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What do they do? (Description of service idea, e.g. a
community garden, a food coop, etc). What are the demands/
problems this initiative responds to? What is the aim of the
initiative? What happens and how does it happens? What
benefits does it bring to the neighborhood?
Unlike many other ‘community green gardens’,
the Kenkeleba House is an initiative that attempts
to provide the surrounding community
(neighborhood) with not only a place of beauty or
an escape but an area for artists (specifically
sculptures) to display their works. The pavement of
the ground is not in such a good condition. It keeps
its ‘aesthetic’ purpose; the aim is to work with the
nature growth and to showcase art to bring life to
an area/ community that was once overlooked.
What is this neighborhood like? How was it before this new
solution took place?
Now a days, Kenkeleba House is situated in a
neighborhood that is home to schools, small
corner shops etc, but before its creation in the late
70’s, was a hare for drugs and crime. The lot where
the garden now sits was once three vacant
buildings that seemed as concealed throughways
for drug dealers to pass from streets to streets;
after a major crack-down in the 70’s, where
reported 6500 arrests were made in three weeks,
the are was left depresses, and a ghost town of
1.3 History of the initiative
How did the project/initiative start? Who took the initiative? Why?
Can you describe a timeline of events, highlighting success and failure
aspects, major milestones? How far can you go back? How did this
initiative mature? How did it turn to be a real enterprise? (registered,
formalized etc.) Did it receive public or private support of any kind? Did it
help change the public or policy structure?
The initiative started in ‘79-’80 by current manager,
Corrine Jennings . Jennings had been a resident in the
neighborhood for decades and wanted to revive a small
part of the community (to replace a reminder of death
with something more). She received a lease from the city
to begin work; and since then, she and her husband have
received some loans that resulted of the expansion of the
garden that includes an art gallery and now puts on music
and art exhibition as showcases.
1.4 Main actors
Who are the users of this initiative? Who are the promoters of this
initiative? Is there a difference between users and promoters or are they
basically the same? Describe users and promoters lifestyles?
Do the users work as a group or groups? Is there a network of related
organizations and/or individuals? Do they have any form of connection or
exchange with other similar initiatives? Was the group inspired by other
examples? Do you know counter examples, (of service ideas that did not
take-off), cases that went wrong?
The users of the initiative are mainly the artists
themselves, but the garden is open to the community
during their hours, you do not need a membership – it
exists for the community and does not limit the use. The
artists bring their work in and decide with Corinne to see
what locations work best for each art pieces.
What are the technologies that the group uses? How are they
used in system?
The garden itself does not require or promote the
use of specific technologies, sculptures are fairly
permanent, and since any plants that exist are not for
extraction and the nature of the landscape is to work with
and follow nature, tools are not necessary. Corinne may
do some small amount of maintenance, but any
technology used in with installation of works.
What communication materials do the group have? (e.g.
website, brochures, postcards, etc). What is the main purpose
of these materials? e.g. to keep participants updated about
activities (internal communication) or to get more participants
(external communication)? Does the group want to have more
As far as communication materials are concerned,
the main information (bulk) of materials can be found
online on their website; the community participants can
keep up with any events there; it does not appear that they
want to expand communication as they generally
approach to artists for their artworks.
1.7. Perspective for the future
What are the perspective/objectives of the group for the next
3-5 years? What are some of the success factors and possible
risks in the short medium and long term?
It seems that “success” in Corinne’s definition will be
generally dependent on funding; as long as she still has
artists and the space to display their work, here the broad
goals are met.
She seems open to having more community events and
it exited about the exhibition (music and art). They have
the occasion every month or so. Filmmakers also have
used the space before.
1.8. Problems and opportunities
Are there any specific issues/problems/barriers that pose
threats to the initiative? Are there any main areas of concern
among the participants (leaders and users alike)? Are there any
opportunities that could be explored (that are currently not
Barriers to the initiative would be financial since there
is no “membership” requirement. The project relies on
supply of funds and artworks.
If Corinne were to be unable to give up the project,
that would create a serious issue, as it is personal
endeavor and remains very much as ‘net’ space (She lives
on the property)
1.9. Indications of other social innovation
Do the users participate in other entrepreneurial endeavors? Do they form
small initiatives on their own? Are members involved in other
“sustainable” services within the community? (Ex. Food Co-op,
carpooling, community gardens, etc)? Do you see evidence of wider
networks that these users contribute to?
Entrepreneurial endeavors by participants does not
seem apparent (no ‘sustainable’ services etc.)
But with respect to wider networks, one gets the sense
that this initiative bleeds into the art and cultural
community of Lower East Side/ New York City in general.
It has notoriety in the artistic community and it viewed
as an essential contribute to cultural character of the
Website of the initiative
Interviewee name and contact information (email, address, phone
Other references (websites, articles, other people we should talk to)
Gallery Director –Corrine Jennings (212.674.3939)
Quantitative Data Exercise
How many members does the initiative have? How many are very active
in the initiative? How does individual spaces compare with shared/group
spaces? How many members are involved in other community-based
services? (Food Co-op, activist orgs, clothes swapping, bike sharing, etc.)
What is the size of the initiative in square footage?
- There are no explicitly identified ‘members’ in
- Corinne and her husband, assistant run and
oversee all projects.
- Members can be constituted on the artists whose
The garden is open to community regardless.
Please take close-up detailed photos due to the
winter conditions of gardens (ex. Buds, small
greenery, tools, gathering spaces, colorful
Photos may ONLY be taken with a high
megapixel digital camera (no iphone photos or
low resolution photos)
Choose highest picture quality setting that
Always ASK permission before taking photos or
footage of people and/or spaces
See Release Form on the final page of this
document. You MUST have Release Form(s)
signed by the photo/footage subject.
1.1 The general context (e.g. landscape, urban area, etc)
1.2 The close context (e.g. the neighbourhood, etc)
1.3 The place from outside (e.g. building, house, etc)
1.4 The entrance (e.g. signage, access door or gate, etc)
1.5 The place from inside (e.g. dedicated room, private places,
gazebo, pond, planting areas, recreational areas, etc)
2.1 Two to three typical users (show them in different
situations, e.g. portrait/standing, in-action, etc)
2.2 The organiser/provider (portrait/standing, in-action, etc)
2.3 Show something characteristic of the user’s motivation to
2.4 Show the key participants in the service/organization (e.g.
leaders, gatekeepers, organizers, connectors, innovators, etc)
3. Material Artifacts
3.1 Show communication materials of the organization
(leaflets, signage, etc)
3.2 Could you show essential objects that users interact with,
or that provide key moments in the service?
3.3 Could you show evidence of entrepreneurial work by users
or providers? Show intangible/tangible innovations created by
users or providers.
4.1 Could you show participant benefits? organiser benefits?
collective benefits? environmental benefits? economical
5. Perspectives for the future
5.1 Could you show the future perspectives of the solution?
Please take footage of the following:
The person/people you are interviewing. Ask them to introduce
themselves, their role in the organization, and a brief description
of the organization (30 sec)
A brief history of the organization (15-30 sec)
A typical activity taking place in the space including participants
of the organization (30 sec-1 min)
Participants of the organization interacting with each other (30
Participants of the organization interacting with the space/props/
objects (30 sec)
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Parsons The New School to use the photographs, statements
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