Lucky 13 Groups Earn Civic Council Grants

Members of the Park Slope Civic Council are known for donating their time and energy to initiatives and events that build the quality of life in our neighborhood. One such event, the Annual House Tour, attracts people from all over the metropolitan area looking for an in-depth Brownstone Brooklyn experience. Proceeds from the House Tour aren’t used to do the work of the Civic Council, however — our members and outstanding volunteers do those efforts primarily gratis. Instead, funds from the tour go out to other nonprofit organizations, working to make our neighborhood a livable, progressive, and inclusive place.

The Civic Council’s annual grants program helps a wide range of local groups. This year, we are pleased to provide grant support to 13 nonprofits (up from eight last year), for a total of $7,962.

This year’s Community Builder Grant — the largest such award in the program — goes to P.S. 295: The Studio School for Arts and Culture, for the Farmer’s Market at P.S. 295. Civic Council funding of $1,920 will help launch a new farmer’s market at the school. The market will increase residents’ access to fresh farm produce, teach kids about entrepreneurship and small-business skills, provide entrepreneurial opportunities for other members of the Park Slope community, build community among the P.S. 295 school family, and provide fresh food for the school cafeteria. Produce sold at the farmer’s market will come from the school garden and from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Food that remains unsold at the end of each market will be used in daily lunches.

The annual Community Builder grant helps a new project of special merit that could not be started without the Civic Council’s aid.

The Civic Council also awarded 12 regular grants, each for $500 except where noted.

BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, for Celebrate Brooklyn: Honoraria for Storytellers at the Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert
The Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert has become an annual tradition and the centerpiece of Celebrate Brooklyn’s family programming. Funding will be used toward honoraria to the celebrity storytellers who read Keats’ works before the concert begins.

Brooklyn Alliance of Neighborhood Gardens Land Trust (BANG), for BANG Start-Up, TPL title transfer
Funds will go to creating and incorporating a land trust of five gardens, four in Park Slope. The mission: to forever conserve, create, and empower community-managed green space through education, advocacy, and grassroots organizing (titles to be conveyed from the Trust for Public Land in 2012). A unique management system gives the gardens greater control over the properties, and will keep the gardens open for more than 20 hours per week year-round.

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, for Local Product in the Gardens
The Conservatory will sponsor an afternoon and evening event, “Local Product in the Gardens,” featuring performance, dance, and music in the public gardens of Park Slope. Participants will include Spoke the Hub Dancing, students and artists from the Conservatory’s various programs, and local and professional artists and musical groups. The event will showcase the Slope’s gardens and encourage residents to be aware of the cultural and literal nourishment available to them.

Center for Anti-Violence Education, for Violence Prevention Workshops for Teenage Girls
The center will provide a free violence prevention workshop for girls ages 13-19. The workshop will focus on verbal and physical violence prevention and self-defense strategies that can be used in a wide range of situations. The program is being offered to participants from community partners including Good Shepherd Services, and is open to all young women from Park Slope. It will introduce the teens to the programs offered by the Center.

Chocolate Chip Chamber Music, for Content for New Activity Sheets and CDs
Chocolate Chip Chamber Music introduces young children to live ensemble music in a playful context that enables them to learn best. As part of this program, CCCM stages a series of interactive miniconcerts with special Education Day preview performances for local school groups given the day before the concert. This grant will fund content development for new activity sheets to be distributed to approximately 1,000 children who attend these concerts, as well as CDs of the music performed for their teachers.

The Create Collective, Inc., for “Skirts and Open Letter” (working title)
The Civic Council’s grant will help fund a free arts workshop, performance, and public art installation designed to invite Park Slope residents to reflect and creatively respond to the recent number of sexual attacks in the area. The funding of this grant is contingent upon Create Collective securing space and scheduling the event.

Park Slope Christian Help, Inc. (CHIPS), for the CHIPS Rebuilding Project
Civic Council funding will help CHIPS rebound from the fire that devastated their facility on Sept. 23, 2011. Funding will be used to get both the residence and soup kitchen back in operation.

Park Slope Elders and Friends Arts Festival, for Heights and Hills
Funding will be provided for four Sunday afternoon events for older Brooklynites. The events are aimed at engaging the elder community with a cultural and social event, including refreshment and socialization following each arts organization program.

Park Slope United Methodist Church, for Rainwater Harvesting
Park Slope United Methodist Church will receive funding to help install rainwater recapture cisterns around its building on Sixth Avenue at Eighth Street. The diverted rainwater will be used as an alternative to city water for its lovely church garden, and will reduce the church’s impact on the city sewer system. The cisterns will also help mitigate water damage to the below grade rooms.

P.S. 10 PTA, for Cafeteria Recycling Stations ($542)
Civic Council funding will enable the purchase of materials for construction of two recycling stations in the P.S. 10 cafeteria. The stations, to be built by parent volunteers, will have customized openings to help students properly dispose of compostable fruit cores and vegetables, recyclable milk cartons, and nonrecyclable trash, and will have a placement area for the cafeteria’s compostable sugarcane-fiber trays.

P.S. 39 Parents Association, for the Spring Carnival
This grant will help underwrite the sound system and materials for games at the P.S. 39 Spring Carnival, a free event open to the public. Net proceeds from the carnival, raised primarily through an art auction, will fund in-school arts programs and educational partnerships with Mark Morris, the New York Philharmonic, Dance Connection, and others.

P.S. 321 PTA Garden Committee, for Garden and Tree Bed Spring Planting
Funding will help offset costs of maintaining and upgrading “Plantville,” the P.S. 321 school garden. Garden volunteers plan on building a cold frame, thereby expanding the planting season of the garden. Funding will also go toward the purchase of new hoses to improve the irrigation system, which will help to replant both the garden in the spring and the Seventh Avenue tree beds in the fall, and toward making the spring and fall Harvest Festivals more environmentally friendly.

Grant applications for 2012-13 will be available in the fall. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to receive word when those applications are available.

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