The beautification program which began on the Lower East Side of Manhattan has now reached its 6th neighborhood on the Island. NY1’s Jared Smith filed the following report.
There is a more colorful look to the urban landscape along Port Richmond and Castleton Avenues.
Lina Montoya is behind the effort, an expansion of the 100 Gates Project, a beautification program that began on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
It involves artists creating colorful murals on the roll-down security gates of storefronts.
"It's extremely rewarding, there's a tangible outcome and you see the work come to life immediately," said Lower East Side Partnership Director Natalie Raben.
Montoya is a graphic artist who lives on Staten Island. She immigrated from Colombia seven years ago, a journey reflected in her work.
"The project stands for migration is beautiful we all should celebrate diversity and immigration and this is something that adds something positive to the community so I wanted to show that," said Montoya.
After beginning on the Lower East Side, the 100 Gates Project has outgrown its name, spreading to over 200 gates across the city. The effort is mostly funded by government grants, but private donors are helping as well.
"It's really fun to be able to work in that grassroots way, and sponsors get excited about that too," said Raben.
Thanks to some additional public funding from councilwoman Debi Rose, Port Richmond is the 6th neighborhood on Staten Island where the 100 Gates Project has left their mark.
As of November, 44 gates on Staten Island have been painted, with 31 more expected to be completed once the weather warms up.
A total of 49 artists and 35 businesses on Staten Island are participating in the project.
One of them is the Richmond Hood Company on Castleton Avenue. Owner Tariq Zaid sees his participation as giving back to the community, a community that is now included in the 100 Gates Project.
"Were thankful that we can participate in this program, that is city wide, again New York City is five boroughs, not four,” said Zaid.