Tag Archives: LIC

Excitement abounds at Everything Kids Expo in LIC


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos by Corey Aguirre

Music, prizes and activities for all ages kept the crowd lively at the recent Everything Kids Expo at the Long Island City YMCA.

Now in its third year, the annual Everything Kids Expo – sponsored by The Queens Courier – has become a local tradition for the community, and this year’s marks the event’s second time at the YMCA. The festivities were planned to coincide with a nationwide initiative the volunteer organization hosts on April 25 to promote the well-being of children.

Ebony Young, executive director of the Long Island City YMCA, said that the event is a great way to put into practice the fundamental three pillars of the worldwide organization: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

“It’s an opportunity for kids and families to come out and understand the importance of their wellbeing, mind, body, and spirit,” Young said.

Youngsters big and small had active fun, whether they were playing educational word games with Reading Town, taking part in a live karate demonstration by YMCA students, or dancing and singing to popular songs.

Some lucky kids were even able to experience a sample lesson from Long Island City music school Sage Music.

“My favorite part was when I got to play with the drums,” said LaQuwan Carter, age 11.

Although there was much for children to enjoy at the event, many of the booths provided parents with important information on how families can maintain robust lifestyles through athletic activity and healthy eating. Day camps and personal chefs spoke to the community alongside representatives from health care providers, who spread awareness about the importance of having adequate health insurance.

“You never know when you’re going to get sick, so it’s always good to have some type of healthcare,” said Giomar Reyes of Wellcare. “Medicine right now is very expensive, doctor’s appointments are very expensive.”

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LIC public art looks to raise awareness about homelessness


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Fanny Allié

Residents and visitors in Long Island City looking for a place to sit will get more than just that when coming into contact with a new public art installation aiming to raise awareness about homelessness.

Brooklyn artist Fanny Allié has come together with the Parks Department to display her most recent artwork called “A Bench for the Night,” at the NYC Parks Greenstreet on Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue.

Allié’s piece, which will be on view through November, is a wooden bench shaped in the silhouette of a sleeping person, reminding those who see is that a public bench serves as a potential bed for some New Yorkers.

“A Bench for the Night,” Allié’s second artwork with that Parks Department’s Art in the Parks program, offers viewers a look into how individuals who live on the sreet can often times become dehumanized.

This piece is a continuation of the artist’s focus on the issue of homelessness. She took part in the Engaging Artists Residency in 2014 organized by the Artist Volunteer Center and More Art, which largely focused on homelessness. During this residency, artists were encouraged to engage in volunteer opportunities – volunteering at least half a day per week at a local charity – and interactive workshops with professionals in the fields of fine art and activism.

Allié ‘s Long Island City art installation is also a continuation of her 2011 piece called “The Glowing Homeless,” created for Bring to Light NYC: Nuit Blanche in Brooklyn, and which featured a neon outline of a human form that rested of a park bench.

When preparing for the installation, Allié noticed the area where the piece would go lacked seating. Along with raising awareness for homelessness, she has also created a new social space in the plaza.

According to a description of “A Bench for the Night,” the piece looks to reflect a person’s desire to look for an isolated place to rest and be removed from the movement of the city.

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Pols propose $682M education package to help alleviate overcrowding


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Elected officials in the state Senate have put forth a new plan that hopes to bring some relief to the overcrowded school districts throughout the city including western Queens.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Senate Democrats announced the proposal of a $682 investment into an education infrastructure bank. The funds would go into helping schools deal with issues surrounding physical capacity and school construction, allowing them to rebuild and renew facilities to accommodate growing populations.

Gianaris, who represents Long Island City, Astoria and parts of Woodside, said this funding could help local western Queens schools in Districts 24 and 30, two of the most overcrowded in the city.

“School overcrowding is a crisis directly affecting the lives of teachers, students and parents in western Queens every day and it must be dealt with immediately,” Gianaris said. “Our neighborhoods are growing and more needs to be done to ensure infrastructure keeps pace.”

