By: Victoria Vele, Social Media and Water Research Intern
As June presses on, the Living City Brooklyn Gowanus team is working tirelessly on the Community Innovation Workshop. This workshop will be taking place June 22nd and 23rd at the Gowanus Studio Space. As an introduction to the neighborhood, Living City Brooklyn Gowanus will be facilitating a two-day event – exploring topics that the community finds important to address. In the weeks approaching our first workshop, we have been juggling a wide variety of tasks ranging from the mundane to the sublime; finding catering and housing for the out-of-town LCB staff, designing invites etc. as well as refining our workshop themes, dialoguing with amazing speakers and broadcasting our messages to community about the workshop. This is an exciting and busy time for us as the workshop comes together.
Finding a venue was a top priority this week and we could not be happier with the Gowanus Studio Space. With its bleached white walls, natural lighting and a productive artsy vibe, the space provides a clean slate where the community can come in, participate in discussions and presentations, and envision what the Gowanus can aspire to become. The participation of community members is imperative! We need local insights to define and begin the work to transform Gowanus into one of Brooklyn’s most livable, sustainable, and vibrant neighborhoods.
Every morning this week I have updated our community contact sheet. I’m amazed at all the people here! Although some may find it a tedious activity the names, and businesses and backgrounds culled from my research tell their own stories and illustrate the evolution of the local landscape. I quite enjoy getting to know the neighborhood, its quirks and the industrial, commercial, and residential spaces around the Gowanus Canal. Like the space we’re conducting the workshop in, Gowanus is full of industrial studio space as well as preserved brownstones that line the side streets. It is really a unique location that has preserved the small-scale buildings and shops along Court Street even though just miles from the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan.
As Ben contacts caterers, Katie works on fundraising, Vanessa works on the agenda, David starts canvassing the streets with our workshop postcards, and Llew helps us pull everything together, we are all eagerly preparing for the first ever Living City Brooklyn Gowanus Community Innovation Workshop.
We hope to see you there!