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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, will experiment with ways for developers and artists to engage in planning their community together to inform strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and equitable economic development. The Design Trust Fellows will work with the community to develop and communicate a vision for the waterfront, as well as actionable design, planning, and policy recommendations to share with key public officials and private stakeholders.

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In 2014, we conducted an open Request for Proposals called The Energetic City to give life to the city by connecting people through innovative 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 neighborhoods.

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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 this time of transformation.

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

Through a community-led collaboration, the Design Trust for Public Space and its Fellows examine how art and cultural activities can enrich the public- and privately-controlled open space of Staten Island’s North Shore. We will test design and programming recommendations through public art pilots. The Design Trust and Staten Island Arts released the Future Culture Initial Recommendations on March 28, 2017, and announced two public art pilots 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 pilots will advance Future Culture’s recommendations to promote exploration of the Staten Island North Shore, and re-imagine and activate underused public spaces.

Quarterly newsletters apprise the St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton communities and policy makers with the findings and elicit their input. All of these efforts will result in a plan that will inform long-term strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and equitable economic development, ensuring the social, ethnic, and economic diversity of the community for years to come.

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: 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

Recent Output

Recent Activity

The Latest News

Programs in Conjunction with the Future Culture Exhibition

September 22, 2017

Exhibits, Tours & Conversations

Future Culture Exhibition Opening

Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

The Latest Press

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