Gianaris added that such funding would help a school like P.S./I.S. 78 in Long Island City deal with its overcrowding issues, which have left some parents fearing for the truncation of the beloved middle school classes.

“I will never stop fighting to provide our kids with the resources they deserve, and I will work to make this education infrastructure bank a reality quickly enough to solve the problems plaguing P.S./I.S./ 78 and so many other schools in western Queens,” he said.

The $682 million investment, which will be funded from the state’s projected surplus and settlement funds, is also expected to provide support for teachers, fund community schools that offer holistic social service, and also begin a study to analyze the cost-effectiveness of state testing.

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Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the LIC Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

With a three-day weekend on its way, make sure to take a trip down to the LIC Flea & Food to celebrate the holiday.

The popular Long Island City market, located at the waterfront lot at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will be filled with fun events this weekend including music from DJ Johnny Seriuss and a cornhole tournament.

The LIC Flea also offers items from over 80 vendors each day. Items for sale include food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, handcrafted jewelry and fashion, and much more.

When visitors want to take a break from shopping, they can relax at the LIC Flea Beer Garden, which is the only venue serving all six Queens-brewed beers from local breweries including Big Alice Brewing, Rockaway Brewing Company, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, and SingleCut Beersmiths.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks returning to Queens waterfront


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Diana Robinson/Mayoral Photography Office

The Queens waterfront will once again explode with excitement this Fourth of July.

On Wednesday, Macy’s and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that this Independence Day, the 39th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will launch from two locations in the East River — in Midtown and within the South Street Seaport historic district, starting at about 9:20 p.m.

There will be four barges positioned between 23rd and 37th streets in Midtown and one double-barge positioned below the Brooklyn Bridge. The Midtown barges will be visible from the Long Island City waterfront.

After moving to the Hudson River in 2009, Macy’s and de Blasio announced last year that the department store’s annual 4th of July Fireworks show would return to the East River that summer. But the initial excitement and potential revenue that the festivities could bring to Long Island City was squashed when residents and business owners realized that the launch point, from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges positioned on the lower East River, would not be a prime viewing spot for Queens.

This year, however, will be different, and could bring back big bucks to the waterfront area.

“Once again the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks spectacular will light up the East River skyline,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement. “I have advocated tirelessly for years alongside Mayor de Blasio to bring the fireworks back to the borough of Queens. Today we are delivering on our promise and bringing borough residents an opportunity to enjoy one of our nation’s most spectacular events. Residents from Hunters Point in Long Island City and all of western Queens will rejoice welcoming thousands into their neighborhoods to celebrate. Staging the fireworks along the East River will give our local small businesses a boost and draw attention to all we have to offer here in Long Island City. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Macy’s for helping us keep this promise and making this day a reality.”

The country’s largest Independence Day pyrotechnic display, Macy’s are the only fireworks that borough residents can watch locally on the actual holiday. But for the first time this year, Fort Totten will be having a fireworks celebration to mark the nation’s birthday on July 1. The annual Astoria Park fireworks will take place on June 30.

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Cops looking for butt-slapping bicyclist in LIC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Sketch courtesy of NYPD

Police have released the sketch of a bicyclist who they say slapped a woman’s behind as she walked down a Long Island City street last month.

The incident happened at about 4 p.m. on April 22 along Jackson Avenue near 46th Avenue, authorities said.

According to police, while on his bike, the suspect rode up behind the woman and slapped her on the buttocks before fleeing.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male who is about 35 years old and weighs 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red baseball cap, a red waist-length jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Planned Parenthood cuts ribbon on first Queens health center in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Ryan Brown for Planned Parenthood of New York City

Long Island City is now home to a new health center bringing affordable services to the growing population of Queens.

Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) celebrated on Monday the ribbon cutting of its first Queens health and education center located at 21-41 45th Rd.

The state-of-the-art Diane L. Max Health Center, which officially opens in June, will provide a full range of sexual and reproductive health services.

