By Birgitte Philippides-Delaney and Chandra/Jo Sgammato
The world changed significantly over the last two months and The West 13th Street Alliance quickly adapted its community programming in order to continue serving neighbors during the crisis, especially those who remain isolated.
After live events were canceled, many people reached out to express interest in connecting with the community even if they couldn’t physically leave their homes. In response, Co-Executive Directors of Community Events, Chandra Jo/Sgammato and Wayne Kawadler, created a calendar of virtual programming.
We road-tested two virtual community events on Zoom in late March and early April. The first event, Ask The Experts, featured Dr. Elan Levy, Associate Chair ED, and Alex Hellinger, Executive Director, both of Lenox Health Greenwich Village. Community members were able to ask questions directly to the experts.
Our second virtual event in April was Community Sharing, a safe-space event which brought community members together for support and connection about the coronavirus crisis. Chandra Jo/Sgammato, who is also the Executive Director of Integral Yoga Institute, facilitated the hour-long discussion. Community members were able to express their thoughts while others listened. Many who attended were still in their NYC apartments, while others were neighbors who had left town but still wanted to connect and socialize with other community members.
There are three events planned for May 2020:
Community Sharing Zoom Gathering
Wed, May 6th, 6:30-7:30 pm via Zoom.
How Do You Feel?: Come together for support and connection at this time. You may express your thoughts and emotions, or just listen. Facilitated by Chandra Jo/Sgammato.
Do-It-Yourself Hand and Foot Massage
Wed, May 13th, 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Zoom.
In this one-hour session you will learn simple hand and foot massage techniques that you can do on yourself. Suggestions will be given for how to create a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere with materials that are readily available in your home. Taught by Nina Priya David, MA, longtime West Village resident and Integral Yoga instructor who is also certified in Reiki, Reflexology and Natural Foods.
Virtual Community Art Class
Wed., May 27th, 6:30-7:30p.m. via Zoom
Imagine Landscapes: Learn the basics of designing and then drawing or painting a landscape. Use materials you have to create a picture, of either a real place you’ve been to or a place you dream of being in. Taught by Kitty Azhar, New York City public school art teacher.
To RSVP for these events, please email Wayne Kawadler at Wayne@TheProjectNYC.org. You will receive an email response with the Zoom link. Please also email Wayne with any questions about using Zoom.
The West 13th Street Alliance sends out weekly community emails, with helpful info from local institutions, businesses, neighborhood block associations, and many free virtual community event offerings. If you would like to be added to community email list, please send us a request at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME ADDITIONAL UPDATES
The institutions on our block, The Church of The Village, Lenox Health Greenwich Village, Integral Yoga and The LGBT Community Center have been in transition as well during this time.
The Church of the Village has seen the need for its emergency food program, called Hope for Our Neighbors in Need (HNN), increase to 2,000 persons a week during the coronavirus crisis. HNN has food and volunteers, but financial donations are desperately needed. Also, the Church of the Village is providing daily online opportunities for meditation, prayer, study, and worship through Zoom or by phone. For more information, visit the church’s website: https://www.churchofthevillage.org.
Lenox Health Greenwich Village has adapted their facility to hold 30 plus hospital beds to serve coronavirus patients and they are grateful for all the food donations and support from the community. For more info here’s their link: https://www.northwell.edu/lenox-health-greenwich-village .
Integral Yoga Institute has been offering free-online yoga classes via Zoom and have had thousands of people attend their classes virtually. If interested to hear more, please visit iyiny.org and subscribe to their newsletter.
The LGBT Community Center has been busy bringing their most critical services online: one-on-one remote counseling sessions, virtual recovery groups, youth support groups and a virtual youth drop-in space, health care enrollment by phone and a remote team of information specialists fielding calls and emails every day. In April they also held a virtual townhall and supporter briefing. For more info about The Center, please visit: https://gaycenter.org .
Happy Spring and hope you enjoy the beautiful tulips on West 13th Street!