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Group Raises Money to Continue Second Saturday Art Walks in Staten Island

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 18, 2014 7:42am
Second Saturday Staten Island
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ST. GEORGE — Organizers of a monthly art walk in St. George and Tompkinsville have taken to the internet to fund their 2014 season.

Second Saturday Staten Island, which sets up an art walk every second weekend of the month, started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $2,000 to keep the event going.

"It's a community run initiative, as of right now, and there's a lot of little pieces of the puzzle that we can't really get fully mobilized without any money," said Melissa West, organizing director of the walk.

"We're just trying to basically spam the entire North Shore so that they know that something's happening."

The group will use the money to print maps of the walk's route, and make t-shirts, posters and stickers to get more people involved.

Aside from promo materials, any money donated to the group will be seed cash for turning the group into a non-profit business, West said.

The free monthly walks let people explore spaces ranging from galleries to people's homes, viewing paintings, art performances, dances and music.

The group also plans to expand programming in 2014 and set up all day events.

The art walks started in 2010 and used to get a grant from NYC Go. However, after Hurricane Sandy, the original founders dropped out and the grant money dried up.

"Second Saturday was in danger of not happening any more, so a bunch of art galleries and concerned citizens got together and started talking about it," said West.

"We decided that it was really important to keep going.

"We had to completely redo the website, we had to completely re-brand. We spent the last year getting people to recognize Second Saturday in a different way."

And instead of just having an art sale or fundraiser, the group chose the online crowdfunding site to let anybody donate and offer personal incentives — including handwritten thank you notes, art work and a personalized tour of St. George.

"We wanted [the campaign] to appeal to several different potential patrons," West said.

"It has the aesthetic that kind of matches what Second Saturday is about, kind of do-it-yourself. That's a really fun way to be more engaged while fundraising."