Archive for the ‘Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park’ Category

Nov21

Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park : June to September 2017

Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC  

The Native Americans called Roosevelt Island, Minnehanonck, meaning ‘It’s nice to be on the island’. Once infamous for its prisons and asylums, the two-mile-long island in New York City’s East River, located between Manhattan Island and the borough of Queens on Long Island has slowly emerged as a home to high-rise residential buildings. Right in the middle of the town, on an L-shaped plot just south of 504 Main Street, there lies a beautiful patch of green — the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park, an ecological artwork created by Bonnie Ora Sherk, her non-profit organization Life Frames, Inc., and community members that engages the local schools and adults; educating them about gardening, ecology, multi-arts, literacy, nutrition, and local history through hands-on, standards-based Common Core learning programs.

Bonnie Ora Sherk with a group of enthusiastic kids and their parents on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

Bonnie Ora Sherk came to Roosevelt Island in 2001, and the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park emerged after a community planning process funded by the Ford Foundation, which supported developing a Master Plan for Roosevelt Island with the community.  After some planning meetings people said:  We don’t want to just plan.  Let’s do something that shows immediate results.  So, at the invitation of the then Principal of the  Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S.217), Bonnie and Principal, Sherry Gregory were determinated to develop a positive, creative, and life-affirming environment for the children, youth, and adults of Roosevelt Island, after the brutality and trauma of 9/11. Later funded by the RIOC Public Purpose Fund, the first RI Living Library Garden & Think Park witnessed a long history of involvement; students participating during the school day and after school as part of the Beacon Program,;patients visiting from the Coler-Goldwater Hospital, and enthusiastic parents participating in various activities around the Garden. A Community Master Plan for Southpoint was also developed in those early years.

On their way to RI Living Library & Think Park; Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

When the school was under construction for many years, beginning in 2011, RIOC offered another location for the RI Living Library Gardens – behind 504 Main Street, adjacent to the building where the new RI Library will be moving when its renovations are completed in 2020. This new site is more accessible to the whole community and is also wheelchair accessible, so the Gardens are often visited by many from the large RI disabled community, including members from the Senior and Disabled Associations.   The late, Virginia Granato, former President of RI Disabled Association was a frequent visitor to the Gardens to pick up bunches of her favorite herbs. Every summer, the RI Living Library & Think Park shares its produce, mainly herbs and vegetables, with the participating Beacon children and their parents, seniors and disabled residents.

Bonnie Ora Sherk instructing the group before planting; Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 on Roosevelt Island, NYC

The RI Living Library & Think Park has emerged as a powerful green center and learning landscape for the whole community. Accessible daily throughout the week, the quiet ambience of the Living Library Gardens have been instrumental in bringing together children and their parents, school groups, families, seniors, and disabled residents of the community, thereby successfully Cultivating The Human & Ecological Garden. Currently, the RI Living Library & Think Park has been working with many children year-around, encouraging them to exercise their science and art skills in the Gardens, while introducing them to science and other subjects. Regarding the project’s future plans, Bonnie Ora hopes to plant an Orchard, reflecting RI’s history of orchards, and develop International Gardens in conjunction with the diverse community of RI and the Library.

Kids planting the trees in RI Living Library & Think Park on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

Shown below are some pictures from Roosevelt Island Day in June, 2017 and pictures of the Living Library & Think Park Gardens in September, 2017.

Facebook : Roosevelt Island Living Library Planting 2017, NYC, RI Day

Volunteers planting trees in RI Living Library & Think Park on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017   Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park   Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park   Roosevelt Island   Roosevelt Island
May24

SF Rec and Park’s Partnership With Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Receive International Acclaim

