BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A nonprofit is bringing free environmental workshops to a Bed-Stuy storefront this summer to raise awareness about neighborhood sustainability.
The Civic Art Lab by GreenspaceNYC will set up shop in an empty store front at 456A Nostrand Ave. to offer “playful and accessible” arts-based public programs, according to founders Jeff Kasper and Laura Scherling.
Locals can stop by to draw maps of their community, help envision ways to bring more organic fruits and vegetables to the area, or take a free, intensive LEED Green Associate course.
“We want people to improve their general knowledge of sustainability and make it an everyday act,” Scherling said.
“You can learn how to build with your hands, fix something and figure out how to make your neighborhood better while at the same time connecting with others.”
The pop-up, which runs from July through August, will host lectures, guest speakers and a variety of volunteer-led activities.
GreenspaceNYC, which collaborates with local groups to provide educational programming, has previously offered events all over the city, including workshops on book-making and how to make hula-hoops out of sustainable materials.
The pop-up will launch in collaboration with Bed-Stuy's Bridge Street Development Corporation.
“We chose Bed-Stuy because it’s one of the many lush communities with civic organizations, block associations and faith-based groups,” Kasper said. “We really want projects that will live on after we leave and amplify in the time we have."
The Civic Art Lab has already started working with community groups to come up with ideas for the neighborhood, including bringing an apothecary or herb garden to the area.
GreenspaceNYC encourages groups to approach it with other local ideas, Kasper said, adding that the nonprofit also helps find space for groups to meet.
When events are not in session, the Civic Art Lab will use the Nostrand Avenue space to feature exhibits with local artists, designers and architects.
The nonprofit is currently raising funds for equipment and the build-out of the temporary lab.