project leader
Yvonne S
6133 Alderton Street
(Rego Park, Elmhurst, Forest Hills)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

In February 2019, young people wrote horrible anti-Semitic words in the playground of an elementary school in Rego Park, Queens - PS139Q.  The community was devastated.  Some tried to say it was the work of only a few but with the increase of anti-Semitic crimes in the community, Councilmember Koslowitz wanted something to be done.   By giving the crime national attention, Governor Cuomo formed a task force and more people were made aware of the anti-Semitic behavior in the community, and the story went national.

As a community artist, I went to the principal of PS139  and asked if I could work with several classes using the school's new mantra, "Be The Upstander", to create imagery in front of the school; over 10,000 people pass by the school each day.  I worked with PS139 students, New Israel Senior Center, college students, and parents to create positive imagery on the school fence.  Then in June, I worked with the school community to create a Tolerance Pledge that over 1,200 took.  I would like to continue the positive imagery in the community with the help of elementary/middle/high school/college students in the area, seniors, and the general community.  

In September, I started working with PS139 students on a school mural focused on using a character illustrated by students -- Topsy -- to show an upstander in action.  The students drew common scenarios and how an upstander would react.  They drew all sorts of scenarios, from being punched to tripped in the cafeteria and illustrating a positive resonse. I would like to continue illustrating murals, posters, and sculptures with the students and put this Upstander all over public spaces in the community: from our underpasses to our community garden. Just as companies use advertising to get us to buy things, we want to use art to get our community engaged in conversation and promote being an upstander- someone who doesn't sit by when bad things happen but takes action. We are a community of 125,000.

the steps

1. Work with schools (PS139, Halsey, Russell Sage, The International High School for Health Sciences, etc.) to create visual imagery focused on being an "Upstander"

2. Paint a mural in the schoolyard of PS139 (this is the school where anti-Semitic imagery was written) with the community including two elementary schools, religious organizations, two middle schools, and one high school.

3. Training 6 interns from  Queens College, City College, City Tech, and  LaGuardia Community college on using art for activism, 

4. Put up two additional murals (Rego Park)  and  1 sculpture (Forest Hills) in the park with the help of the community; murals will focus on positive actions in the face of hatred

5. Put up posters in community schools designed in collaboration with the community to promote positive actions and being an upstander.

why we're doing it

In February, when middle school children wrote hateful words in the schoolyard of an elementary school, some thought it was just "kids being kids", some were angry, and all were saddened. I wanted to do something for my community in the school my kids attended when they were younger.  I live in this community and  I too have been the victim of discrimination. By working with the community on this issue I have learned of so many horrible incidents in our community; from a Muslim woman being harassed to Jewish kids being beaten.  I want to use these horrible acts as a way to get people to talk about what is happening in our community and be the change we want to see. 


Disbursed Budget (2.5.20):

Mural Cloth  2$000 (industrial size)

Paint $2000

Ink $900 ( industrial printer) 

Rollers $400

Installation  materials $200

Insurance $1500

Sculpture materials wood, steel $1171.20

TOTAL RAISED = $8,460.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $253.80

Original Budget:

Mural Cloth  2000 (industrial size)

paint 2000

Ink 900 ( industrial printer) 

rollers.... 400

installation  materials 200

Insurance 1500

sculpture materials wood, steel.... 2000

sculpture insurance for parks 1000

residency with 1 elementary and 2 middle schools 8-2 ,3-6 for murals 5 times  2 artists 4000 

Industrial designer community sculpture design 5 days 10-5 Saturday or Sunday’s  2000

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $496
TOTAL TO RAISE = $16,531


Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • The best daughter money can buy :)
  • Elsie Blackshear Chapman
  • Yvonne W
  • Carmen
  • Rego Park Mural Fundraiser
  • Carol Lacks
  • G. Anker
  • Anonymous