“We’re thrilled to be opening the doors of this beautiful new health center to the Queens community,” said Joan Malin, president and CEO of PPNYC. “Queens represents the future of this city, and we’re so excited to be a part of this remarkable borough. Come June, Queens residents will have increased access to the high-quality, confidential sexual and reproductive health care services they need, regardless of their income or immigration status.”

The 14,000-square-foot patient-centered facility will have services that include birth control, gynecological care, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy testing and options counseling, and abortion services.

PPNYC_QueensDianeLMaxHealthCenterRibbonCuttingMay2015_RLB_8623_1

PPNYC anticipated the new Queens center, once fully operational, will serve 17,500 clients per year. The location will also offer on-site health insurance enrollment through Medicaid and the New York State of Health Marketplace.

“This new center is a very big step for us. It puts Planned Parenthood in every borough and keeps New York City at the forefront of reproductive health care,” said Diane L. Max, PPNYC board chair. “The Queens center helps ensure that all New Yorkers, no matter where they live, can access the reproductive health care they need.”

The health center will have a bilingual staff and interpretation services, as well as translated materials for non-English-speaking clients. In its education center, the location will offer education and training for youth, adults and professionals, and has a community space open to PPNYC’s partners for education, training and advocacy events.

“For over five years, I have worked to help bolster quality affordable health care options in western Queens. Planned Parenthood’s new facility introduces a trusted health care provider into a growing community that needs affordable health care providers,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “I welcome Planned Parenthood to the community and look forward to working together to improve the quality of life for all Queens residents.”

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Parents, students call for support to save LIC middle school


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Parents and students in Long Island City are asking for their community to speak up to keep a beloved middle school in a neighborhood growing every day.

During Saturday’s groundbreaking of the Queens Library at Hunters Point, parents and students of P.S./I.S. 78 handed out flyers asking local residents to help speak out about the school crisis the neighborhood is going through.

According to parents, the Department of Education is considering truncating the sixth through eighth grades at the school in order to accommodate the incoming elementary aged students, after a decision was made to add two kindergarten classes to the school.

“We’re trying to get all the parents out to push it and get it in front of other people’s faces so that we can make a difference because I think, just like for the library, if we really get together and make our presence known [we can] show everyone that without schools this is really not a community,” said Nancy Mendez-Shiu, who has a daughter and son at P.S./I.S. 78. “If we don’t have enough space for children, then people are going to move away from our community.”

On the flyers, “LIC neighbors” are asked to write, call or visit any or all of their city and state elected officials and leaders such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, District 30 leaders and local Community Board 2.

Mendez-Shiu also added that for about 10 years, parents fought for the middle school to be brought into community and in 2013 a new state-of-the-art facility at 46-08 Fifth St. was erected and became the home of P.S./I.S. 78’s third- through eighth-graders.

The school’s pre-K through second-grade classes remained at the original building located only a few blocks away at 48-09 Center Blvd.

In a meeting two weeks ago, parents were told that if all the seats are filled in the new two additional kindergarten classes then there is a possibility that grades six through eight would be truncated started in the fall of 2016.

The school would then only serve kindergarten through fifth grade, leaving older students to find another alternative.

“Our children deserve a space in our community here. They deserve to be able to go to school here,” Mendez-Shiu said. “We should make room for everyone. This is a community.”

Fellow parent Sabina Omerhodzic also said that the area is being overdeveloped with more buildings being constructed, yet there are no schools to meet the growing population of young children.

“More buildings bring more families, more children. We need to build more schools, not less. Don’t truncate, build more. That’s it. It’s very easy,” Omerhodzic said. “It’s basic math. One plus one is two. One plus one is not zero.”

The parents said the idea of middle school potentially being truncated has left students “depressed” and also wanting to protest to have their voices being heard.

Fourth graders at P.S./I.S. 78 created this Lego model to show the idea of a new building (in red) being constructed to alleviate overcrowding.

Fourth-graders at P.S./I.S. 78 created this Lego model to show the idea of a new building (in red) being constructed to alleviate overcrowding.

