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Heart of Brooklyn launches national initiative
Building Strong Community Networks will include a comprehensive public value audit and a cross-organizational capacity-building curriculum.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.- Heart of Brooklyn, a cultural partnership of six neighboring cultural institutions anchored around Grand Army Plaza in central Brooklyn, announces the next phase of Building Strong Community Networks — a catalyst for promoting critical change and inclusive civic and cultural engagement in Brooklyn.

Building upon a planning process that began in fall 2010 and the award-winning community initiatives already in place at the Heart of Brooklyn cultural institutions, Building Strong Community Networks will include a comprehensive public value audit and a cross-organizational capacity-building curriculum. The partnership includes Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park Alliance and Prospect Park Zoo. HOB will develop new tools and processes to share with other partnerships across the country to facilitate cultural and community collaboration. This project engages five satellite cities—Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Columbus, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia—to ensure a national community of practice.

Building Strong Community Networks was awarded a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLS Director Susan Hildreth stated: “These grants will advance the museum, library, and archive professions through new research and the creation and dissemination of innovative tools, models, and activities that can be shared broadly." In addition, the project received significant support from The Rockefeller Foundation through its NYC Opportunities Fund.

Nationally recognized research leader WolfBrown will lead a team of specialists, and the Center for the Study of Brooklyn will provide access to current data.

“Cultural institutions are essential components of life long learning and vibrant communities,” notes Ellen F. Salpeter, HOB Director. “Through this project, HOB and our community partners are eager to leverage our collective impact to engage Brooklyn’s communities in the bold act of envisioning the future.”

“Building Strong Community Networks represents an exciting progression of our unique partnership and once again, Brooklyn is a recognized leader in cultural innovation,” states HOB Board Chair and Prospect Park Zoo Director Denise McClean.

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