Uni Pitkin Ave 3Three times in 2014, the Uni Project created an open-air reading room on Pitkin Avenue near Zion Triangle Plaza in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to help draw people out, meet each other, read together, and have fun. We’ll return for a fourth and final visit on Halloween. Our host is Pitkin Avenue BID, a remarkable community organization that created a series of Summer Plaza events with open hydrants, live music, a climbing wall, concerts, and outdoor movies. Several of our visits extended into the evening in an effort to support families in a neighborhood that has struggled at times with violence on its streets.

Each visit, we partnered with the Brownsville Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, displaying popular books from the BPL collection and other materials. At times, BPL outreach librarian Leigh Hurwitz (also a longtime Uni volunteer and site manager) joined us to sign up people up for library cards. Our participation was made possible in part by Penguin Random House and funds granted by the Charles H. Revson Foundation through the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership.

Below are photos from our Brownsville deployments in 2014. Leslie and I and our staff have been struck by the depth of conversations we’ve had with children and families at the Uni here. Brownsville is a strong community with smart kids who face tough challenges. Having a chance to create these reading rooms has been an honor. We’ll be back in 2015.

pitBIDlogo_100NPP_logo_100Penguin Random House Company

June 27, 2014

Uni Pitkin Ave 3

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Brownsville Brooklyn. June 27, 2014.

June 22, 2014

Uni Pitkin Ave

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Brownsville Brooklyn. June 22, 2014.

June 15, 2014

Uni Pitkin Ave

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Brownsville Brooklyn. June 15, 2014.

Coming up: October 31, 2014

We're getting a "new" name... Street Lab.

The Uni Project is the work of Street Lab, a nonprofit launched in 2006 in Boston, where we created community-oriented programs for public space. In 2011, we migrated Street Lab to New York City and launched the Uni Project. The Uni began as a single, portable reading room and has since grown into a city-wide initiative offering more than 700 days of pop-up programming in 150+ public spaces across the city. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.

For now, details about our programs are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, that content will move to www.streetlab.org. Thanks for sticking with us!