In one instance, a group of fourth-graders constructed a Lego model of the school and added a new building that could be constructed to help alleviate the overcrowding and also accommodate middle-schoolers. The model also included an organic garden on the rooftop of the new building.

“I feel bad because we love P.S./I.S. 78, that’s why we are protesting and helping it, and just making us move to another school isn’t fair for us,” said fifth-grader Monica Malas, who after spending two days being sad over the news got together with classmates to protest. “I hope we can actually succeed and let the small ones go to the sixth through eighth grade.”

The DOE did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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LIC community celebrates groundbreaking of Hunters Point library


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

After 15 years, the wait is finally over for the Long Island City community, which worked hard to bring a new waterfront library to the neighborhood.

On Saturday, local elected officials, community leaders and residents gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Queens Library at Hunters Point, which will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, right next to Gantry Plaza State Park.

“Hunters Point is a rapidly growing community of young families and has a demonstrated need for a library community hub,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “The Hunters Point Library will be a modern and green facility that will serve as a center of learning, literacy and culture for residents of all ages.”

The state-of-the-art library, expected to be completed by the fall of 2017, was designed by architect Steven Holl. Its main interior circulation route will be cut into the west façade, opening up views to the East River and Manhattan skyline.

The 22,000-square-foot facility will feature a reading garden, a rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, a performance space and a children’s area.

Rendering courtesy of Queens Library

Rendering courtesy of Queens Library

“There’s a famous saying that it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it took a village to raise a library,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has been working on the project since 1999 and allocated $4 million for the library. “We are here because no one gave up on the project. I was never ever going to let this fail. It was too important. This community deserves a state-of-the-art community library that will be the envy of the entire city and now you have it, you’re going to get it.”

Mark Christie, president of the group Friends of the Hunters Point Library, has been working on the idea of the library since 1998 and during the groundbreaking quoted former President John F. Kennedy.

“This will be a building that brings our community together,” Christie said. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country — and you will see what a big difference just coming together will make in each and every one of our lives.”

Along with the construction of the library, the project will also include the construction of the permanent 1,260-square-foot ranger station at Gantry Plaza State Park. The building will include a reception area, a park manager’s office and bathrooms for the public.

Saturday’s groundbreaking celebration also featured a street fair where members of the community enjoyed carnival games, entertainment, family-friendly activities and food.

Until the Hunters Point library is constructed, a mobile library will be parked each Saturday at Gantry State Park from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to offer books and other material for all ages. The Friends of Hunters Point Library are also supporting a “pop-up” library on Saturdays offering reading and activities starting at 11 a.m.

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LIC Flea & Food to participate in Queens Beer Week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@LICFlea

When making it down to the LIC Flea & Food this weekend, make sure to grab a cold glass of what Queens has to offer.

The popular Long Island City market, located at the waterfront lot at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will be taking part in the second annual Queens Beer Week this Saturday.

Queens Beer Week, which kicked off on May 8, celebrates nine local breweries at over 70 borough-wide participating bars and restaurants. The nine-day celebration includes brewery tours, home brewing demos, tap takeovers, food and beer pairings, pub crawls, and more.

LIC Flea will join LIC-based breweries such as the LIC Beer Project, Big Alice Brewing, Rockaway Brewing Company and Transmitter Brewing on May 16 in offering tours and beer samples.

The LIC Flea Beer Garden is the only venue where visitors can taste all six Queens brewed beers from local breweries including Big Alice Brewing, Rockaway Brewing Company, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, and SingleCut Beersmiths.

Queens Beer Week wraps up on May 17, with the celebration of Finback Brewery’s one-year anniversary.

Along with this one-of-a-kind experience, the LIC Flea also offers items from over 80 vendors each day. Items for sale include food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, handcrafted jewelry and fashion, and much more.

LIC Flea & Food runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., through the end of October.

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

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NYU Langone Medical Center to open facility in LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

A new medical facility is making its way to Long Island City to meet the needs of the neighborhood’s growing population.

