This year the Dumbo Improvement District installed 6 new works of public art, supported 96 indie businesses, welcomed DOZENS of new companies – from financial tech to fashion houses – as well as HUNDREDS of new residents, picked up 67,700 bags of trash, managed 2,600 Open Street hours, helped calm the impact of $100 MILLION in street reconstruction, helped spread the benefits of the return to 2019 levels of tourism, hosted our first Archway NYFW show, ate at our first Michelin Star Dumbo eatery, presented the work of 164 artists, cheered the long awaited opening of 2 new park spaces, watched thousands of elephants fly down from the sky for the first time since before the pandemic, and boosted a New York Times headline touting Brooklyn’s popularity in the post pandemic office scene and a New Yorker fashion edition cover.
A message from Alexandria Sica, Dumbo Improvement District President
2022 was another year of major change coming at Dumbo from many directions – a new normal with the workforce returning, epic levels of street construction and building construction, new residents and visitors to the neighborhood approaching the 2019 levels.
Our work took on such importance once again – helping small businesses thrive, supporting artists, demonstrating Dumbo’s artistic vibe, and creating opportunities for the teams coming back to the neighborhood and moving here for the first time to enjoy the best office perk in all of New York City: this neighborhood.
A fully built Dumbo is right around the corner. Construction will wane. Buildings will open. The Belgian block streets will be AMAZING. We know that Dumbo is well positioned to thrive in this new environment. Creatives cluster here – for work, for life. New Yorkers gather here – for a day in the park or to mark a major celebration. We have space for tech companies with 1,000+ employees and startups with 3. We have a sense of community amid a big City that brings residents from far and wide. And Dumbo is important to New York City – it’s a springboard for visitors to Brooklyn and a hotbed of innovation and employment where employees actually want to come in to the office. Images of Dumbo grace the cover of magazines and wall hangings around the world. We are a New York icon.
Once again, the BID has to grow and adapt along with the growth and popularity of neighborhood. As such, the BID Board of Directors made the hard decision for the first time since 2017 to raise our assessment cap this year to $2.5 million – funds that will be used to clear more trash from our cans, tackle our increasingly complicated public realm and keep Dumbo shining for years to come.
— Alexandria Sica, President
Creating a Vibrant Neighborhood
THE DUMBO ARCHWAY & pearl street triangle
The Dumbo Archway and Pearl Street Triangle are managed by The Dumbo Improvement District under the NYCDOT Plaza Program. It’s a place for gathering, for art, entertainment, the Brooklyn Flea, and beyond. It’s Dumbo’s community living room.
old fulton plaza
The Dumbo Improvement District maintains and manages Old Fulton Plaza for the NYCDOT Plaza Program, giving extra space for all walking to the waterfront, in need of a place to sit down or stopping to eat on our restaurant row: Old Fulton Street.
car-free washington street
In 2022, we continued to manage Washington Street between Front Street and Water Street for the NYCDOT Open Streets program, providing pedestrian space for thousands of photo takers, occasion celebrators, neighbors and coworkers to gather, pause and enjoy the iconic view. This view has become one of the most sought out destinations in the City – and visitors come from around the world, across the 5 boroughs and just down the street to take it all in. It’s a photo that pops up across the world in film, advertisements and photography.
The Dumbo BID works hard to leverage the popularity of this view for the good of Dumbo’s small businesses and Brooklyn’s artists, via programming like The Six Foot Platform, and our new weekly Family Games Time.
Pearl Street Triangle Shade Umbrellas + Murals
By Liz Collins
In 2022, we commissioned Dumbo-based textile artist Liz Collins to design a new shade umbrella from the Pearl Street Triangle. She collaborated with Sunbrella on this custom fabric, just for Dumbo! To complete the look, Collins designed an asphalt mural – the last before the Pearl Street Triangle goes under construction – which was painted by Craig Anthony Miller and Joshua Reynolds. Thanks to DOT Art for the canvas! (Photo by Noemie Trusty.)
By LEONARD URSACHI
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to present another work by Dumbo-based, Romanian-born artist Leonard Ursachi. Fat Boy was installed in October – the first public art piece to grace the newly completed York Street Triangle!
Fat Boy is one of Ursachi’s “bunker” sculptures. Fat Boy’s title refers to the WWII atomic bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man. With its twin references to Eros and war, Fat Boy speaks to complexities of desire and violence. Both Time Out New York and curbed.com named Fat Boy one of the best public sculptures to view in New York. (Photos by Hassan Mokaddam.)
