This Earth Day community project has been CANCELLED. Statement from PS20 to follow with more information on this decision. Thank you for your support of our effort to unite and beautify our Lower East Side community. ❤️
UPDATE: 1/30/24 Please pardon our dust! We’re experiencing some growing pains as we best adapt to the size, steps, and scale of this incredible community project.
The Free Store Project's mission has always been to restore both hope and neighborhoods. Building a network of community kiosks across our beloved city has been an easy feat for project leader and fearless FSP founder, Myles. Since forming FSP during the 2020 pandemic- she aimed to repurpose urban decay into a mechanism for community growth and restoration. True to form, she saw a problem as glaring as the darkened walkway surrounding PS20, and she approached them with a plan.
Over the next few months, we'll be working with Ms. Darby and her students to transform the darkened stretch of scaffolding outside PS20. Enriching for the community as a whole, students will use recycled materials to create their own flower. When joined together, they’ll form bright, vibrant floral clusters that'll transform their experience entering school and passing under the scaffolding along Essex Street below Houston.
During the past five years, various NYC institutions held design competitions in search of creative solutions to the pervasive scaffolding that engulfs our city. To no one's surprise, award-winning ideas were only implemented in well-resourced neighborhoods, leaving underserved areas neglected. We know this will make a significant imprint on the students as well as the neighborhood.
They'll make their mark on their community- all while learning about climate change! Starting with a large archway at the Essex Street entrance, we hope to use up all our materials, eventually expanding into other areas along the underpass. Impactful and inspiring, we hope this project will implore others to follow suit- leading by example to take action diminish the dreary, oppressive feeling of scaffolding structures.
This is a new endeavor for us, and we want to make a big visual impact. It’s incredibly exciting- yet it’s hard to estimate what the exact cost will be. There are things we have, things we need, and still things we want - to help we’ve compiled a list of things your donations will support. Please bear with us! We’re still learning about the scope of what is needed as we forge ahead.
Here’s an overview of what we’ll use funds for:
- Transportation- shutting supplies from Materials for the Arts or FSP Brooklyn Studio out to PS20
- Pizza Parties or Coffee/Donuts for weary Volunteers - during Bottle Drive, Sorting/Cutting Team, Install Team, etc
- Labor - Time/compensation for skilled workers
- Chicken Wire - 50ft Spool (Essex Entrance is 13’x9’x9’)
- Zipties, spools of jewelry wire, assorted binding agents for (Adult use only) installation team
- Wire cutters (large and small), Tin snips (Adult use only)
- Garden gloves, nitrile hypoallergenic gloves (multiple sizes) for bottle sorting/crafts, etc.
- Hand sanitizer (if needed)
- Paint, brushes, bedazzle gems, etc
- Scissors (if needed)
- Performance by Hila the Earth (if permissible)!!
- Plastic/Silk FLOWERS & Foliage filler
- Polyurethane sealant (Adult use only)
- Oops Fund - for last minute trips to the hardware store.
We can't wait to get to work, and every cent helps us to make a positive impact on both the students and the Lower East Side as a whole. As a 501c3, all donations to this campaign are tax-deductible.
From bottle collection to the install, help is needed at almost every stage of this project. We’d love a helping hand to collect, sort, and prep bottles/materials, and even more hands for the April install! It really takes a village, and we can’t wait to work with you! To volunteer, please click here.
Please note: Bottle Collection begins the week of Valentine’s Day (February 12th-17th) and we aim to finish archway install before Earth Day (April 19th) to coincide with scheduled events/syllabus.
Thanks in advance for your contribution, in whatever form, this really means a lot to us.