Can a group of dedicated residents rebuild trust and community connections? The Kelly Street Garden in the South Bronx, NYC shows what’s possible when individuals dig deep and commit to transforming the block through art, wellness – and fresh veggies!
The Kelly Street Garden
This video was a collaborative project organized and captured by: Alison Hall Kibbe Rebecca Scheckman Sasha Phyars-Burgess Seyi Adebanjo Tiana Thomas Rosalba Lopez Ramirez Featured community members: Narration: Sonya Ferguson and Isaiah Brockenbaugh Jennifer "Hopey" Foster Zora Waring Carolyn Waring Malayka Waring Robert Foster
School or City
Bronx, New York City | USA
2016 Best Innovative Initiative
This video was a collaborative project organized, filmed and produced by:
Alison Hall Kibbe
Alison Hall Kibbe is a cultural organizer, producer, and multidisciplinary artist working at the intersections of social justice, community building, education and cross-cultural dialogue. Working with dance, performance, documentary film, literary arts and dialogue, she uses oral history and ethnographic research to guide the development of multi-faceted storytelling and participatory experiences. As a Laundromat Project Create Change Commissioned Artist she and Sasha Phyars-Burgess co-produced StoryBlock, an oral history and visual community archive that celebrates the cultural richness of Kelly Street residents living in the South Bronx. Her current performance project, body/s in question, charts the fault lines of the multiracial body and experience in the Americas, via her family’s history in Jamaica, Cuba and the U.S. She also co-authors the blog “Broadly Speaking.” She is Managing Producer of 3 Musas Productions and currently works with The Literacy Project, Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, and The Horns Project/Horns to Havana. She was raised in North Carolina and her research and work have taken her through Brazil, the Mississippi Delta, South Africa, and her family’s home countries of Jamaica and Cuba, exploring questions of art, identity, and social change.
Rebecca Scheckman’s experiences in the arts range from drawing and painting to interactive video installation. As the the former Senior Editor and Technical Director of The Laura Flanders Show, Scheckman gained three-plus years of experience working in broadcast journalism and social justice. Previously holding the position of Adjunct-Faculty at the New School where she had the task of co-creating and coordinating the in-house production company, Red Dog Productions. Her latest project focuses on what it means to create a democratic society. Through community engagement, video documentation and through drawings, she imagines a new governing system and the cultural/technical revolutions that would drive this change.
Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bard College in 2010 with a BA in Photography where she studied with An-My Le, Tim Davis, Barbara Ess, Michael Vahrenwald, and Larry Fink. Upon graduation she worked for Larry Fink for one year before moving to Berlin, Germany and Trinidad and Tobago. She is interested in using photography education as community empowerment and photographing the African diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Seyi Adebanjo is a Queer gender-non-conforming Nigerian MFA artist. Seyi is a media artist who raises awareness around social issues through digital video, multimedia photography and writings. Seyi’s work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual and politics. Seyi has been an artist in resident with Allgo and is exhibiting at the Longwood Art Gallery and previously at the Skylight Gallery -Restoration Plaza Corporation, BAAD!, MCNY, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art & Waterloo Arts Gallery. Seyi is currently a fellow with AIM at the Bronx Museum and has been a fellow with The Laundromat Project, Queer/Art/Mentorship, Maysles Institute, IFP and City Lore Documentary Institute. Seyi is the recipient of the Best International Short Film Award -Sydney Transgender International Film Festival, Best Documentary Short- Drama Baltimore International Black Film Festival, Pride of the Ocean LGBT Film Festival Award and Hunter College’s Dean of Arts & Science Master’s Thesis Support Grant. Seyi has been a presenter with NYU, UFVA Conference, AWP & Lambda Literary Foundation & the Brazilian Queering Paradigms Conference. Seyi’s work has been published atỌṣun State University, African Voices Magazine, & Q-Zine. Seyi’s powerful short Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles has screened on PBS Channel 13, Brooklyn Museum and continues to screen globally. Seyi’s current documentary Ọya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa! is on a speaking and screening tour.
Tiana loves cities and champions cross-sector work that empowers people to pursue their own visions for personal and neighborhood change. She currently works as the Resident & Community Services Manager at Workforce Housing Group, an affordable housing developer with 600 apartments in the Bronx and Brooklyn, where she builds programs and services that assist low-income residents achieve housing and economic stability. She also leads collaborations with residents and partner not-for-profits (working across the arts, health, food, education, and community development fields) to co-design spaces and programs that both enhance residents’ quality of life and serve as a resource for reweaving the fabric of community. At the Kelly Street Garden, co-located with 81 of WHG’s apartments, she has built partnerships that have helped transform the garden into a vibrant community hub for health, wellness, and grassroots activism.
Rosalba Lopez Ramirez
Rosalba’s urban gardening work consists of growing food, composting and building community. The foundation of her work consists of designing and implementing meaningful programming that creates community cohesion through critical conversation, action and eating together. She also manifests her creative self by writing, and using social media to share her insights on health, motherhood, and social justice issues. She is native to the Central San Joaquin Valley in California, where she worked as a child farmworker and currently resides with her family in the New York City area.