Light Year, our monthly video art exhibit, curated by Dumbo-based Leo Kuelbs Collection, Glowing Bulbs and John Ensor Parker, celebrated its ninth season of bringing video art out of the gallery and into the public realm. Light Year has presented more than 90 installations, featuring the work of over 350 artists and curators, since its inception in 2015.
As part of our Light Year programming, we partnered with Jaquay Saintil and Decoded Advertising to present a special video art exhibit projected onto the Manhattan Bridge in honor of Black History Month. From Jaquay: “The show grants the viewer front row access to Black culture. Art is subjective, and that is the beauty of what this year’s BHM show will display: our freedom of expression in various forms. Being Black we tend to face many obstacles in our day to day. These same obstacles are what grant us creative freedom of expression. We continue to use this consistent pressure to create diamonds effortlessly.”
SPIRAL OF LIFE
By Kickie Chudikova
This summer, we brought Spiral of Life to Old Fulton Plaza. This piece, made from Caesarstone, was a NYCxDESIGN project in collaboration with the Dumbo Improvement District, NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program, and Design Trust for Public Space.
The Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund
The Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund provides grants for eligible public art, performance, and accessibility projects that serve to enhance public space, increase access to cultural programming, and connect the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn. The Art Fund is a partnership of the Dumbo Improvement District and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, as part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
ANCHORAGE | BABEL IN REVERSE
By Joseph Morris and Owen Trueblood
This project is a site-specific sound installation featuring the voices of hundreds of speakers of endangered languages spoken throughout the city of New York, on view in the Dumbo Archway.
As you approach the installation, the sound is a whispering babel, with hundreds of recorded voices speaking hundreds of languages. However, as you walk beneath the speakers, the babel fades, and individual voices and languages are heard. As you move through the installation you will hear the voices of New Yorkers reciting personal stories, poems, and fables of languages we’re accustomed to hearing as well as the sound of languages that NYC is expected to lose in a generation or two. (Photos by Hassan Mokaddam.)
SKY’S THE LIMIT IN THE COUNTY OF KINGS
By Sherwin Banfield
A nine-foot-tall steel and bronze sculpture of Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, on view at Clumber Corner, at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.
In this “striking piece of art” (Time Out New York) artist Sherwin Banfield sought to both honor Biggie and challenge “the traditions of western public sculpture by representing his African American artistry, lineage and evolution.” (Photos by Noemie Trusty.)
LIVE AT THE ARCHWAY
Live at the Archway celebrated a sixth season of bringing live music and interactive art to the Archway in 2022. Hundreds came out on Thursday evenings all summer to enjoy a diverse slate of programming. Curated in partnership with Jan Bell of The Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, there was psychedelic Afro-soul, Americana, Swing, Senegalese Roots Reggae, a young rock and roll trio, modern dance, Japanese pop, protest music for a new generation, and collaborations with Brasil Summerfest, and the Center for Cuban Studies.
For a fourth year, we continued to present Dumbo-based artists in our pop-up gallery. Each week, a different Dumbo artist exhibited their work in a one-day solo show, and invited the public to collaborate on an interactive piece wrapped around the outside of the gallery.
Shout out to Sixpoint, who sponsored our 2022 Live at the Archway season.
We were thrilled to host their first ever SIXPOINT ART SHOW, featuring artwork submissions from artists and fans that show what “Beer Is Culture” means to them.
Live at the Archway is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. We are so thankful for their support!
DUMBO DRINK AND DRAW
We tapped some of Dumbo’s best artists to guide our creativity this summer. Every Wednesday, a Dumbo-based artist led hundreds of eager apprentices in a guided art experience. There was figure drawing, charcoal, paint-by-paint-chips, watercolors, and more.
Powered with love by Creatively Wild Art Studio.
BROOKLYN AMERICANA MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Eighth Annual Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, curated and produced by Jan Bell, presented thirteen bands in the Dumbo Archway on September 23 & 24.
CHABAD OF DUMBO
We were honored to partner with Chabad of Dumbo to celebrate Purim in March, Rosh Hashanah in September, and Hanukkah in December.
