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North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition Inaugural Meeting


On Wednesday, local Brooklyn artists met at Brooklyn Brewery to drink free beer and discuss possibilities for public art in North Williamsburg. The area under consideration, City Council Member David Yassky’s District 33, stretches from McGolrick Park in Greenpoint to Grand Army Plaza, with all sorts of fences, sidewalks, medians, and road barriers in between.

The Open Space Alliance (OSA), a group advocating for both new and existing parks, has partnered with CM Yassky and various city organizations all aimed at beautifying public spaces and showcasing emerging local artists. “Art in the Parks,” a branch of the New York City Department for Parks and Recreation, has been supporting public art in all 5 boroughs for over 40 years. They look for site-specific work that integrates with the natural landscape and does not interfere with existing park functions or require unreasonable maintenance. The Percent for Art Program, initiated by Mayor Koch in 1982, requires that 1% of all new city-funded construction projects be put aside for permanent public artwork. Commissioned art can be in any medium, but the work must be integrated into the infrastructure. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Urban Art Program is more focused on temporary public art, and projects that integrate community outreach and art education. Artists must find an organization to collaborate with, and locations are limited to DOT owned sites. Other opportunities include a large mural on India Street, offered up by Palin Enterprises, and the Crest Hardware Art Show.

Wednesday night’s meeting, the first of the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition, proves there are unlimited possibilities for public art in District 33. According to CM Yassky, NBPAC will be responsible for “scouting out ideal locations for public art, actively seeking out partnerships and funding for public art in the area, and keeping its members apprised of all public art opportunities.”

If you missed the meeting and want to get in on the action, you can contact Rami Metal in Yassky’s office at rmetal [at] or you can contact the organizations directly: OSA, Percent for Art Program, Urban Art Program.