Vanessa Hock

Clean Bushwick Initiative and Bushwick based artist Jason Naylor teamed up to create a mural advocating for a cleaner Bushwick. The mural, reading ‘Keep Bushwick Litter Free’, will be unveiled on September 6, 2020. The unveiling will include fundraising, speeches from local leaders, and a street clean up in the surrounding area.

“This event will shed light on the various environmental issues affecting the community at large, with proactive solutions,” says Kristen Tadrous from Clean Bushwick Initiative. 

Photo taken by Vanessa Hock for Bushwick Daily

The mural, located on the Southeast corner of Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, was completed on August 1, 2020 and took two years of planning. Through art and community advocacy, Naylor and Clean Bushwick Initiative hope the mural will inspire local residents to take charge of their streets. 

Bushwick, known as a hotspot for street art, “has noticeable litter problem,” say the founders of Clean Bushwick Initiative. “City officials can not keep up with disposal needs as population and construction sites increase due to gentrification. Illegal dumping, negligence from local authorities, and lack of funding contributes to the environmental injustice present in Bushwick.”  

Clean Bushwick Initiative, founded by Nicole DeSantis, Debora Rivas, and Kristen Tadrous, is a community response to the lack of action. Once a month, they gather with local volunteers to pick up trash at local areas such as Maria Hernandez Park. The Initiative partners with groups such as GrowNYC and Partners for Park to organize outreach and youth focused programs.  

Naylors’ work, seen in cities such as Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Chicago, has a neon color palette often containing messages of love and positivity. He has murals dedicated to self-care, Black Lives Matter, and LGBTQ Pride. 

“This mural is to serve as a reminder to keep the neighborhood clean, litter-free and filled with love. I am honored to be able to add some color to this part of the world, and help this community take pride in our home,” says Naylor. 

The event is free to register and all supplies are provided for the street cleanup. Food and beverages will be donated by local businesses while eco-friendly organizations such as DeliverZero, Precycle, and CupZero will be on site to raise environmental awareness. All fundraiser proceeds will go to Bushwick Ayuda Mutua, a non-profit which responds to the needs of Bushwick neighbors during the COVID pandemic. Masks are required to join.

Register for the event here.

Cover Photo by Vanessa Hock

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