project leader
Ionna J
707 Rockaway Avenue
Brooklyn (Brownsville)
latest update rss
Thank You!

the project

What are the qualities that make a neighborhood a home? The answer is different for everyone. In Brownsville, we’re looking to showcase the very best of what we see in our neighborhood and give all of our neighbors a chance to answer this question through photography.

The Best of Brownsville Photo Project is a public art installation that will live under the Livonia Avenue elevated train track. For 11 months, Brownsville youth working with the Brownsville Community Justice Center will curate photographs taken by their neighbors on a rotating basis and publicly display them as the central aspect of the installation.

The kiosks where the photographs will be showcased will also provide shelter and light to people traveling to and from the 3 train and bus lines along Livonia.

This project was inspired by BCJC youth’s two key insights. First, when seeking out the most uplifting aspects of public spaces, our gaze is often aimed toward the sky, where the changing light of the day produces a feeling of optimism and positive change. Second, the 3 train is a conduit for most Brownsville residents, but the best the neighborhood has to offer isn’t always visible or seen by these travelers.

With your support and our fellow neighbors, The Best of Brownsville Photo Project will be an outdoor gallery that helps beautifully visualize the whole community and communicates the qualities of our neighborhood that we’d all like to see thrive and flourish. And submissions over the course of the year will help inform BCJC’s youth corp as they determine what areas in the neighborhood should be activated next for community use and public art displays.

Your contribution will have a direct impact on the lives of the young people who will be working over the next year to bring this project to life, and the residents who will share the very best of Brownsville.


the steps

Brownsville Community Justice Center, BCJC and Brownsville Partnership are both essential nodes in the operation network of collective impact organizations in Brownsville.  By leveraging these existing relationships we will be able to quickly and easily engage with leaders, schools, and residents within this neighborhood.

The Best of Brownsville Photo Project aims to reflect the diverse needs of the community through a rigorous participatory process.

  • Organizations will be invited to collaborate on the theme selection for each kiosk. This highlights their intersectional work in the community. By situating ourselves in three different locations under the elevated, we can localize the themes based on existing neighborhood assets.

  • Image curation will be executed by youth through the BCJC program. Youth will evaluate images submitted by the public, and taken themselves, to create a cohesive story that fits within that theme.

  • Citing authorship allows residents and leaders be visible as contributors to the same collection of images.

  • A social media campaign invites businesses to be involved in promoting the open call for photos, making our kiosks a highly desirable place to be noticed.

BCJC engages over 500 young people yearly. Currently in place are two cohorts of young people. The Media Intensive cohort focuses on self authorship by looking, documenting  and assembling narratives using all forms of media (video, sound, writing), and building from this work to define the features of positive place making interventions. The Best of Brownsville Photo Project is the first placemaking idea to emerge from this intenstive. Brownsville Builders is a Youth Advisory Board whose mission is to creatively think of ways to redesign space that affects young people who are disconnected or on the verge of disconnection.

Project Team:

Katie Edmonds, Design Strategist, Youth Design Educator at BJCJ

Ionna Jimenez, Program Coordinator, BCJC

Layman Lee, Placemaking Manager, Brownsville Partnership

why we're doing it

Brownsville Community Justice Center and Brownsville Partnership are neighborhood partners working together to harness our collective expertise to plan and execute strategic placemaking activities in Brownsville, Brooklyn in order to:

  • Improve health of neighborhood residents
  • Increase public safety/reduce crime
  • Involve neighborhood youth in skills building and prosocial behavior
  • Build on existing physical, human and cultural resources
  • Improve public infrastructure and increase connectivity across housing super blocks
  • Increase visibility of positive resident activities and tap into residents’ sense of pride in place

We want to use these location of high traffic to inspire active participation in visualizing positive change in Brownsville.

The project runs in monthly iterations of open call for images, curation of images, and the installation of the images in the space.





RAISED = $5,378.00
ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
 Payment Processing Fee (3%) $155.62



Budget Category

Itemized Need

Unit Cost



Photo Kiosk




Materials for 3 kiosks

  • Wood




  • Paint & Supplies

Exterior paint, Chalkboard Paint,  Brushes Rollers



  • Lights



  • Hardware





  • Construction/Assembly with youth

48 hrs



  • Electrician

8 hrs



  • Delivery




5 hrs




Photo Printing

48x48 Vinyl Banner w/ Grommets





Maintenance (duration of 11 mos)

Digital strategy, curation management

100 hrs



Kiosk repair

Kiosk unit cost x 1



Photo installation



Cleaning/Graffiti removal if needed











Total to be raised on ioby: $3,525

SUBTOTAL = $3,525
ioby Platform Fee $35
Donation Processing Fee of 3%  $106

Total to be matched by DOT: $10,575


Thank You!

Thank YOU for supporting the Best of Brownsville Photo Project!


As the deadline approaches we wanted to make a special shout out for the wonderful support we've had from the Brownsville community. Support comes in many forms; from volunteering time to get the word out or donating even one dollar. Brownsville you showed up and for this we are thankful. 

We would also like to call out the following contributors to this project:

Cisse Alhassane  |  Michael Aurelio  |  James B  |  Serin Choi  |  Annette Collins  |  Diana
Ann-Marie Fisher  |  Justin Garrett  |  Aloma Lucas  |  Tina Murray  |  New Yorkers for Parks
Katya R. |  Richard Swinson  |  Rob W

You guys are rock stars and your generosity will be matched by 3:1 by NYC DOT!




Check out this interview with project leader Ionna Jimenez of the Brownsville Community Justice Center on how the Best of Brownsville project first started:


Are you a photographer? Handy with a hammer? Good at spreading the word? We would love to have you on our team! Contact or or call 929.252.9293.


Please continue to tell your friends and family about the Best of Brownsville Photo Project. The last day for donations to be matched by DOT is THIS FRIDAY, June 3rd!



Email: or call 929.252.9293

Blog Feature!

Read about our project on ioby's national blog by clicking the image above!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • New Yorkers for Parks
  • Anonymous
  • Richard Swinson
  • Ann-Marie Fisher
  • Cisse Alhassane
  • Aloma Lucas
  • Annette Collins
  • Tina Murray
  • james b.
  • Justin Garrett Moore
  • Serin Choi
  • Rob W
  • Anonymous
  • Katya R.
  • Michael Aurelio
  • Diana