BROOKLYN BRUJERIA FESTIVAL
The fourth annual Brooklyn Brujeria Festival returned to the DUMBO Archway on September 17 with a day of music, magic, art, and community celebrating Brooklyn’s immigrant culture and fierce resilience. This year’s line-up featured an all star cast of some of the city’s best drum and dance collectives, tarot readers and a market full of magic makers. Read why it’s so significant for Latinas here.
The Dumbo Improvement District “Clean Team” rose to the challenge throughout the year, keeping Dumbo beautiful seven days a week, rain or shine. In addition to sweeping the streets, maintaining the plazas, & taking out the trash, they continued to support the Dumbo Open Streets campaign, setting up furniture and barricades, and keeping Washington Street looking great!
The “Clean Team” is contracted through the Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization working to end cycles of homelessness, incarceration and addiction through paid transitional work and supportive services.
block faces with sanitation services
hours logged by workers
trash bags collected
tons of trash collected
hours spent watering
incidents of graffiti removed
This year saw the Dumbo Improvement District expand its sanitation services, installing 14 Big Belly trash and recycling bins in the district. Introducing these units helps reduce the number of trash bags on the sidewalk, while also diverting recyclable materials from landfills.
The BID contracts with The Horticultural Society of New York (“The Hort”) to brighten our public plazas with seasonal plantings. From chrysanthemums and pansies to peacock kale and celiosa, The Hort helped keep our public spaces looking great year round! The Hort is a nonprofit whose mission includes using horticulture as a way to provide vocational training and transitional employment to former inmates and at-risk youth.
Welcoming Back The Workforce
perks in person
In 2022, we continued PERKS IN PERSON, a get-together for office tenants, and our reminder that Dumbo is a great place to work. Hundreds of employees – from BIG, Etsy, West Elm, Two Trees, Art and Commerce, String and Key, Toast Media Group, Girls on The Run, CMYK, Prime Matter Labs, Pensa, Miz Mooz, Wasserman, Story Syndicate, Amplify, Authentic, Quip, Kda, NSNA and many more – joined us to enjoy Dumbo on the house.
In April we celebrated planet-friendly commuters with beer & wine at Dumbo Station in the Dumbo Archway, and in December, we gave away free whoopie pies from Dawn’s ‘Til Dusk on Washington Street. Plus, at all Perks in Person, we gave away Dumbo Dollars – real money to spend each month at Dumbo businesses!
Supporting Small Business
This year, the Dumbo Improvement District provided tons of support to our eclectic retail mix–from indie shopping havens to waterfront fine dining–helping them connect with customers, and evolve their messaging.
The Dumbo Guide
Our map continues to fly off the shelves. This guide includes the neighborhood’s eating, drinking, shopping and cultural attractions, plus suggested itineraries for your perfect Day in Dumbo. 40k+ maps have been distributed to visitors, with more picked up every day!
THE BROOKLYN FLEA
The Brooklyn Flea returned to The Pearl Street Triangle and the Dumbo Archway on Saturdays and Sundays, April through December, offering cool vintage finds and authentic New York souvenirs.
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Our 2022 Gift Guide featured 150+ items from 70+ businesses, with ideas and tips for everyone on your list. These were mailed to 7,000+ addresses, and displayed in larger-than-life style in the Pearl Street Triangle, and on York Street.
In Dumbo’s version of #ShopLocal, we adorned 70+ businesses in Dumbo with giant holiday bows + custom tag, guiding Dumbonians and visitors alike through a gift list fulfillment tour right here in Dumbo.
THE BROOKLYN FLEA X DUMBO HOLIDAY MARKET
On Saturdays and Sundays through December 24, The Brooklyn Flea brought 40+ vintage and handmade vendors to the Archway in a curated Holiday Market.
Spreading the Word
On Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and our weekly eblasts, we mix real-time news and information with insider tips, shopping & dining guides, small business behind-the-scenes profiles and Only in Dumbo event round ups. With thousands of fans and followers translating into millions of impressions, our content served both to support our small businesses, and connect and inspire our community.
HOW TO DO DUMBO
A curated guide to Dumbo, sent monthly to Dumbo Residents & Dumbo Workforce, with insider tips, guides and all things Dumbo.
IN THE NEWS
We work hard to create spaces, moments and ideas that will garner positive media attention for the neighborhood. Here are a few for 2022.
THE SIX FOOT PLATFORM
The Six Foot Platform is an experimental performance + art program presenting work by Brooklyn-based artists on a 6×6 platform at the intersection of Washington and Water Streets.
