Won't You Be My Neighbor: Public Assistants Celebrates a Year of Community Work

Won't You Be My Neighbor: Public Assistants Celebrates a Year of Community Work

In the spirit of the holidays, the prolific and transdisciplinary Public Assistants took time to celebrate their year of work, original headquarters in Crown Heights, and the abundance of inspired friends and neighbors that keep them going. Birthed amidst the height of COVID and its convergence with global socio-political protest, Public Assistants came to the community calls of Brooklyn and beyond, extending public programs and social services, all rooted in collaborative art and media-making.

Having transformed a vacant corner lot and laundromat into their first HQ, they forged a design and fabrication studio, garden, community fridge, free bike repair workshop and youth mural residency. Today, and after months of displacement from their magical HQ, Public Assistants (AKA P.A.) takes an even more amorphous, convertible shape.

"This photo essay is the embodiment of what community means to us: a practice in collective care and an affirmation of joy amidst ongoing grassroots work," P.A. tells PAPER. "We’re grateful to work in tandem with so many amazing people in the spirit of mutual aid and creativity. We become stronger collectively as we step in rhythm. We prepare for what is to come and accept that we can’t be contained, so we continue to move and grow."

These images aim to highlight some fellow Public Assistants and supportive Crown Heights neighbors: "Special shout outs to Miss Shay, Mea, Miss Stacey, Tracey and Rita. In the words of Lil Kim, 'You’re in the hood now, baby.'"

Jahel, Frida, Evie, Caroline and Bryan

(On Jahel) Suit: Levi's, Shirt: Sacai (On Frida) Tee: Sacai, Shirt: Theophilio, Shoes: Coach (On Evie) Dress: PH5, Hat: Christian Siriano (On Caroline) Dress: Julia Heuer (On Bryan) Dress: Julia Heuer