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Summer Camp to be Spared in Heart of Brooklyn Restructure

By Sonja Sharp | February 13, 2013 10:35am

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Heart of Brooklyn is preparing a Dear John letter for Valentine's Day.

The decade-old consortium of Central Brooklyn cultural institutions will announced plans to shutter its brick and mortar offices on Washington Avenue and immediately suspend many of its operations, leaving Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Weeksville in the lurch, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

Heart of Brooklyn's Board President Denise McClean did not immediately return emails for comment, although she is expected to release a joint statement with the organization's Executive Director Liz Harris on Wednesday. 

Insiders tell DNAinfo.com New York that the statement will spell out the end of the institution as local residents know it, slashing much of its outreach and programing while sparing key functions like the Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program, a summer camp for kids from across the borough.

The camp was Heart of Brooklyn's original project, a 1998 pilot program around which other services eventually coalesced. The consortium — a partnership between the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and the Prospect Park Zoo — formed as an independent non-profit in 2001, and opened its own offices in 2005.

In addition to the camp, Heart of Brooklyn worked with local merchants associations and Community Board 8 to promote business development and local tourism.

It was not immediately clear what forced the board's decision to suspend many of those operations, nor which will ultimately be spared.