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is proud to announce that its long-time partner, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder and Director of A Living Library (A.L.L.) and creator of the prototype, Living Library Nature Walk which links parks, schools, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek, is being featured in this year’s Venice Biennale. The international art exhibition in Venice, Italy, began this week and will continue through November. The Living Library Nature Walk will be exhibited as part of Bonnie Ora Sherk’s installation - Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future.   Bonnie Ora Sherk is a long-time San Francisco and NYC-based artist, landscape architect, educator, and the Founder and Director of Life Frames, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of A Living Library. Her two part installation also features Crossroads Community (the farm), the pioneering, urban agriculture, multi-arts, environmental education, collaborative artwork that resulted in Potrero del Sol Park, incorporated the Chavez/101 Freeway Interchange, and was also one of the first Alternative Art Spaces in the United States. Sherk was the Founding Director and President of Crossroads Community (the farm) from 1974-1980 and made the original drawings for the Park, which will also be exhibited as part of her installation.   SF Rec and Park’s partnership with A Living Library is part of an overall effort to raise awareness of the importance of green space and to encourage community stewardship of neighborhood parks. A Living Library is a powerful and successful prototype for connecting communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, and aims to expand throughout the eleven neighborhoods of the Watershed, which include: Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park - and to also transform its two neglected and flooding freeway interchanges - Chavez/101 and Alemany/101 into Northern and Southern Gateways to the Watershed. A.L.L. also provides multiple opportunities within these resilient landscapes for community and school hands-on education about watersheds and natural systems, flood mitigation, climate change, California native species, environmental justice, green skills job training, ecological transformation, all while creating a sense of place and wonder in the City’s open spaces.   “The Living Library Nature Walk showcases how parks can connect our communities, as well as the innovation of sustainable landscapes that can tackle many environmental challenges including climate change, wild habitat restoration and so much more,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “The fact that this project and the associated SF parks will be on display to receive international recognition, is a testament to Bonnie’s commitment to the coalescence of arts and nature.”   The Venice Biennale has been, for over 120 years, one of the most prestigious arts and cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. The history of the Venice Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999, Dance made its debut at the Venice Biennale.   Bonnie Ora Sherk says, “It is a wonderful honor and opportunity to have my work recognized in this significant international art venue. A Living Library, which links local biological, cultural, and technological systems and resources, and results in place-based, ecological transformation of communities and schools with integrated community programs, is actually a planetary genre. A.L.L. is both local and global in its reach, and is meant to be created in diverse communities of the world, interconnected through Green-Powered Digital Gateways, so we can share commonalities and diversities of cultures and ecologies - near and far. A Living Library is Cultivating the Human and Ecological Garden.”   Since 2002, SF Rec and Park has been in partnership with Bonnie and A Living Library helping to coordinate the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk. The goal of A Living Library Nature Walk is to connect people and places in sustainable, ecological environments, and call attention to the importance of our Islais Creek Watershed, California Native Trees and Understory Plants, diverse wildlife species, and opportunities for ecological transformation of our city.       This summer, STEAM + Literacy With A Living Library, a hands-on Stewardship Camp for children in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades will be held in July in the Living Library Nature Walk based at St. Mary’s Park and Rec Center. For more information about the Summer Camp and to enroll, please contact: kentanderson@alivinglibrary.org. For more information about A Living Library, please visit: www.alivinglibrary.org or contact:info@alivinglibrary.org     Please email for additional photos or Bonnie Ora Sherk’s contact information.
Joey Kahn
Media Relations and Policy Manager
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department | City & County of San Francisco
McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park | 501 Stanyan Street | San Francisco, CA | 94117
(415) 831  2741 | joey.kahn@sfgov.org
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Sep30

FREE Program For Parents & Children with A Living Library & Roosevelt Island Public Library

Please join us again for this exciting Free hands-on learning Program for PARENTS & CHILDREN TOGETHER in NYC on Roosevelt Island !

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A.L.L. Gardening, Literacy, Multi-Arts, Science, Nutrition,

Local History/Ecology 

FREE PROGRAM with

A LIVING LIBRARY & RI BRANCH PUBLIC LIBRARY

Wednesday Afternoons This Fall

September 30 – November 18 | 3:30-5:00 p.m.

RI Living Library & Think Park

Register Now at the RI Library - 524 Main Street, Roosevelt Island 

Enrollment Limited to 25 Families

(Caregivers included) with Children (ages 4-14)

TALK, THINK, FEEL & DO !!!!

Come Grow With Us!

For More Information Contact:

Nicole Nelson: 212-308-6243 / Premilla Dixit Hobbs: 845-443-0386

You can download the application here

Sep23

Artist Talk TONIGHT ! Evolution of Life Frames: Past, Present, Future by Bonnie Ora Sherk

Dear Friends! I would like to invite you, your friends and family to attend my talk on Evolution of Life Frames – Past, Present, Future – Wednesday, September 23, 7 pm, in Danforth Hall, adjacent to the Mills College Art Museum.  This talk is being given in conjunction with the Exhibition, Public Works - Artists Interventions, curated by Christian Frock and Tanya Zimbardo. Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 12.33.06 pm TONIGHT : September 23, 2015 at Mills College Art Museum in Oakland.  7:00 pm | Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College I hope to see you !  Pictured below on the announcement for the Exhibition, is my work:  Sitting Still l, when I was actually facing my future, in addition to demonstrating how a seated human figure can transform the environment. Come tonight to learn more !MCAM_PublicWorks_card-page-001
Jun16

Roosevelt Island A.L.L. Gardening, Literacy, Multi-Arts, Science, Nutrition, Local History/Ecology Free Program in NYC !

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© 2017 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park, & A.L.L. are registered trademarks

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