Bklyn Incubator, which funds community programs within the Brooklyn Public Library system, just announced a slate of new initiatives, and several of them have a tech focus. From DJing to urban farming, here’s a look at what will soon be on the calendar at a library near you.
- Bushwick Crossroads (DeKalb Library): Interdisciplinary workshops in art, technology and activism to help participants tell the story and preserve the history of a rapidly changing neighborhood, in partnership with Bushwick art studio Silent Barn.
- Green Leaves: Read ’em and Reap (Brownsville Library): Literature and technology workshops highlighting food justice initiatives in Brownsville to cultivate the community’s ownership of its green spaces, in partnership with Green City Force, which is located in the former Pfizer building (and forthcoming green startup hub) in Bed-Stuy.
- Remix Academy: Learn DJ and Life Skills without Missing a Beat (Bedford Library): DJ and music production workshops for Bed-Stuy teens, with a focus on entrepreneurship, leadership and life skills, in partnership with Williamsburg nonprofit Building Beats.
- Tracing Your Roots (DeKalb Library): A series for teens to use genealogical databases to trace their ancestry and share their families’ stories in poetry and prose, in partnership with Bushwick nonprofit El Puente.
This is the second round of programs the Bklyn Incubator, which was launched earlier this year, has funded. The programs are developed as a collaboration between librarians and community organizations. Bklyn Incubator received its initial funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services through a $25,000 grant supported by U.S. senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. The Brooklyn Public Library has since received a $322,740 grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation to expand the program.
Several of the Bklyn Incubator’s latest programs are aimed at helping residents engage with changes in their neighborhoods. For instance, Brownsville public housing development Howard Houses will soon have an urban farm, which will be one of the sites of the Green Leaves program. And Bushwick Crossroads will focus on the effects on gentrification, as illustrated in its funding application.
“The public library holds a unique opportunity to provide a safe and truly communal space for Bushwick residents — both new and long-time — which is separate from the effects of gentrification,” it reads. “A place where residents can come together, examine and deconstruct stereotypes about one another, and develop meaningful relationships as neighbors and friends.”