Press Release

Mayor's Fund to Advance New York CIty Kicks Off Public Housing Enhancement Initiative

January 20, 2007

Residents and Publicolor Participants Paint Community Centers in Every Borough

First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman Tino Hernandez, NYCHA Board Member Margarita Lopez, Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City President Megan Sheekey and Publicolor Founder and President Ruth Lande Shuman today helped launch a new program to enhance and brighten NYCHA community spaces.  Residents, students, and volunteers gathered at Rutgers Community Center in Lower Manhattan to paint the walls in beautiful new colors.  Rutgers is one of the nine community centers across the city being transformed by this pilot project of the Mayor's Fund.  This partnership between NYCHA and nonprofit Publicolor aims to brighten NYCHA community spaces with bold colors and to strengthen relationships between residents, staff and community volunteers through painting efforts. Paints have been generously donated by Benjamin Moore & Co.

"I am delighted to help kick off this collaborative and fun initiative," said First Deputy Mayor Harris.  "We hope it will inspire additional private sector support through the Mayor's Fund to further enhance the quality of life for NYCHA residents and all New Yorkers."

"I commend all the participants who are investing their time in this valuable effort," said Deputy Mayor Walcott. "This project is one more example of how New Yorkers are making a meaningful difference and positively impacting the lives of our fellow community members."

"We are honored to work alongside the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and NYCHA in order to bring the beauty and energy of color to more of our city," said Ruth Lande Shuman.  "This initiative reflects Publicolor's belief that people can be engaged and inspired through the painted transformation of their community facilities.  We are delighted that NYCHA shares our understanding that environments impact attitudes and behavior, and we are proud to be a partner in this program."

By April 2007, the following NYCHA community spaces, located in all five boroughs, will be enhanced as a result of this pilot project: South Beach, General Charles W. Berry and General Charles W. Berry Annex in Staten Island; Parkside and Marble Hill in the Bronx; Boulevard, Bushwick, and Pennsylvania Avenue -Wortman Avenue in Brooklyn; and Rutgers in Manhattan.

"The involvement of NYCHA youth in Publicolor's activities gets us a double bonus:  we'll have brightened colorful NYCHA community centers and the youth who helped get the job done will be filled with pride at the work they accomplished," said NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez.

Individuals interested in supporting this and other New York City public programs are encouraged to visit the Mayor's Fund website at or to call through 311 (212-NEW-YORK).  For New Yorkers seeking to volunteer, the Mayor's Volunteer Center connects individuals, corporations, and agencies to meaningful opportunities through their online database at

Project Partners:

The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established to promote partnerships between the City and the private sector in an effort to strengthen public programs.

NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America. NYCHA's Conventional Public Housing Program has 179,025 apartments in 344 developments throughout the City. NYCHA serves more than 175,000 families and over 412,000 authorized residents.

Publicolor is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which uses color, collaboration, design and the painting process to empower young people to transform themselves, their schools, and their communities. Publicolor teaches the marketable skill of commercial painting while engaging inner city teens in their education and has transformed 80 public schools and 102 community sites to date.

Melissa Ferguson
(212) 788-7760