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Brooklyn Students Paint the Pavement

In what is being called the first ever of its kind in New York City, Livable Streets Education teamed up with Community Roots Charter School and PS 67 and got a helping hand from New York Cares and The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership to paint a magnificent street mural on St. Edwards Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The project, which was designed by art students, was done with the blessing of NYC Department of Transportation under their new Urban Art Program initiative. These short term, art projects on city assets under their purview are now referred to as "Arterventions" by the DOT.

As you'll see the students, teachers, volunteers and neighborhood residents all pitched in to bring the street to life, courtesy of tweleve vibrant colors. And as the event was wrapping, trucks from a Million Trees NYC appeared and started planting trees on the block. How's that for good karma?


[music]

All: [00:02] Paint some streets.


Speaker: [00:04] It’s very good to do your community good.


[music]

Kim Wiley-Schwartz: [00:20] We’ve partnered with Community Roots Charter School at PS 67 to paint the actual pavement here in New York City.


[music]

Kim Wiley-Schwartz: [00:32] It’s been an amazing day. We’re here between a school and a set of public apartments and everybody’s come out today to paint with us and to beautify the street, but even more importantly, make it more scaleable for kids. I mean it just hasn’t been safe here for the kids to cross from the apartments to the school and we think this might raise awareness for that.


Leslie Elvin: [00:52] We were approached by Livable Streets to paint the street with them and when they approached us I didn’t even know what they were talking about because I’ve never imagined painting on the street. We were already working on a public art project with our second graders so it meshed perfectly. We’d been going round the city seeing public art. The kids learned that public art is around us, we don’t necessarily have to go to a museum to see art, it’s in our world, in the public spaces.


Ellie Balk: [01:17] Leslie had them do like kaleidoscope drawings which I thought were really cool. And I did the map cos I like maps and that’s what I do. So we came out this morning and we sketched the whole thing out in chalk and we used rope and tied it around and made big circles and then we took chalk and taped it onto a big ruler and made the path.


Linda Blacken: [01:37] I’ve got about 35 people here today. One of the things New York Cares does one of the main subject areas is working with children so this is like a double bonus being able to work in the community as well as working with children.


Speaker: [01:48] You guys having fun?


Speaker: [01:49] Yes. Yes, we are. Kind of messy it is.


Speaker: [01:54] I really enjoyed myself with my daughter. Community Roots is really doing it again. It’s a beautiful day for them to come out and get their hands all messy and paint everywhere, put their little smocks on and just come together as a community is really a good thing, you know, I’ve really enjoyed myself with the kids.


Speaker: [02:12] It’s like part of history. This is the first time, you know, that they’re allowing us to do this so who doesn’t want to be part of it?


Speaker: [02:20] Actually it’s fun. You get to make all types of shapes and finger paint.


Speaker: [02:23] Do you think everybody should be able to paint their street?


Speaker: [02:26] Yes, everyone should. It’d make it look nicer for a change.


[music]

Wendy Feuer: [02:44] This is exactly what we mean by community building and reaching out, and then you are left with a beautiful product. This is one of our first projects, it’s very exciting for us especially with Livable Streets Education and working with communities, whether it’s professional or it’s like we worked with on Montague Street with the cosies, or with schools and young people.


Speaker: [03:05] The kids are happy, the volunteers are happy, the families are happy and this has just been an amazing experience.


Kim Wiley-Schwartz: [03:11] We just think this project has been such a great community building event. We would love to see this happen in other places around New York City, especially where school zones need to be marked more effectively and so the kids can be safer on their way to school.

[music]

http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Lois Saldana

    Fantastic video! This is amazing. Just one question: how long does the paint last?

  • http://www.livablestreets.com/people/KimWS Kim Wiley-Schwartz

    This was designed as a temporary installation. We used outdoor Benjamin Moore latex pains and it will last only a few months. In Portland, neighborhoods will paint a new design every year in the same spot. I'd love it if this community would consider the same thing. (Our friends at Paint the Pavement have let us know that you can use traffic paint if you want it to last longer!)

  • Plittfin

    I love this idea it can be done many towns.  Thank you for making art so fun for all. Petie