Community Calendar Cultivate HK Activities

CHDC facilitates a range of community projects that uplift and mobilize our neighbors toward a greater good. Our work is focused on cultivating an accessible, artistic and sustainable community, while recognizing the deep history that has made Clinton/Hell's Kitchen what it is today. We root ourselves in service-based, community-led projects, working in partnership with local organizations, nonprofits and civil servants.

Community Activities

Cultivate HK Artists’ Market

Cultivate HK's first-ever Artists’ Market, held in December 2019, was an opportunity for emerging neighborhood artists to display and sell with their work in a free gallery space. CHDC believes artists should have access to spaces that connect them with their communities. The market provided an opportunity to introduce the community to a wide range of work from multidisciplinary artists — from hand-beaded jewelry to original photographs of Hell’s Kitchen to colorful afghans. Items were affordably priced so that all could engage with the market. CHDC provided the space, promotion, and community coordinating for the show. The artist selection process prioritized artists of color, immigrant artists, women, queer artists, and artists of other marginalized groups.

Voter Registration Week

In 2019, Cultivate HK launched its first Voter Registration Week, in celebration of National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 24. Through a series of nine voter registration events from Sept. 23 to Sept. 27, and in partnership with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s Office, NYC Speaker Corey Johnson’s District Office, Irish Arts Center, and Hudson Guild, CHDC talked with over 1,000 New Yorkers throughout Hell’s Kitchen. This massive voter engagement series also offered CHDC tenants and staff the opportunity to register to vote, update their addresses, and ask questions about NY’s electoral process. Through personal anecdotes, CHDC became aware that many registered were first-time voters.

Politics Primer

On Jan. 29, 2020, Cultivate HK held its first Politics Primer, in CHDC's 300 W 46th St. community room. Together, a group of about 30 tenants and neighbors learned the ins-and-outs of politics at the city, state, and federal level. Attendees were encouraged to engage with local government officials' offices, including those of NYC Speaker Corey Johnson and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, where representatives fielded questions and listened to community concerns. Additionally, all were provided with the contact information for all local officials, as well as voter registration forms to update their addresses, change their party affiliations, or register to vote for the first time.

Veterans Day Social

To express our gratitude for neighborhood veterans, Cultivate HK / CHDC hosted a Veterans Day Social at Hartley House on Nov. 11, 2019. Together, attendees made dozens of holiday cards for veterans at the VA's New York Harbor Healthcare System's Manhattan Campus.

Cultivate HK Town Hall Series

The Cultivate HK Town Hall is designed to mobilize neighbors toward servicing our shared green spaces, distributing community resources more equitably and caring for a diverse set of neighbors. Together, CHDC works to meet the needs of Hell’s Kitchen neighbors by creating and reinvigorating systems that are designed by and for the people who love this community.

DeWitt Clinton Park Birthday Party

In fall 2019, Cultivate HK celebrated DeWitt Clinton Park's 114th birthday. Cultivate HK joined its Hell's Kitchen neighbors for cupcakes, community, and civic engagement in the southeast corner of the park. DeWitt Clinton Park is a well-loved community green space but is underfunded and in need of repair. Through a long-lasting partnership with Hell's Kitchen Generations Heritage Project, community members voted on which historic photos of the park they’d most like to see on signage that the DeWitt Clinton Park Alliance is advocating for. The inimitable Michelle Diaz, whose family has lived in Hell’s Kitchen for generations, shared the park’s rich immigrant farming history with those who came by. And park-goers also wrote what they loved and what they hoped to improve about the park on a large visioning board. As the event was held on the eve of Election Day, the Cultivate HK team also shared information about the New York City ballot proposals.

Daffodil Project Planting

Cultivate HK; New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P); and Lendlease Turner brought the Daffodil Project back to its roots on Nov. 14, 2019. Each fall, New Yorkers from across all five boroughs plant daffodil bulbs as part of NY4P’s Daffodil Project, a living memorial to those who lost their lives on 9/11. In 2019, Cultivate HK, NY4P, and volunteers from Lendlease Turner planted 800 daffodil bulbs with community volunteers at DeWitt Clinton Park. This is especially meaningful as DeWitt Clinton Park was the location of the Project’s first daffodil planting back in 2001.As the city grieved the tragic events of 9/11, NY4P gave New Yorkers daffodil bulbs so that they could dig into the dirt, plant them, and know something beautiful would bloom, even if they couldn’t see it yet. Today, with over 7.5 million bulbs distributed for free and planted Citywide, the Daffodil Project is one of the largest volunteer efforts in New York City history. Cultivate HK, NY4P and Lendlease Turner were proud to bring the Project back to DeWitt Clinton.

Tenant Activities

Daily Community Meals and Activities

Each week, CHDC brings tenants together in the community. Cultivate HK creates a range of rich, diverse, and consistent programming for our residents in our five supportive housing buildings. During daily, two-hour Cafes, tenants gather for coffee, breakfast snacks, and conversation. CHDC Community Cultivation staff also facilitates building-specific activities, such as zine-making and book club, to engage tenants in creative pursuits.

And because some tenants are food insecure, CHDC partners with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLC) to provide pre-packaged meals and sandwiches for tenants to take home and eat throughout the week. RLC is a national nonprofit food rescue organization that prevents food waste by redistributing excess wholesome food to local organizations, like CHDC. They seek to make food rescue sustainable and universal while eliminating hunger.

Additionally, CHDC hosts a daily Game Night, where tenants play bingo and board games in a team-building effort, while also providing the opportunity for players to win useful prizes, like humidifiers, hand-warmers, home goods, and hygiene products. Twice monthly, Community Cultivation staff also provides dinner following Game Night so that residents always have a good, healthy meal to depend on. This also allows our older residents, many of whom do not have nearby family and friends, an opportunity to eat meals in the community.

Holiday Meals

As a community, CHDC residents celebrate special holidays by hosting festive dinners and activities in our five supportive housing buildings. The Community Cultivation Department, in partnership with the Horticulture Department, transforms community rooms with beautiful holiday decor. Staff and volunteers serve hearty, seasonal meals, knowing that sometimes this is a tenant’s only opportunity for a home-cooked, community-centered gathering. Our Harvest Dinners, held in November, and Holiday Dinners, held in December, are large-scale events that residents look forward to every year. Cultivate HK also hosts a variety of programming during other seasons. In October, tenants carve pumpkins; in February, tenants make cards for kids at our local children’s hospital.