Friday, November 20, 2009

An English Literature class from: H.S. 419, the Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology, and the Creative Arts on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn recently visited the "Brooklyn Utopias?" show at the Brooklyn Historical Society.  The students of teacher, Ms. Sharon Wexler, met with artist and community activist, Triada Samaraswho is also a CORD Co-Founder, where they learned first-hand about the creative process behind Ms. Samaras's interdisciplinary artwork in this exhibition commemorating the Democracy Wall in Carroll Gardens and the Protect Our Homes Petition.
In addition, the students were given a general overview of the entire "Brooklyn Utopias?" show by Brooklyn Historical Society staff educators.  Later Ms. Samaras conducted a hands-on workshop with the students.  Students learned how to look in depth at the art works and how to critique them in their own words. At the end of the workshop, students presented their art critiques to their classmates and to Ms. Wexler and Ms. Samaras.  Ms. Wexler will be following up on the theme of a utopia/dystopia back at H.S. 419 by having the students read and critique literature exploring  the same topic such as the novel, Fahrenheit 451, (which is a dystopian novel authored by Ray Bradbury and first published in 1953).


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........