UnionDocs Collaborative Alums give back by launching fundraiser to help subject of their film.

gardenAlumni of the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio, Anthony Simon and Michael Vass launched an Indiegogo  campaign Order to raise funds to help maintain a volunteer-run garden space in the Southside.

The community space was featured in their short documentary about the Domino Sugar Refinery made as part of the UnionDocs production Living Los Sures, and the garden is maintained by one of the main subjects, Johnny (Juan Mendez).

Anthony says “We wanted to thank Johnny and the other garden members for the time they gave to us in making the film, so we used our resources as filmmakers to create this campaign to raise funds and awareness for Johnny and his garden.”

More info about the Garden:

The Berry Street Community Garden in Williamsburg Brooklyn was started in 1971 by Juan Mendez, also known as Johnny. The space was originally a vacant lot that he and several volunteers helped clean up. In addition to maintaining the garden daily, every week Johnny teaches gardening skills to the nearby middle school children. The garden has a total of 15 members, who each grow their own vegetables and hold a variety of community events. For example, the garden is decorated every Halloween for a “Haunted Garden,” which is a popular event with families in the neighborhood.

Anyone who has spent time in this quiet oasis, located just one block from bustling Bedford Avenue, will understand why this space is cherished by its members and the broader community. And yet, as property values in the area continue to increase, the garden’s existence remains constantly under threat from the city and housing developers. By donating you will be helping to maintain this unique and essential staple of the community.

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