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Neighborhood Stories by the Red Hook Reporters

Red Hook Reporters is a community-based reporting project connecting youth to local leaders and institutions, and providing the tools and space needed for teens to tell the stories of their own neighborhood.

Over 5 weekends in June, we collaborated with 12 neighborhood teens on a reporting project. To see the student work, join us at Red Hook Flicks next Tuesday 7/17 at 8PM. A video reel showing the students work will be shown before the feature film.

Red Hook Reporters: Reimagining Warehouses

By Shamiyah Gilmore (16) and Joanne Bresilien (18) For more stories by the Red Hook Reporters, please go here.   What’s your story? SG: Our story is about abandoned warehouses and buildings in Red Hook. JB: How we got started is that we’ve lived in Red Hook all our lives. We’ve always seen the warehouses and no one has ever talked about them, or done anything with them to help the community. SG: I was curious about the buildings because they’re just there to be there. So, we got started because we’re curious What is something surprising you learned? JB: We were surprised that someone actually let us go inside. I learned that the reason that they don’t destroy the buildings and make them into something new is because it’s too much money for them to clean up. Nobody wants to buy a building and then have to clean it up. They just want to buy something that is already clean, and then they can build it into something new. SG: That the abandoned chemical factory was actually a flavor factory. Like, who needs a flavor factory in the middle of Red Hook? We could actually use these buildings for something [...]

Red Hook Reporters: A Place to Get Away

By Lavel McLellan (14) and Jahtier Gettes (16) For more stories by the Red Hook Reporters, please go here.   What’s your story? LM: The story I’m working on is about the library. Most people don’t talk about the library but it’s here for a reason and I want to let people know about it. The library is not only for education, but it helps people’s lives and careers. Some of the people that work here are actually very interested in helping kids not only because it’s their job, but because they really care. I usually take my brothers here once in awhile because I want them to get out of the area that they are usually in. “The ghetto” or a place that it’s always violent. I don’t want them to get into stuff like that. What was something surprising you found?   LM: All the new clubs that they have. Kids are going to start learning about circuits and how to build robots. JW: Based off experience of coming here, people come to relax and chill and get their head out of any problems that they have. It’s just a place to get away if there’s something stressful that’s [...]

Red Hook Reporters: Young at Heart

By Shaiann Gilmore (17), Jocelyn Romero (17), Vaughn Branchel (18) For more stories by the Red Hook Reporters, please go here.   What’s your story? SG: I am reporting a story on the senior center in Red Hook. I never knew that the senior center was destroyed by Sandy and had to relocate afterwards. I also got interested in this story because of my grandma. My grandma is crazy, but I love my grandma. What surprised you? SG: Visiting the senior center was one of the best things ever. It was so fun and also so funny. I got to hear other people’s stories and what it was for them to grow up, not just in Red Hook but all over. It’s always good to hear other people’s stories because you never know where they come from. You have similarities and you can connect to people. It was just fun to watch the elderly people. For them to be elderly, they had a lot of youth in them. Really good energy and good vibes. They were so funny. I just loved it. Also, it really was surprising that elderly people still date. I guess love knocks everything out. They still do [...]

Red Hook Reporters: Cops and Kids

By Sincere Lesane (16) and Jahtier Gettes (16) For more stories by the Red Hook Reporters, please go here. What’s your story? SL: I am working on the cop story, about how they affect our community and their opinion on the community. It’s important to me because after going through a mentorship program with them, I still keep in touch with them on my phone and see them everyday. JW: How the cops affect the community and how people react when they see the cops. What’s something that surprised you? SL: Since I’ve known them for a long time, I wasn’t very surprised. But I was surprised that they were so easygoing when I went into the police department. They even invited me to have some pizza. What’s your next story? SL: I think it’s about a dinosaur. I saw a dinosaur next to the pier and took a picture of that. I want to do a story about where they came from. How was this experience for you guys? JW: It was something different, something to get out of the house. SL: This is a good experience for me to get out of my comfort zone in a dark room [...]

Red Hook Reporters: The Good Fork and The Record Shop

By Denise Hewitt (16) Robert Lopez (16) For more stories by the Red Hook Reporters, please go here. What’s your story? DH: We focused on businesses within Red Hook and their impact on community, whether positive or negative and how they fuse together into something grander that we call Red Hook. We explored the dynamics between the store owners, the employees who work there, their customers, and the community as a whole and what they have done for them. RL: We went to The Good Fork and Bene’s Record Shop. We took in the atmosphere. We interviewed Bene at the Record Shop and Kara at The Good Fork. We wanted to see their perspective on the neighborhood as a whole. What was something surprising you found?   DH: For me, it was at the record shop. There’s this basement space that people can use for band practice. The actual space itself was what I found interesting. Typically, in a cafe in the city or a space in LA, it’s as if whoever builds and runs the space wants it to have a rustic look — a brownstone aesthetic with wooden tables and wooden walls. In the basement, it’s just how it [...]

Red Hook Reporters is seeking teens interested in photography, journalism and leadership

Red Hook Reporters is a community-based reporting project connecting youth to local leaders and institutions, and providing the tools and space needed for teens to tell the stories of their own neighborhood. Students will participate in a photo and journalism workshop, and be assigned to report on neighborhood stories. Their work will be published in local media, and shared during local events. Through this project, we hope to engage our students in community leadership, and to create an ecosystem of local storytelling. Join us every Saturday in June at the Miccio Center! Weʼre currently seeking curious and committed teens, and equipment donations (cameras and audio recorders) For more information, contact [email protected] or 929-229-1076 Community Heroes, Red Hook is made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council.

Join us Thursday 7/20 for a public proposal on Community Heroes, Red Hook

We’re honored and beyond excited to announce that Community Heroes is a finalist for a public art project exploring climate change in Red Hook commissioned by The Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and Council Member Carlos Menchaca. Through a participatory process, nine fantastic projects have been shortlisted. Next Thursday (7/20), we’ll present at the community meeting where the final project will be selected. Anyone with an interest in Red Hook is invited to participate, so we hope you’ll join us! Our Proposal  For this project, we will highlight environmental heroes of Red Hook. An environmental hero is a person or an organization advocating for a greener and more resilient Red Hook. Their portrait will be accompanied by an environmental call to action that the hero embodies (such as educating neighbors on protecting their homes from sea level rise or reusing materials). We will also conduct youth workshops that connect science and photography. Kids will learn about the environmental heroes and work with their portraits to create cyanotypes and pinhole photographs. The work produced will be incorporated into the exhibition. This project is a collaboration between artist Jasmin Chang, community organizer Zac Martin, resident artists Alexis Lambrou and Kristin Eno and environmental advocate Janna Starr. Read more [...]

Special thanks to Katherine March Driscoll, Jessica Bal, Jessica Yu, Miccio Community Center, Brooklyn Slate, Red Hook Public Library, Karen Blondell, Lorie Novak, The Record Shop, The Good Fork, Red Hook Flicks, The Red Hook Farm, and Rocky Sullivan’s.

The program was made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council.

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