NYCHA Public Arts Program

Bridging the Divide is a series of ongoing artist residencies at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments throughout NYC. NYCHA provides affordable housing for 400,000 lower-income New Yorkers. Through this program, artists engage with residents through a variety of workshops and create artworks that empower residential narratives. The resulting exhibition is displayed in large-scale on construction fencing that surrounds the NYCHA development. Submit your art.

the Divide

Photographer Alden Parkison looks at his work with his son.

Program Goals

Bridging the Divide launched in 2019 at The Red Hook Houses, the largest public housing complex in Brooklyn. The ongoing Red Hook Hurricane Sandy Recovery and Resiliency project is the largest capital project in NYCHA’s portfolio, and is expected to complete by mid-2021. The complex has been inundated with construction fencing for years, creating a fortress-like environment that leaves many residents feeling isolated and disempowered.

The overarching goals: Empower residents to control their own narratives and public living spaces, enliven underused spaces during periods of construction and, via site activations, bring together NYCHA residents and surrounding community members.

Recognizing that every NYCHA development features unique cultures and narratives, ArtBridge partners with local community groups at each site, works actively with tennant’s associations, and hires six to ten residents at each site to serve as “community liaisons” who facilitate the artists’ engagement. Throughout the 6 to 10-month exhibition, the site becomes activated with artist tours, arts activities for youth and seniors, and other communal events.