
Events organized include: Annual conferences such as CreateNYC featuring DCA Commissioner Finkelpearl and Chicago's Cultural Chief Julie Burros and Implementing Digital Technologies in the Public Realm featuring Civic Hall Labs, Civic Design Data Lab at MIT, Participatory Budgeting Project and NAVA PBC
Tete-a-Tete series focused on planner and artists working together. Examples are Freshkills Park, Project for Public Spaces, LES BID's 100 Gates; NYC DOT Mural projects.
Field Trips and Walking tours like Los Sures Walking Tour & Film Screening and Constellation at Bannerman Island.