New York City’s community board system is unique among American cities. As a bridge between a powerful city government and the nitty-gritty details of neighborhood life, the community board can influence the way money is spent, what can get built, and other factors that impact our quality of life in an advisory way. But how do they work? Are they doing a good job? Do they have any real power? What else can you do with a community board?
CUP teaching artist Dillon de Give worked with a group of students from International Community High School in the South Bronx to find some answers. The investigation led to interviews with various stakeholders in the community board system, as well as a visit to a real live community board meeting. Students learned about the inner workings of the community board system; they learned that not many people in their commmunity knew of its existence, or that it was volunteer-based.
The group created Now Boarding, a short film to teach others about the of range of influence a community board can have.The film had its world premiere at Anthology Film Archives where students presented their working process and interviewed community board member and neighborhood activist, Damaris Reyes.
Check out the video below!