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Dear friends and followers,

We hope this year has been a step forward for you, despite all that still remains unsettled in our world. We’re writing to ask for your support as we commit ourselves to keep New York City on the rebound in 2022. For the past two years we’ve maintained an all-out sprint during the pandemic, using pop-up to make the city better, fairer, and more beautiful today, right now. And we’re staying in that lane as we round the bend into next year.

In 2021, with the help of a growing team, we created a record-breaking 276 pop-ups that transformed streets into places for play, learning, creativity, and community across all five boroughs. Open-air reading rooms at NYCHA Public Housing, colorful play areas on Open Streets, outdoor learning hubs for NYC students, repurposed outdoor restaurant sheds showcasing musicians and visual artists re-emerging from lockdown, and all of our original programs back out in full force—this is some of what we did to reimagine our streets. As of today, that adds up to 1,059 pop-ups at 278 different sites in 103 neighborhoods over the past decade. And we’re still out there this December.

Each time we pack up at the end of a day, the installations fold up, materials stow away, music fades, and the street is returned for another use. But we believe something important lingers in the minds of New Yorkers—a vision of what our city can be when a vibrant, shared street life brings out the best in all of us. We hope you’ll consider a year-end contribution to keep this vision alive. As always, we’re grateful for your support.

See you on the street,
Leslie and Sam
Co-Founders, Street Lab
Street Lab staff

Here’s what we’ve done in 2021…

Street Lab obstacle course

To take pressure off crowded indoor spaces, we began our season early in February.

Street Lab musicians restaurant sheds COVID

Indoor performances remained prohibited, so we converted heated, curbside dining areas for events with The Chelsea Symphony.

Street Lab pop-up reading room

As restrictions lifted, we re-launched our pop-up reading rooms, including a residency at Pier 35 in Lower Manhattan…

Street Lab outdoor learning hubs NYC

…and brought back Learning Hubs for NYC students to gather outdoors and get homework help, safely.

Street Lab BUILD program

By summer, we were rolling out all of our programs, focusing on the hardest-hit neighborhoods, deploying up to three programs in each location and serving up to four communities per day with programs that included…

Street Lab PLAY obstacle course

…our PLAY program with a re-designed, colorful obstacle course…

Street Lab street chalking

…our Street Marker program,  enabling communities to create beautiful chalk murals on the street together…

Street Lab EXPLORE nature exhibit

…EXPLORE, our hands-on urban nature exhibit…

Street Lab open-air drawing studio

…DRAW,  a fully-equipped, open-air drawing studio…

Street Lab BUILD program

…BUILD, featuring interactive building stations…

Street Lab WRITE program

…and WRITE, where New Yorkers expressed themselves on the street.

Jazz on NYC streets Street Lab

We also made a place for new partners to join in, like musicians from Gotham Yardbird Sanctuary…

Barnard students volunteer with Street Lab

…volunteers from Barnard College…

Street Lab Teens

…and NYC teens participating in our new Street Lab Teens program.

Street Lab obstacle course

And we partnered with city agencies to support important initiatives on a citywide scale, creating new Open Streets for underserved communities with NYC DOT…

…supporting vibrant spaces in and around public housing with Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety…

Street Lab artists on the street

…and providing safe exhibition and performance opportunities for NYC visual artists, authors, musicians, and dancers with NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

Street Lab fabrication shop

We made 21 kits of custom-designed pop-up gear for other cities in the US and abroad.

And we employed 29 fabulous people who helped make all of this work possible.

We hope you’ll consider a year-end contribution to help us keep reimagining these streets. Thank you for your support!

NYC Open Streets
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