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Photo: Iwan Baan

Staten Island’s waterfront, home to hundreds of artists and arts organizations in the Naturally Occurring Cultural District of St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton, hosts multiple development projects currently underway. This diverse downtown community faces difficult challenges in planning for cohesive, quality public space.

The Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with Staten Island Arts, is creating a cultural plan to enhance equitable neighborhood development and will test design and programming strategies through public art pilots slated for Summer 2018. We collaborate with the local community, including artists, cultural producers, civic activists, and small business owners, on a vision for the waterfront. We will share the resulting design, planning, and policy recommendations with key public officials and private stakeholders. Staten Island's cultural organizations, civic groups, landowners, developers, businesses, and public agencies will use this plan to strengthen the cultural community, activate the North Shore, and interconnect its neighborhoods and the waterfront to the rest of Staten Island and New York City.

background

In 2014, we conducted an open Request for Proposals called The Energetic City to give life to the city by connecting people through design informed by the needs and aspirations of community users. An independent jury selected a proposal by Staten Island Arts to partner with the Design Trust in creating a replicable model of inclusive development using public art to link the cultural assets of Staten Island's North Shore neighborhoods. 

process

We examine how art and cultural activities can enrich the public- and privately-controlled open space of Staten Island’s North Shore. This effort will culminate in a final plan that will include tested strategies for equitable neighborhood development, ensuring the social, ethnic, and economic diversity of the community for years to come.

In February 2016, the Design Trust, in partnership with the Alice Austen House and Staten Island Arts, held a jury to select a Photo Urbanism Fellow to document North Shore's cultural community.

In August 2016, we announced an additional team of Fellows with expertise in participatory art, urban design, policy, and graphic design. Together we conducted brainstorming and feedback sessions with the local community, elected officials and developers to create a plan for connecting and activating public space along Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront.

In December 2016, we started publishing the Future Culture Newspaper in English, Spanish, Bengali, Sinhala, Tamil, and Urdu, to apprise the St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton communities and policy makers with our activities and elicit their input. 

The Design Trust and Staten Island Arts released the Future Culture Initial Recommendations for design and programming on March 28, 2017, and announced two public art pilots, Sonic Gates and Court Yard Fridays, to test those recommendations on July 13, 2017.

For Sonic Gates, a team led by Staten Island-based composer, touring performer and media artist Volker Goetze will construct a series of sound sculptures at various sites along the waterfront, on Bay Street, and in Tappen Park, from St. George to Stapleton.

For Court Yard Fridays, Kevin Washington, a Staten Island native, retired NYC Firefighter, and community organizer; Homer Jackson, Director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project; and graphic designer Lynn Washington will host a series of weekend concerts in the courtyard between Borough Hall and the old Supreme Court building featuring world-class performers with connections to Staten Island alongside local arts groups.

These public art pilots, planned for Summer 2018, will advance Future Culture’s recommendations to promote exploration of the Staten Island North Shore, and re-imagine and activate underused public spaces. We will soon announce the details of this summer program.

Staten Island's North Shore is the last gold coast, as all of the big articles have been calling it. It makes you feel like they’re bringing all the cool people to Staten Island. Which I think is the challenge we’re looking at, because the cool people are already there! So how do you involve them in the development of their neighborhood? By inviting artists to the table, we’re helping to envision that process.

Key Milestones

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Conduct Request for Proposals

July 2014

An independent jury selected a proposal by Staten Island Arts to partner with the Design Trust in creating a replicable model of inclusive development using public art to link the cultural assets of Staten Island neighborhoods.

Photo: William Michael Fredericks

Finalize scope

May 2016

We will test design and programming recommendations through public art pilots. A culminating plan will inform long-term strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and equitable economic development.

Photo: Jourdan Sayers/Joseph Huennekens

Assemble team

August 2016

We assembled an interdisciplinary team of Fellows comprising expertise in participatory art, photojournalism, urban design, policy, and graphic design.

Photo: Gareth Smit

Form a community working group

November 2016

The Design Trust Fellows and a diverse group of Staten Islanders brainstormed ideas to connect public spaces through an intensive six-week workshop.  

Photo: Ozgur Gungor

Disseminate information

December 2016

We started publishing the Future Culture Newspaper in English, Spanish, Bengali, Sinhala, Tamil, and Urdu.

Develop design and policy strategies

March 2017

We released a set of initial recommendations for long-term strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability and equitable economic development.

Photo: Liz Ligon

Share strategies

September 2017

Our exhibition at Staten Island Arts surveyed six interdisciplinary public art proposals to promote exploration of the North Shore and connect public spaces.

Photo: Sam Lahoz

Highlight the local assets

September 2017

Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellow Gareth Smit's work documenting the changes and community responses to the developments on the North Shore culminated in an exhibition at Alice Austen House.

Photo: Gareth Smit for Design Trust for Public Space

Pilot strategies

April 2018

We will launch two public art pilots to advance Future Culture’s recommendations to promote exploration of the North Shore and activate underused public spaces.

Photo: Sam Samore

Recent Output

Recent Activity

The Latest News

Free Outdoor Concert Series on Staten Island’s North Shore in June

June 5, 2018

Exhibits, Tours & Conversations

Future Culture: Exploring Staten Island's North Shore

Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

The Latest Press

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