Arts in Parts Needs Your Help To Secure A New Home

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Since 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when many youth across the peninsula and Broad Channel were displaced not just from their homes, but also schools, a dedicated coterie of artists, educators and environmentalists banded together to found, Arts in Parts, a multi-faceted arts program offering children a safe haven, where they could continue to learn and grow through arts and hands-on experience with Rockaway’s unique bay and ocean natural habitats. However since last year, this treasured program is now homeless, and needs the community’s help to secure a new home. And here’s how you can help — donate to their online Kickstarter campaign, Arts in Parts' Rockaway Campus-in-a-Container.

In late 2017, Arts in Parts lost its longtime home base on Beach 96th Street, where according to Arts in Parts co-founder, Diwa Pamrong, hundreds of local youth passed through their various no-cost programs, including weekend summer workshops and day summer camps both conducted in July and August, and after school programs in the fall.

Pamrong said, “After months of uncertainty and hunting for an appropriate space, where our students can utilize Rockaway’s rich waterfront habitat to supplement their science, environmental and arts education, Marina59 in Arverne, has generously offered us a site for long-term use, right on Jamaica Bay. We aim to install a shipping container to serve as the home base for our ongoing programs. Marina59 is ideal because many artists operate in that area, and our students will get to work closely with them, while also having closer access to living habitats on the bay. If we reach our fundraising goal of $5,000 by Monday, August 13, we will be able to achieve that and more by continuing what we have been doing with local youth since Sandy — enriching their education through art in Rockaway’s natural waterfront canvas.”

Diwa, who just before Sandy, graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA) degree from Parsons School of Design in Brooklyn, joined the droves of volunteers who came to help with relief efforts.

“I just came out here to help, but after meeting so many parents and families, I felt that the children needed a creative outlet, while continuing their education. A group of us started simply by offering free art classes at a warehouse on Beach 97th Street, then we got a more permanent space on Beach 96th Street. The amount of local children that came in and out of the program was so amazing and humbling. We don’t charge for any of our programs, however to fund the basic necessities for the program, we just do grassroots fundraising and occasionally secure some grants. However, now that we lost our home, we unitedly decided it was urgent to launch this Kickstarter campaign.

“Rockaway has a lot to offer for youth just with its unique bay and ocean front habitats, which most NYC students don’t have access to. We see how the children love and appreciate Rockaway’s wildlife and beauty, and Arts in Parts is determined to be an outlet for them to learn and develop with both the bay and the beach,” Diwa said.

Once they secure their new permanent venue at Marine59, Arts In Parts plans to conduct their first program with digital art nonprofit, Rhizome, for a summer day camp inspired by the organization’s Seven on Seven program for art and technology collaborations. The summer camp, called “SEA LEVEL,” will focus on art, technology, and the environment through a series of artist-led workshops and projects. Also they will debut a Welding at Arts in Parts program, where each day will be led by a guest artist, who will create unique new artworks with the participants. Several camp days will also be held at Edgemere Farm, a nearby half-acre urban farm that serves the community as a place for teaching and learning about growing plants, bees, and chickens.

The funding from this Kickstarter will go to the purchase, delivery, and installation of items needed for the new Marina59 campus, including a shipping container, tent, and tables. Any additional funds raised will go to additional fit-out and to enriching the Arts in Parts program.

As of press time, Arts in Parts’ Kickstarter online campaign has raised $2,677 of its $5,000 goal. Note that this fundraiser is all or nothing, so if the goal is not met by Monday, August 13 by 3 p.m., the program will receive nil.

If the campaign fails, Arts in Parts will run the summer day camp as planned with a more lightweight tent setup. If it is on track for successful funding, their fiscal sponsor, Rhizome, will order the container prior to the campaign’s end date so that it can be on site for the August 13 launch of their SEA LEVEL program.

To donate to Arts in Parts' Rockaway Campus-in-a-Container Kickstarter campaign, visit: kickstarter.com/projects/artsinparts/arts-in-parts-campus-in-a-container/description. Also, join Arts in Parts at their fundraising dinner on Friday, August 10, at Brothers Rockaway from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Beach 106th Street concession.

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