Setting Up Shop: From Civil War Hospital to Puppet Lab


by Sherry Teitelbaum

Kevin, Heather and I had a very exciting day on Monday: we visited PS 34 in Greenpoint, where the puppet building, movement and improvisational workshops for Newtown Creek Celebration 2013 will take place during the next two weeks. PS 34 is one of the oldest public schools in Brooklyn.
It was originally used as a hospital in the Civil War. Behind its brick façade is a rabbit’s warren of irregularly shaped classrooms, sans hallways, arranged railroad flat style. We spent several productive planning hours meeting with our biggest fan, the hard-working, high-energy Kasia Selwesiuk-Swietochowski, Director of the North Brooklyn Development Corporation Summer Camp. After the four of us nailed down the daily schedule and reviewed some preliminary story boards, Kasia showed us the two rooms where we will set up shop. We also greeted the approximately 80 young people who will be participating in the project this summer, as they filed past us in their bright yellow T-shirts on their way to a neighborhood field trip. About half the youth are repeat participants from Newtown Creek Celebration 2012, and they treated us to huge smiles of recognition and enthusiastic hand-waving. We’re all set to co-lead our first workshops in our new digs on Thursday. We will be blogging our progress throughout the project so stay tuned for our next blog entry!

Newtown Creek Celebration Needs Your Support

Newtown Creek Celebration Creek Spirit and Fish Puppets

Newtown Creek Celebration is back for 2013 and needs your support.

Above is an image from the 2012 culminating event. The project was so successful that we’ve been invited to return! We look forward to two weeks this August full of sparked curiosity, paper mache, movement, story and music, followed by a joyous outdoor celebration in McGolrick Park on August 15th that will captivate neighbors, start conversations between parents and youth, and inspire environmental action!

While we are delighted to have received modest funding from the city and state of New York to create Newtown Creek Celebration: 2013, we are still $4,500 shy of the funds we need to start the second year of this free summer program on August 1st.

Can you help us? Please click here to view our fundraising video on Indiegogo.