Mayor's Office of Special Projects and Community Events311Search all websites

Special Projects

Special Projects

We are continually working on and seeking new projects that enhance our community outreach. Check back soon for updates about our special projects and initiatives.

Black History Month: Empowering Girls Through STEM and Leadership by Innovation and Mentoring

February 15, 2017
First Lady Chirlane McCray smiling with two girls at coding workshop

In honor of Black History Month, First Lady Chirlane McCray hosted a coding workshop for 15 girls from homeless shelters from all five boroughs. With Gracie Mansion as the setting for the evening, the 15 girls were provided with laptops, MiFi, and 6 months of Internet connectivity, as well as basic training in coding provided by Black Girls Code. Participants were asked to take what they learned back to their communities to train other girls in coding.

Gracie Mansion Conservancy Open House

March 5, 2017
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking to male visitor at Gracie Mansion open house

In Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Gracie Mansion serving as New York City’s Mayoral Residence, the Gracie Mansion Conservancy announced a new exhibit, New York 1942. This was the second installation at Gracie Mansion under the de Blasio administration, and included artwork, documents and objects focused on 1942, the year Mayor Fiorello La Guardia moved to Gracie Mansion. Visitors were invited to a special Open House commemorating the opening of the exhibit at Gracie Mansion.

Women Leaders in NYC Administration Reception

March 13, 2017
Lady Chirlane McCray speaking to women at a networking event

Women in leadership roles in the current NYC Administration were invited to come to a networking event intended to foster cross-collaboration among agencies and build bonds between women in government.

Reimagining Black History Through Art: African American History and the "Fierce Urgency of Now"

February 22, 2016
Lady Chirlane McCray hosting a panel discussion while speakers watch and listen

In honor of Black History Month, the Mayor's Office of Special Projects and Community Events organized a panel discussion featuring a group of renowned African American artists and scholars. With Gracie Mansion as the setting for the evening, the conversation was hosted by First Lady Chirlane McCray and moderated by Alondra Nelson, Dean of Social Science at Columbia University and author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome. Panelists included former lead dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Alicia Graf Mack, Hamilton's Daveed Diggs, award-winning children's book illustrator Christopher Myers, author and distinguished professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College Jeanne Theoharis, and National Book Award-winning poet Robin Coste Lewis. The discussion examined how contemporary African American artists reimagine their history, from slavery to post-civil rights and depict the challenges and possibilities in today's society. The event was attended by arts organization directors, interns, students, local artists, nonprofit leaders and community advocates.

Making Music Together! From Jazz to the Improvisation of Everyday Life: A Youth Workshop

February 17, 2016
man speaking to room of children at jazz workshop at Gracie Mansion

Earlier this year, the Mayor's Office of Special Projects and Community Events organized a Jazz improvisation workshop at Gracie Mansion for children residing in homeless shelters. Hosted by First Lady Chirlane McCray and led by renowned Columbia University music professor, George E. Lewis, and two of his post-doctoral mentees, Making Music Together! empowered more than fifty children to use jazz music and improvisation as a tool of self-expression to help improve mental health and build community. The children even had a chance to bring one of the First Lady's poems to life using their newly-acquired improv techniques!

Women in Politics: Mentoring & Networking Reception

March 23, 2016
woman speaks while First Lady Chirlane McCray looks into the crowd

In honor of Women's History Month, our agency organized a networking reception for female City government leaders and their mentees at Gracie Mansion. Hosted by Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray, the event presented a unique opportunity for tomorrow's leaders to connect with the inspiring women of today by fostering conversations about critical gender equity issues and the positive merits of political leadership. Our special guests Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, Borough President Gale Brewer, Dr. Una Clarke and Maya Wiley shared their stories of how they were inspired to become involved in the political process and the steps they took to make their voices equally heard in an arena historically dominated by men. Leaders from female-empowerment organizations Higher Heights and VoteRunLead were also present to highlight and discuss the resources that are available to young ladies who are considering careers in politics. The gathering was attended by more than 200 women.
Read the Mentoring & Networking Reception transcript