Transform/Restore: Brownsville


Using Art as a Tool for Social Change

The New York City Department of Probation, the Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District, and Groundswell present Transform/Restore: Brownsville, a transformative mural project. This participatory public art project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town program and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative.


This two-year initiative will use a series of community public art making projects to:


  • Bring together artists, young adult probation clients, Groundswell youth leaders, local businesses, and community members to identify and highlight the “Hidden Treasures” of Brownsville.
  • Support Brownsville residents in strengthening economic activity, reducing crime, and increasing public safety on the Pitkin Avenue commercial corridor through public art interventions and planned streetscape enhancements.
  • Provide talented youth, including young adult probation clients, with a highly visible platform to create permanent and positive change within their own neighborhood, while expanding their access to new opportunities, resources, and services.
  • Stimulate continued community-wide social and civic engagement by producing something visible and valuable that can generate momentum for growth and attract other public/private investments.
  • Provide a model for other cities, community-based organizations, and government agencies to use art as a tool for a more just and equitable world.


Read the City of New York's press release.


Learn more about our project partners: 


2014 and 2015

Past Projects

  • Bright colors, brighter smiles welcome every Brownsville resident and visitor to enjoy this mural.
    YEAR 2015

    Wall of Reflect

    LOCATION: 1478 Pitkin Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212

    Every person in a community should be recognized for his or her contributions, but there are often not enough...

  • Women are the backbone of the community and they should be recognized for their invaluable contributions—past, present, and future.
    YEAR 2015

    The Women of Brownsville: Telling Our Story

    LOCATION: 1522 Pitkin Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212

    The artist team behind this project, consisting of only women, explored the hidden treasures of Brownsville’s...

  • YEAR 2014

    Hidden Treasures of Brownsville

    LOCATION: 1747 Pitkin Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212

    Inspired by the theme of hidden treasures, nine young people on probabtion worked with Groundswell artists to complete...