project leader
Tim T
Empire Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn (Lefferts Gardens)
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Thank You!

the project


Artist David Eppley has been chosen to create a piece of public art that utilizes a dilapitaded 35 year-old monument to create an utterly new work. Located at the northern entrance to the Flatbush neighborhood, the project will be immensely visible and intensely symbolic. Local blogger and activist Tim Thomas has championed the project through the past two years, getting the necessary approvals and publicizing the project widely. He now intends to use his community-building skills AND his fundraising acumen (that's his day-job) to bring $10,000 to the project for the cost of materials and equipment.

Almost anyone familiar with central Brooklyn knows the spot well. At the meeting of three major roads - Flatbush Avenue, Ocean Avenue, and Empire Boulevard - one finds oneself across from Prospect Park, the Botanic Garden, the giant Phat Albert's Warehouse building and a peculiar plaza with three green trees made of metal, with bulky cement trunks. The tree-sculpture is dented, rusty, falling apart. It's decay says "you are entering a part of Brooklyn that doesn't care." It's not true of course. That's why we want to tell the REAL story. And it's why we call the project "Spring Arrives for the Flatbush Trees."

Originally meant to welcome visitors and spur economic activity, the so-called "Flatbush Trees" are now a sign of decay and of the blighted decades behind us. A team of relevant stakeholders has come together to approve a vision - and now all we need is money for the materials and we're off. Community Board 9 has unanimously approved the project. The NYC DOT has given its blessing AND $2,000 in seed money. Both the site and proposed art have tremendous symbolic value for the neighborhood as it grapples with the many issues currently facing it.

The building blocks of David Eppley's design will be created in conjunction with neighborhood middle-schoolers. Eppley is already identifying 12-15 young artists to study and work with him to create the 1500 of vinyl hexagon shapes needed to attach to the trees. The material is essentially an industrial vinyl tape favored by Eppley in his installation work. It is removable, so the piece is in fact truly temporary, but it is also highly durable. The tape - Oracal 651 Sign Vinyl - is often used in outdoor signage for this very reason. The kids will be asked to create drawings on the insides of the multi-colored individually made pentagrams, so that each piece is unique. When connected however, the effect is almost of one super- organism (see pictures). Again, the idea is to suggest that spring, or a kind of rebirth, has come to Flatbush. The week-to-ten-day installation phase will require renting a scissor lift, and we will also paint the cement "trunks" of the trees. Included in the design and manufacture phase of the building blocks of the project, essentially extra-curricular "classes" for motivated students, Eppley will have an opportunity to share with local students some of his experiences as a professional artist and teach real-life shop skills to students unavailable in the typical art curriculum. We expect the full diversity of our neighborhood to be tapped throughout, and the signage will bear the names of all who've participated in this community-wide project.

the steps

Much of the work has been completed. We have earned the unanimous support of Community Board 9, and have been granted the approval to do the work on the site by the DOT Arterventions program. Elected officials are on board. We have the artist, and he's basically ready to go as soon as we can scrape up the funds to buy the materials, insurance and rent the scaffolding. After running a 45-day campaign, we hope to have the $9K - $10K we need. Popular local blogger Tim Thomas of The Q at Parkside is leading the charge, even creating the video and running the publicity and marketing campaign. He calls this project his "white whale" in honor of Captain Ahab and his obsessive quest. He hopes, however, that this project ends on a more upbeat note for its captain.

why we're doing it

The trees say "this is a community that doesn't care, that's down on its luck, and has no future." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Lefferts Gardens is a thriving, incredibly diverse neighborhood experiencing both the good and bad effects of rapid gentrification. Projects like this, wherein the WHOLE community backs a project as uplifting and transformative, have the power to bring people together, people who may not normally have a chance to get to know one another. AND the project uses local middle-schoolers to create the building blocks - 1500 brightly colored hexagons - that will be affixed to the trees. The names of donors and collaborators will appear on a special plaque located on the cement trunks of the trees. It's a feel-good project for crazy times.


Surface Prep Materals and Tools: $1500

Paint: $1500

Vinyl Oracle 651: $8,000

Ladders and Scaffolding: $1500

Insurance: $1200

Signage: $500

Incidentals/Contingency: $1000

SUBTOTAL = $15,200
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $760
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $456
TOTAL TO RAISE = $16,451



SUBTOTAL = $6,950
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $329
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $201



Thank You!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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