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Newkirk Ave Open Streets – Grand Reveal: Urban Braids: Illuminating Newkirk Plaza

June 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Brooklyn, NY – June 4, 2024 – The Flatbush Development Corporation (FDC) Unveils “Urban Braids: Illuminating Newkirk Plaza” 

FDC proudly announces the inauguration of “Urban Braids: Illuminating Newkirk Plaza“, an innovative lighting project designed to enhance the safety and ambiance of Newkirk Plaza. This project aims to boost local small businesses and foster community engagement by creating a vibrant, well-lit environment for shopping, strolling, and commuting.

This project is one of 15 commissioned works, generously funded by New York City’s Small Business Services (SBS) grant as part of their Commercial District Lighting initiative across different neighborhoods in NYC. 

“Urban Braids” is the newest addition to artist Leni Schwendinger’s D.I.Y. Lighting collection series of dynamic, colorful braided light structures that will illuminate the Plaza with a unique artistic feature. This new lighting approach employs community engagement for innovative string lighting that addresses the area’s challenges related to insufficient outdoor lighting and perceptions of safety. “Urban Braids‘ is a testament to FDC’s long-term commitment to revitalizing Newkirk Plaza and supporting local businesses.” said Robin Redmond, Executive Director of FDC.

“SBS is proud to fund the FDC to bring Urban Braids to life,” said SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “Our Commercial District Lighting Grants are real investments in people and communities. It’s these kinds of projects that will continue to make our commercial corridors brighter, more livable, and more vibrant for every New Yorker.”

Leni, the artist states, “FDC’s community relationships and commitment was key to the making of the project. The braiding workday and logistics have been exceptionally harmonious”

The “Urban Braids” installation will be officially unveiled at a community celebration on June 9, 2024, at 7:00 PM in Newkirk Plaza. The event will feature live music, artists, local food, and the first lighting of the braided structures. All community members and media are invited to attend and witness the transformation of Newkirk Plaza.

For more information about the project or the event, please contact Nina Leonard (FDC) at nleonard@fdconline.org– (845) 570 – 0164 or visit our website www.fdconline.org.

To learn more about Artist Leni Schwendinger’ urban lighting design and artwork go to: www.lslp.net/. Urban Braids photos and interviews with the artist are available upon request.

About the Flatbush Development Corporation: FDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Through various initiatives, FDC supports community development, economic revitalization, and the preservation of cultural resources. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Join us this summer for our fifth season of Newkirk Avenue Open Streets! This year we have a lot of exciting programming so keep checking our website for more updates on the list of activities for each day. Streets will be closed every Sunday from May 19- July 14 from 11 AM- 8 PM. (FDC Programs will take place on the following dates: 5/19, 6/2, 6/9, 6/16, 6/23, 7/7/, 7/14)



June 9
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Newkirk Plaza
Newkirk Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11226 United States
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