The company, Norvin Healthcare Properties, has announced it has acquired a 45,000-square-foot property at 21-21 44th Dr. It will be run by NYU Langone Medical Center, which entered into a 31-year lease with the group.

Plans for the property, which was valued at $66 million, are to redevelop the two-story building to be used as a multi-specialty ambulatory care facility.

“Consumer demand for convenient, high-quality, cost-effective healthcare has created an urgent need for providers to bring full-service, multi-specialty outpatient centers to their communities,” said Norman Livingston, president of Norvin Healthcare Properties. “This new NYU Langone facility in Long Island City will satisfy that need in terms of both location and the comprehensive range of healthcare services that will be offered under one roof.”

Livingston added that he believes NYU Langone’s new outpatient center will provide “exceptional healthcare in a strategically located section of one of New York City’s fastest growing neighborhoods.”

The facility is located within a two-block radius of four subway lines.

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Enjoy free snacks as you bike to work in LIC Wednesday morning


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

If you are commuting to work and find yourself near the Queensboro Bridge Wednesday morning, make sure to stop and get some free snacks.

In honor of Bike to Work month, for the next two Wednesdays advocacy group Transportation Alternatives will be hosting Biker Commuter Stations at locations throughout the city.

For this week, one of the five stations is in Long Island City at Crescent Street and Queens Plaza North.

From 7 to 10 a.m. bicyclists will be able to enjoy free coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, free breakfast, including KIND snacks, and free gifts just for stopping by.

Members of Transportation Alternatives will also be able to receive a free water bottle from REI if they show their membership card. The bottle includes different items including a Bike Home From Work Party wristband for the May 29 party in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

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LPC votes unanimously to landmark LIC Clock Tower


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

The decision is finally in, and the beloved Clock Tower in Long Island City is not going anywhere.

On Tuesday the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to landmark the 11-story tower in Queens Plaza, formerly the Bank of the Manhattan Company building.

“For nearly a century, the Queens Clock Tower building has been one of Long Island City’s most recognizable structures, greeting hundreds of thousands of commuters as they enter the borough,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. “The commission is proud to recognize this iconic building, which represents a significant period of development in Long Island City.”

Designed by Queens-born architect Morrell Smith, the tower, located at 29-27 Queens Plaza North, was built in 1927 and at the time was described as “the first skyscraper in Queens.”

According to the LPC, in 1927 the building’s design received first prize from the Queens Chamber of Commerce as the borough’s best business building.

The decision to landmark the site comes as residents have been speaking out and calling for the LPC to make the decision that would keep the tower in the community.  A petition was also started on change.org and signed by 1,606 supporters.

“This is a tremendous victory for New York City preservationists and local residents who contacted my office to convey their overwhelming support to retain the character of this great neighborhood,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “I was proud to help give this community coordinated grassroots campaign the additional pressure it needed to ensure the Clock Tower Building stands for another 90 years.”

The building, which is now owned by Property Markets Group, will be surrounded by a 70-story 930-apartment building at 29-37 41st Ave. – expected to be the tallest building in Queens.

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City to spend $300M over next three years on NYCHA housing roof replacements


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Scott Bintner/PropertyShark

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced a new initiative that will benefit thousands of residents, including those at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, in the upcoming years.

The city officials announced Saturday that $100 million will be going toward addressing the issue of mold at NYCHA housing developments. This funding comes from the mayor’s pledge to match the state’s $100 million investment in NYCHA.

In addition to this initial funding, over the next two years the city will continue to invest $100 million a year for roof replacements – totaling $300 million over three years.

“Years of federal and state disinvestment have led to deteriorating buildings, depriving tenants of the level of housing they deserve,” de Blasio said. “By making these critical investments in our aging NYCHA buildings, we are both protecting our residents – many of whom are children – and saving money spent on repairing these buildings.”

