Dear friends of play:groundNYC,
As spring fast approaches and our thoughts turn to outdoor play, it gives me great pleasure to announce that our 2017 season will kick off earlier than usual. You’ll also be pleased to learn that we made New York Magazine’s “Best of New York 2017” edition – spot-lit for being “a creative mecca for free-range kids to play, build, and run amok.” Like all good parents, we are beyond proud.
We are excited to welcome you back for more fantastic free play at our 50,000 square foot site on Governors Island. Not only will we begin earlier, on May 6, but we will be open longer – through October – which means more time to play, explore and create! In order to provide these additional weeks of free play, we need your support to cover our costs. Your donations are crucial to our existence: enabling us to provide free programs, train playworkers, and source the materials and tools that make junk play possible. You can find out more about our programs, including summer camp, field trips and birthday parties here
As the newest member of the play:groundNYC team, I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce myself: I grew up playing in north London’s adventure and junk playgrounds and I’m delighted to have begun my tenure as Executive Director. In addition to being an advocate of free play, arts education and children’s rights, I am an experienced nonprofit leader. I have spent the last decade developing and implementing education programs and outreach, along with community engagement and strategic planning for cultural organizations in the USA and Britain. More about me on our website.
As you know, play:groundNYC is dedicated to producing spaces for young people to feel safe enough to take emotional, physical, and social risks in their play. As an organization we are led by a belief in children’s rights. We are concerned about recent and ongoing threats to the lives and identities of segments of the population, including Muslims, Jews, refugees, migrants, LGBTQ youth and families, those with disabilities, and people of color. We condemn the targeted disruption of lives, and recognize that young people in New York City are impacted by the recent political instability. All young people, regardless of demographic status, deserve access to spaces where they can fully engage in play, and as an organization we strive to be as inclusive as possible. We aim to make play:ground’s site and activities welcoming to all, and are always open to guidance regarding how we might improve.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the details for this season, including open hours, volunteer opportunities and ferry service. If you’re not on our mailing list please sign up now to receive the latest updates. But for now, visit our website, and consider making a donation to enable and support the important work we do. Your generous gift will provide more play to all young people through our free public play days, summer camp and school programs across New York City. Now more than ever we need to encourage our children to rise to life’s challenges; take risks and test their limits.
I look forward to welcoming you to play:groundNYC soon.