Nineteen New York residents around increasingly gentried neighborhoods around Manhattan and Brooklyn reflect back to the exact moment they knew the area they once knew was irrevocably different.
El Barrio’s PS 109, a current artspace for local artists, and a decommissioned school building, is currently accepting applicants for artists to move into a residential sector designated for affordable housing for creative individuals as a way to counter the mass gentrification that has become so prominent in Spanish Harlem.
“Artists are always the first to go as gentrification takes hold. This was an opportunity to maintain our artists.”
Local artists in Spanish Harlem have started a campaign called Harlem Independent Theater Project, trying to raise money ($30,350) to build a local theater available for artists to showcase their work, and to provide a space for gallery events. So far, the group has collected $12,024 in donations.
Gentrifying developments in Spanish Harlem continue exponentially, as the neighborhood prepares to knock down three brownstone buildings and renovate three luxury skyscraper residential houses in its place. The buildings are set to be built along Spanish Harlem’s popular East River Plaza.
Local artist is documenting the street art that is embedded in Spanish Harlem’s roots, hosting an exhibit in light of all the irreversible gentrification and paying homage to the native residents of this community.