Red Hook has felt the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, and the succession of hurricanes across the Caribbean and the Southeast United States reminds us that the ‘new normal’ is the unprecedented destruction wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. My goal in creating WATERSHED is to create a conversation that inspires action to help mitigate the effects of future storms in affected communities like Red Hook.
On October 26 and 28 at the Red Hook Library in Brooklyn, Art W: Woman Artist Advocacy Organization. presented WATERSHED Red Hook, a large- scale public art project and public forum in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. The public art work also worked in collaboration with the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Fifth Avenue Committee’s “Turning the Tide Environmental Justice Initiative,” a community-based collaboration for New York City Housing Authority residents who live in the Gowanus and Red Hook Houses to install the work at the site.
WATERSHED is a large scale public art project that has moved around the world. It is a projection onto a highly visible site and its mission is to catalyze conversation about climate change and infrastructure issues that are critical to areas like Red Hook, a Watershed area and to environmental issues such as climate change, flooding and, brownfields. This project’s mission is to raise community awareness regarding climate change realities we face in our watershed, waterfront, mixed use community that we all love.
This project aimed to unify the Public Housing community with the entire community by offering a way to create conversation and actions around sea level rise and climate change through this healing art video installedin a very public place with highly color saturated fish moving in a circular motion, like the cycles of our planet.
The gathering of the community and its stakeholders to watch the video the first night and also to attend a roundtable discussion with Red Hook Local Leaders and The Turning the Tide Environmental Justice group, local political leaders, scientists, community activists, local leaders in the Environmental Justice and, urban planners offered a platform of discussion about how to protect the neighborhood from further destruction.
Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, NYFA Board Chair Judith K. Brodsky, Representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resilience, Community advocates, and Design and Sustainability experts
continued the conversation at the library, moderated by Alexandros Washburn, Founding Director of the Center for Coastal Resilience.