Artwork by veterans coming to DoBro plaza
by Ricky Casiano
Mar 20, 2013 | 959 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Urban Art manager Emily Colasacco addresses members of Community Board 2.
Urban Art manager Emily Colasacco addresses members of Community Board 2.
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Artwork created by local veterans is coming to Downtown Brooklyn this summer.

Urban Art’s “There is no US Without U” will show collages based on veteran’s experiences on their return home from war zones. The artwork, sponsored by the Department of Transportation, will be reproduced as vinyl graphics and displayed in Willoughby Plaza in association with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

“Urban art is about beautifying public spaces and creating greenery for residents to enjoy,” Urban Art manager Emily Colasacco told members of Community Board 2 last week.

A total of 10 collages will be displayed on Willoughby and Adams Street. They will be based on personal artwork from veterans created during therapy sessions at the Veterans Hospital in Bay Ridge. The project will be unveiled in late-May.

Urban Art sponsors projects across the five boroughs in partnership with community organizations, and has completed over 100 projects in the last five years. Urban Art provides up to $5,000 in aid for some projects.

There are 12 to 15 pieces of art throughout Brooklyn. One of their many artworks includes the popular yellow painting on a gate on Front Street in DUMBO.

The new art project will add to the already revitalized commercial strip in Downtown Brooklyn. Just this past January, the 14,000-square-foot Willoughby Plaza opened with lights and outdoor seating. There is also a hotel boom on the avenue built to attract more tourists to the neighborhood and Brooklyn.

Separately, CB2 also heard on very important matters concerning this year’s budget.

Councilman Stephen Levin announced upcoming Participatory Budgeting Project Expos on March 19 and March 23 to unveil projects proposed by constituents.

“The public will get to decide what we do with $1 million of the city’s money,” he said.

Levin also mentioned the city plans to expand their new collision investigation squad and an increase in red lights and speed cameras throughout Brooklyn.

“We think this is a important thing and it makes our streets safer,” he said

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Height Library branch manager Uldis Skrodelis, discussed the big cuts facing the Brooklyn Public Library. He says if the mayor’s budget proposals come to pass, the libraries could lose 1,000 in staff, 60 libraries could close, and library service hours could be reduced from 44 to 20 hours a week.

“This year’s the worse,” said Uldis. “We have not hired a librarian since 2008. Now, we are seeing a 35 percent reduction in the annual budget of $106.7 million. That is 51 percent below 2008 revenues.”

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