Insights to Impact

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What Happens When Neighborhood Residents Are Put In Charge Of Local Grantmaking?

Today we are proud to announce $100,000 in grants to five nonprofits that are expanding or advocating for inclusive public spaces in Crown Heights. The grants were directed by residents of Crown Heights through our Neighborhood Strength model.

Organizations receiving funding are Repair the World NYC, Haiti Cultural Exchange, 596 Acres, Bethany United Methodist Church, and New York Communities for Change

Our new interactive website gives an in-depth view into the entire process, from public visioning sessions last fall to behind-the-scenes conversations with our Crown Heights Advisory Council. 

Launch the Neighborhood Strength site 


Broad Approach, Narrow Focus

For this year’s Neighborhood Strength process, we aimed to engage more resident voices, while focusing on one issue for long-term investment determined by residents.

Last fall, over 130 neighborhood stakeholders came together in three visioning sessions to answer the question: 

 

Next, our 17-member Crown Heights Advisory Council reviewed top concerns and solutions that emerged, and selected one key issue area for investment: the creation or enhancement of inclusive public spaces that deepen community engagement, strengthen cross-cultural relationships, and provide more opportunities for residents to continue addressing shared challenges together.

The Crown Heights Advisory Council selected these five public space projects for funding through an open RFP: 

  • 596 Acres: $20,000 to support stewardship, preservation, and transformation of two neighborhood lots into community gardens.
     
  • Bethany United Methodist Church: $20,000 to support services, workshops, and cultural programming that engage residents around issues in the community.
     
  • Haiti Cultural Exchange: $10,000 to support local Haitian artists who will facilitate arts activities and programming in Westbrook Memorial Garden to bring community concerns to light.
     
  • New York Communities for Change: $30,000 to support the inclusion of community voices to inform the development plan of the city-owned Bedford-Union Armory.
     
  • Repair the World NYC: $20,000 to support increased accessibility, programming, and community partnerships that bring new and long-term residents together to meet community needs at a storefront space on Nostrand Avenue.

Learn more about our Neighborhood Strength model and these exciting projects at neighborhoods.brooklyncommunityfoundation.org 

 

Liane Stegmaier

Vice President of Communications and Strategy
For this year’s Neighborhood Strength process, we aimed to engage more resident voices, while focusing on one issue for long-term investment determined by residents.