Bridging the Divide: Howard Houses, Brooklyn

  • Jeanne Verdoux, Howard Houses Drawing Dialogue, 2021
  • Jocelyn Marie Goode, Cloudy with a Chance of Brownsville, 2022
  • Nandy Del Castillo, Community Sympathy, 2022
  • Noël Copeland, Rainbow of Knowledge, 2021


Workshops for Howard Houses residents were held in collaboration with the Howard Resident Association and the CAMBA community center. They took place outside and at the Howard Houses playground. All of the artists who designed work for the Houses incorporated a dialogue component into their workshops—they held conversations (whether through drawing or speaking) and shared details about their lives and communities. The personal approach to these workshops can be seen within the details of the artworks now adorning the houses—portraits of community members and drawings by residents.

Photo credits for all Howard Houses artworks: Jordan Rathkopf

Jeanne Verdoux, Howard Houses Drawing Dialogue, 2021

Howard Houses Drawing Dialogue is an mural by artist Jeanne Verdoux that playfully intersperses the artist’s drawings with images made by resident youth. Incorporating ink portraits created during workshops, the artwork reflects the creativity of Howard’s youngest residents. Verdoux’s drawings explore human nature, attitudes, and trends. They form a portrait of the city and express the artist’s perception of New Yorkers’ everyday lives.

290 Mother Gaston Boulevard, Brooklyn | @jeanneverdoux

Jocelyn Marie Goode, Cloudy with a Chance of Brownsville, 2022

Cloudy with a Chance of Brownsville encourages people to look up, feel hopeful, and be inspired by seeing beautiful, positive representations of Brownsville neighbors of all ages, expressing relatable emotions. The composition originated as photographic portraits and was then transformed into digital renderings. Each person is elevated to the sky— claiming space as a valuable individual in their community. Even though there may be clouds, the resiliency of the community shines through.

1590 E. New York Avenue, Brooklyn, NY | @supergoode_

Noël Copeland, Rainbow of Knowledge, 2021

Noël Copeland’s Rainbow of Knowledge is inspired by artwork created by youth during workshops he led at Howard Houses. Working with a basic template, children were invited to add their own images and colors. Copeland collected these various designs to complete his 105 foot artwork. The artist also looked to the community’s public library and vegetable garden to inform the elements populating his design.

1580 East New York Avenue, Brooklyn, NY | @noeljcopeland

Nandy Del Castillo, Community Sympathy, 2022

Community Sympathy is a snapshot of moments witnessed between community center staff and the children they serve. According to the artist, the work highlights unnoticed stories, and aims to honor those who make a commitment to serve their community’s most precious asset. Growing up in NYCHA, Del Castillo sought out the arts as a means to create a world with no limits. In her own words, “I was fortunate to find my passion after facing homelessness and I hope that I could help others find theirs too. It is my hope to pay tribute to my home.”

90 Watkins Street, Brooklyn, NY | @findingnandy

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