For a second year, 11 Artists transformed this space over the course of the summer, chosen from a juried call for works. There was performance art, modern dance, imaginary fruit, giant sculptures, puppetry, lots of ice cream, and more.
The Six Foot Platform is presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Arts Council.
Hannah Lillevoy & m i c c a:
Sun Dae Day Daze
Margaret Roleke: The Shelling
Jenny Lai and Rebecca Baumwoll:
Mar Undag and Elliott Keller:
stills and successions
Miriam Vergara: Meditative Zone
Ming Liang Lu: A Day in Dumbo
Kevin Kelly: Non-Duality 2
Vanesa Alvarez Diaz: Painted Poetry
Hong Wu: A Seat At the Table
Sarah K. Williams: The Pitting
Oludare Bernard: Black Gods, their Children and Fabulousness
SHOP THE STUDIOS
Brooklyn based art for the holidays? Yes, please. On December 10, we hosted our second annual Shop the Studios in partnership with Art in Dumbo. 36 Dumbo artist studios and galleries opened with art for sale – with cash and carry options for everyone on your list.
For a second year, we hosted DoorStep DanceMart, a DJ Dance Party with groceries & wellness products giveaway for New York City-based dancers, produced by The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory-in June, July and September.
#DUMBODROP returned in person after a two year pandemic pause! Brooklyn’s most iconic block party welcomed more than 12,000 to the neighborhood to enjoy live music, art making, beer gardens, a bedazzling extravaganza, photo ops, activities at “Dumbo Drop Stops” at businesses through the neighborhood, and new this year, a Kids Zone in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Parents.
Thousands cheered as keepsake elephants parachuted down onto Brooklyn’s most photo- graphed block (Washington Street!) to raise significant funding for the neighborhood’s public schools, PS307 and The Dock Street School.
HALLOWEEN IN DUMBO
One of our favorite neighborhood traditions, DUMBOWEEN brought hundreds of costumed Dumbonians out for our Annual March to the Arch through Brooklyn Bridge Park with Funkrust Brass Band and puppets from Chinese Theater Works, followed by an Archway Party featuring crafts with Creatively WILD Art Studio and a photobooth from Self Portrait Project. Plus, 50+ Dumbo businesses handed out candy for trick-or-treat!
On December 1, hundreds of Dumbonians joined us to ignite some holiday cheer at our annual Tree Lighting. They enjoyed Calypso carols from Brooklyn-based steel drum band Jah Pan and Christmas covers by Curtis J. Social and the Dumbo house band, as well as performances by the PS307 Diamonds and Dock Street Middle School cheerleaders. They were treated to tasty bites donated by Celestine, Dawn’s ‘Til Dusk, Ivy Stark Mexology, Jacques Torres and Starbucks DUMBO, and winter fun from Adams Street Library and Brooklyn Bridge Parents. And of course, we had Santa in a Self-Portrait Project photobooth!
Our newest tradition returned! Santa’s Mailbox is our direct line to the North Pole + a chance for $100 Dumbo Dollars to make those wishes come true.
For a third year, Dumbo-based animation studio Augenblick reimagined the Holiday Tree in delightful, whimsical and surprising ways. These were projected onto the Manhattan Bridge every night in December though New Year’s Eve.
NEIGHBOR HOLIDAY HANG
On December 10, we invited Dumbo residents out to Washington Street to enjoy free coffee from Joe, cookies from Dawn’s ‘Til Dusk, caroling, a photo opp with Santa’s elf, and Dumbo Dollars to spend in the neighborhood.
We celebrated Valentine’s Day in Dumbo with a photo op at Empire Stores + Dumbo Dollars giveaway, worth $14 to sweeten evenings out in the neighborhood for the month of February.
Our Ninth Annual electronics waste recycling program was held in September. With the help of the Lower East Side Ecology Center, we helped 128 households/businesses in Dumbo recycle 11,421 pounds of unwanted electronic devices!
Supporting Local Community Partners
Throughout the year, we work with our community partners to do our part to support our neighbors. In 2022, we raised money for Dock Street Middle School and PS307 elementary school, hosted an ongoing food drive around Dumbo with the Vinegar Hill Food Pantry, and held coat & toy drives at the holidays in partnership with NYPD.
