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Mural for the whole neighborhood

An eyesore becomes a sight for sore eyes.

Partnering with the newly created SONYA Mural Arts Project, artist Ellie Balk and a crew of volunteer artists, will paint a mural of a nine-foot circle map of Fort Greene on the empty brick wall on the side of Tillie’s of Brooklyn, beginning on the evening of June 13.

Tillie’s community mural will be on the corner of Vanderbilt and DeKalb avenues and the public is invited to participate in the project from 12-6 p.m., June 21, by putting a dot in the spot where their home is located.

Tillie’s will serve refreshments at the dedication ceremony.

South Of the Navy Yard Artists (SONYA) has partnered with Balk to create the SONYA Mural Arts Fund, which will be used to create and implement murals and public art projects that support the youth and neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The initial goal is to raise $5,000 towards the completion of its first project and the development of future murals.

The public is invited to make tax-deductible donations by visiting SONYA’s website and clicking on “donate”, then noting “Mural Arts Fund” under the special instructions, so that the funds can be allocated properly.

Balk, a neighborhood resident and artist who specializes in community-based projects, explains: “The goal for the Tillie’s Community Mural is to unify and bridge the varying aspects of the local community, giving all people a sense of connectedness. The mural will go up at the point where our neighborhoods meet, at the corner of Vanderbilt and DeKalb. Tillie’s has become a home base for many Fort Greene/Clinton Hill residents.”

With fiscal sponsorship and support from SONYA, this mural has been funded through a grant from the Puffin Foundation and with generous support from the Society for Clinton Hill. It is also supported by: the Landmarks commission of NYC; the Community Board of Kings County; building owner Danny Browne; Tillie’s owners, Patricia Mulcahy and Amos Yogev; and many enthusiastic community members.

Says SONYA president, Kathleen Hayek, “We are excited about the Tillie’s Community Mural and would very much like it to succeed and be the catalyst for many more mural projects within our community.”

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