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In 2005 and then again in 2008, the West Harlem Art Fund in partnership with the Office of the Manhattan Borough President and NYS Division of Coastal Resources collaborated on two studies for West Harlem and Northern Manhattan, Take me to the River. The process was heralded for its inclusiveness and many community stakeholders were involved. Yet, moving forward has been a challenge. That began to change last year. By adding ten more blocks and including the 12th Avenue viaduct along with inviting an artist to help transform West Harlem with a lighting design, we were able to rekindle that effort and ALL the hard work that went into that process. Though a little battered, the West Harlem Art Fund found new partners and friends who believe in the beauty of our community and that we can support economic development to better the lives of all. The West Harlem Art Fund can now create more public art by mixing art, design and technology. And we are advocating that the old Marine Transfer Station be transformed into a tech and design center. The Presidential Library should come to West Harlem and it should be the 1st digital Presidential Library in the country. That would inspire thousands of young people and invigorate our community to truly benefit everyone across race, gender and income levels.

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