BELGIAN BLOCK RECONSTRUCTION
For decades, the Dumbo Improvement District advocated to the City to restore and modernize Dumbo’s famed Belgian block streets, upgrade water and sewer infrastructure and plaza spaces. Today – a $100 million NYC construction project is more than halfway through completion. The Dumbo Improvement District continues to work closely with the contractors and NYCDOT and NYCDDC to minimize the impacts of construction on the community and small businesses.
SUSAN MCKINNEY STEWARD PARK
We are thrilled to see the opening of Susan Smith McKinney Steward Park – named for the first African-American Woman doctor in New York. The Dumbo Improvement District has been advocating for the City to realize this important project since the 2008 deal with the Jehovah’s Witnesses to provide funding for such an improvement, citing it as a key investment in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle plan. We also provided design feedback to NYC Parks to ensure the park serves Dumbo and the surrounding community.
ANCHORAGE PLAZA + BQE
The Dumbo Improvement District sits on the BQE Community Visioning Council, pressing primarily for this once-in-a-generation investment to benefit our neighborhood by reducing local traffic flows and transforming the public realm spaces created by Robert Moses below and around the BQE – including the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage lots between Old Fulton and Washington Streets, Bridge Parks 1 and 3, and Old Fulton Plaza. The Dumbo Improvement District has long called for the consolidation of City parking lots and construction staging areas to create new public spaces throughout the neighborhood. Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage lot is slated to return to the public next year.
With 320 rental units at 160 Front Street, Magnolia Dumbo began welcoming tenants this fall.
FRONT & YORK
With 408 new residences at 115 York Street, Front & York began welcoming residents this fall.
46 new units in Dumbo’s last loft conversion.
A Jonathan Marvel-designed office tower at 29 Jay Street
72 new residences at 30 Front Street
225 new residences at 69 Adams
President Alexandria Sica is a member of the Board of Directors for the NYC BID Association – a peer group of 76 BIDs throughout the City. During this important policy year, Alexandria has served as the Chair of the Public Realm Committee, advocating directly with the Adams Administration on all things that shape our streets and public spaces.
Clara Schuhmacher represents the Dumbo BID on monthly calls with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, elevating the needs of our business community and brainstorming borough-wide initiatives with this influential body, and serves as a peer review panelist for the Department of Cultural Affairs grant making efforts.
Kalvis Mikelsteins leads the Commercial Corridor Recovery Task Force Brooklyn North Working Group, planning and facilitating meetings throughout the year with New York City Agency Officials to problem solve specific traffic, vending, and quality of life issues in the District. The Task Force focuses on inter-agency challenges and site specific issues that often fall outside of standard 311 requests.
The Magic Feather Award
Commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
The Dumbo Dozen
This year’s Dumbo Dozen recognizes the best and brightest companies that have moved to Dumbo since the start of the pandemic!
Art and Commerce
The Brave House
Julian Alexander, Slang Inc.
Rent the Runway
In 2022, we welcomed some incredible new businesses to Dumbo! Please say hello to:
18 Bridge Street
Founded by Tomoko Shimizu and Cindy Snell, Canary Music School offers small group and private piano/violin/guitar classes for children & adults of all levels and abilities.
33 Main Street
A reimagining of One Girl Cookie’s Dumbo location, with a full fledged savory menu, sweets that you know and love, and a thoughtfully curated wine & aperitivo hour snack menu. It’s both brand new and intimately familiar, and just like you, it’s a real New Yorker.
110 York Street
Speakitaly offers classes for every level & taste (kids + adults!), privates or group classes. They organize many events around the city, offer summer camps for kids and workshops for all ages, and are pros in dual citizenship, certified translations and naturalization.
Board of Directors + Staff
Clara Inés Schuhmacher
Senior Vice President, Programs
Director of Operations
Sayar Lonial, Chair
NYU Tandon, School of Engineering
Peter Forman, Vice Chair
Forman Realty Management, LLC
Bruce Silverglade, Treasurer
David Lombino, Secretary
Two Trees Management Co., LLC
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY OWNERS
Dom Ben Realty Corp./Chambers
Pearl Realty Management, LLC
Front Street Pizza
Two Trees Management Co., LLC
100 Jay LLC
United Photo Industries
Kevin D. Kim
Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services
Comptroller, City of new York
Brooklyn Borough President
Councilmember, 33rd Council District, Brooklyn
St. Ann’s Warehouse
Representative, Community Board 2
PRODUCTION & SUPPORT STAFF
DOE FUND SUPERVISORS