JACKSON HEIGHTS — A local art collective is holding a storytelling event Saturday to spur interest in their community map project, which will highlight neighborhood landmarks.
The goal, the organizers say, isn’t just to make a cool map or guide — it’s to get residents more involved in what goes on in Jackson Heights.
“Instead of us going around to find interesting and noteworthy things, it's giving neighbors the opportunity to articulate which places have meaning,” said Beatriz Gil, co-founder of the Híbridos Collective, which is organizing the event.
Gil and the group's other co-founder, Carlos Martinez, are running a community storytelling workshop — called the Divercity Project — in the play street next to Travers Park on Saturday that will eventually culminate in the release of the map.
Participants can tell stories about places they like in Jackson Heights, focusing on the positives and negatives of their community.
They’ll then have the option to go back and publish a longer story on the site, which will be added to the Divercity Map, which the group hopes to publish by next year in print and online.
The diversity of Jackson Heights is noted often, but Gil said she’d like to expand the conversation about what that diversity means to a community.
They hope to celebrate the community as it is — and as it can be.
“It’s great to celebrate it and acknowledge that, but we need to do more to empower the residents and create a more cohesive community,” she said.
The Story Mapping Circle runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the 78th Street playstreet.