Artist Assistant Taylor Brock posts about working at the Kelly Street Garden in Longwood, The Bronx.
For my summer internship as an artist assistant at The LP, I have been assigned to work with Rosalba Ramirez in the Kelly Street Garden in the South Bronx. For two to three days a week I take the 5 train up to the Intervale stop in Hunts Point, an area of New York that I had never really explored before this summer. In an urban environment such as New York City, it can be difficult to find a community where you feel that you really fit in. The Kelly Street community is a beautiful example of what can be possible. The residents of “Banana Kelly” all know each other by name, as many have lived in the community for years.
For the month of June I have been working with the Environmental and Arts Youth Interns at the garden. These interns are four 16-18 year old boys from the neighborhood. Rosalba led them on a six week program that included manual labor such as gardening and building compost sifters, as well as writing workshops in which they completed weekly journal entries.
It was extremely rewarding seeing the youth learn so much about gardening / composting while also seeing them begin to grow and open up about their own lives. For the next month I will be attending Wednesday night cooking classes at the garden, which happen every other week for the months of July and August. I am also helping Create Change artist Alison Kibbe create a multi-generational podcast about the block! This is an amazing area which I am so excited to continue working with throughout the summer!