How do you change a public space, like a street? What does it take? Where do you start?

In the Spring of 2015, CUP teaching artist Douglas Paulson worked with students from the Municipal Art Society’s youth program Designing Change to investigate how to create change in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood on Belmont Avenue, a four-block commercial strip with lots of storefronts. Students explored where to gather information, who to communicate an idea to, and how to work with city organizations and building or property owners.

Students interviewed elected officials, city agencies, and business owners on how to change public spaces in Brownsville or elsewhere in New York City. Students created silhouettes, drawings, and designed a poster that demonstrates the step by step process to make change to a public space.

Making Change debuted at the Paul Cooper Center, where students presented the poster and discussed their creative process.

Get your own poster here!

What People are Saying

“Learning about the ways that I can personally create change gave me hope that I can influence what’s going on in my own neighborhood.” – Terry Bellamy Jr., Student from Making Change

“This project gave me a better insight on the city and showed me the positivity in the neighborhood. Our wheat pastings were praised by many people around the neighborhood as we put up the posters.” – Tiffany Lopez, Student from Making Change

“My coworkers are jealous that I got the opportunity to work on such an exciting project.” – Karyn Williams, MAS Project Manager

Resources & Links

Municipal Art Society (MAS) fights for intelligent urban design, planning, and preservation through education, dialogue, and advocacy.

Special Thanks

Michael Anderson, Pema Domingo-Barker, Erica Mateo, Oscar Nuñez


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Douglas Paulson
  • Project Lead
  • Jenn Anne Williams
  • Project Support
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Christy Herbes

  • Municipal Art Society
  • Students
  • Terry Bellamy Jr.

    Cordina Collins

    Faith Garrett

    Mikala Greenidge

    Desire Guirland

    Jada Jean-Paul

    Tiffany Lopez

    Theodore Flanflor

    Aaron Malik

  • Project Manager
  • Karyn Williams