The first year’s funding, which is expected to begin construction next month, will cover the roof replacement on 66 buildings throughout the city, benefiting about 13,000 residents. These buildings were selected because they have the highest number of maintenance repair requests such as leak and painting repair, and mold work orders.

Included in these buildings are the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, which will see 14 buildings on both the south and north sides of the development get roofs replaced.

The funding will replace the roofs and parapets, which are the protective walls along the roofs. This replacement is expected to eliminate core symptoms of mold, reduce operating expenses and preserve the structures by safeguarding them from moisture.

“This is a welcome announcement to the residents of the Queensbridge Houses who have waited many years for the completion of these critical repairs,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “This responsible investment will benefit thousands of New Yorkers and allow NYCHA to dedicate scarce resources to other essential improvements citywide.”

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5Pointz artists transform August Martin HS in Jamaica


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Over a hundred 5Pointz artists volunteered their time this weekend to make the hallways of a high school in Jamaica shine once again.

August Martin High School was filled with laughter and music on Saturday as 5Pointz curators Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen and Marie Cecile Flageul invited aerosol artists from near and far to cover the interior of the school in one-of-a-kind artwork.

The 5Pointz crew worked together with a team of students of the nonprofit The Future Project Dream Team at the school, who came up with the idea for the project called “Operation Skittles.”

The project — in which artists paint the school’s hallways, staircases and elevator doors — came after the team surveyed 500 students and found out that their fellow classmates unanimously felt the white walls of the school needed to be changed to enhance the atmosphere.

“I still believe that the classrooms should be kind of free of art so you can focus but why not have the hallways awesome. Why not have a school that you can brag about?” Cohen said. “Its cool because [5Pointz is] kind of inside out, it’s almost inverted. The students have a little treasure that not everyone will have.”

DSC_0947

On both Saturday and Sunday, over 100 artists are volunteering their time and paint to transform the school, located at 156-01 Baisley Blvd. They have been given the freedom to choose the art that will go on the walls, and each will have an inspirational word.

“Being able to use the power of art to inspire the youth is amazing and I know these kids that go here are looked at as disappointment because of their graduation rate but as time changes so does our methods of getting these kids into school,” Cohen said. “You just have to give them a little bit of inspiration.”

Along with being seen as the “rebirth” of 5Pointz, which saw its Long Island City home be whitewashed in 2013, organizers and school staff also hope this project will give the school which some call “the worst in New York City” a second chance.

“This alone might get [students] to school and create a sense of pride for their school that a lot of them didn’t have before,” said Syreeta Gates, The Future Project Dream Director at August Martin.

According to the school’s principal, Gillian Smith, August Martin is still considered an “out of time school” meaning it hasn’t made any academic progress in recent years and has a 39 percent graduation rate.

However, Smith, who welcomed the idea of the project with open arms, hopes a project such as coming together with 5Pointz artists will help build a sense of pride and push students to do better.

Some artists have offered to participate in future workshops for the students, and the 5Pointz curators also hope to continue being a “part of the family” with the school.

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“We want students to be so inspired that they want to stay in school because now they can see that dreams can happen and dreams can come true,” Smith said. “It’s a difficult journey; it’s a lot of work. But I think all of these little steps matter. To see this happen in a weekend all of a sudden makes you feel like, ‘I got it, the world is mine. I can do this.’”

Students involved in the project said they are excited to see their classmates’ reactions on Monday when seeing the hallways.

They also added that they think this project will help change the way people view the high school.

“It’s a sense of hope and pride because people talk so much crap about August Martin, it’s going to change how they look at the school, and students here are going to have so much pride coming here and saying ‘5Pointz did my school.’ Who else can say that?,” said 11th-grader Trivella Osborne.

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When asked what they would say to the artists volunteering their time to transform their school the students on the Dream Team burst out in thank yous and cheers.

“They’re making history right now,” said ninth-grader Latoya Mann. “It’s a resurrection of August Martin and 5Pointz.”

The completed project will be revealed to the public on June 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. during an art show at the school. Some artists will also be selling their work on canvas in order to raise money for the high school.

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