Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association

Our Mission:


We're focused on building community and beautifying the surrounding areas of Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.


This last month was notable for showing the movie “Crown Heights” at the Black Lady Theatre. The success of the event depended on the work done by Carl King and Colin Warner. Carl used his extensive connections to promote the showing. He got us on WBAI 99.5 FM two Saturdays in a row at 4pm on the program hosted by Isaac Ferguson called “Caribbean Voices and Beyond.” When Colin came up from Georgia he was a dynamo. He moved the showing into a larger venue, spoke to dozens of people, went to a Caribbean Community Action meeting the night before the show, and then went on WBAI for a third Saturday just before leaving town. Also Chris Ko, the caterer, deserves special mention; he put on an excellent spread with his sister that drew compliments from everyone, and did so at a very low price. The other panelists who spoke after the film, besides Carl and Colin, were excellent also – passionate, committed and persuasive. Esmeralda Simmons came over from the Center for Law and Social Justice despite being in less than perfect health. And David Keenan was right on target, telling about doing more innocence work, inspired by Carl's work on Colin's case. Also it was good to have Chloe Jensen write up the evening with a newcomer's fresh point of view.

We're also glad to be dealing with other issues. We have Teddy Grant weighing in on the census. Danielle Jackson covers the great amount of community support that has emerged for Tree Care. Andre Simon and Jeff Grannum have a great photo essay on the three elements of the West Indian Day Parade – Jouvert, the Children's Parade, and the main event down Eastern Parkway. This last month has been a good one for getting volunteers. However, two positions remain unfilled – we need someone to handle distribution of the magazine and another person to solicit ads.

Anyone wishing to get involved could write to or call 917-797-1010.

Staff for the October Issue:

Editor: John DeWind
Features Editor: Louise Kurshan
Poetry Editor: Katherine de la Rosa
Writers: Teddy Grant, John DeWind, Danielle Jackon, Chloe Jensen, Peter Desrocher, Sam Wood, Carla McAlary, Muhammad Abdullah, Tze Hoong Tan, Ashlon Harkins, Nekesa Singleton
Photographers: Andre Simon, Jeff Grannum, Riley Sexton, Jason Atkins
Newspaper Design: Rachelle Vagy


Updates from NAIA


Elders of Crown Heights




Our Statement of Principles

The Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association is formed around our Statement of Principles.

Learn More


Our Programs

The Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association organizes numerous day-to-day activities for the benefit of the community.


Litter Pickup

Our interns help clean up litter on Nostrand Avenue from Empire Boulevard to Park Place three times a week. They also pick up on St. Johns Place between Nostrand and New York. We now cover 12 blocks.


Free Street Flowers

NAIA offers free flowers to new merchants looking to plant on the street, and NAIA will take care of the flowers. The first set of flowers recently were delivered to Fit For Dance (778 Nostrand Avenue) and Maxine's (736A Nostrand Avenue).



NAIA now has three “Adopt-a-Basket” garbage cans (at St. Johns and Nostrand, President and Nostrand, and Montgomery and Nostrand). This means NAIA is now cleaning up 12 blocks from Park Place across Eastern Parkway to Empire Boulevard. With more volunteers we will move even further north until we reach Fulton Street.


Volunteers make it all possible

NAIA's efforts are largely powered by dedicated and hardworking interns and volunteers from our community. Thank you to all of NAIA's interns and volunteers for your invaluable contributions!


Our Projects

NAIA's signature projects encompass its long-term vision for the future of Nostrand Avenue.


Big Bench Project

NAIA's long-term vision is to build a series of up to 20 benches along Nostrand Avenue to build community and beautify the commercial strip.

Liane Fredel built the first bench in front of Happyluckyno.1 gallery, which actually served as the inspiration for our Big Bench Project.

This bench was designed by Karine Duteil and Nadej Hocini of KaN Landscape Design.  The association is looking for partners in the community to build more benches.

Our first bench was successfully funded - we raised nearly $2500 for the project!


Photo Project

NAIA is currently working with local photographers to promote the association's work by photo-journaling our daily activities and key projects. Our goal is to showcase the results when completed at a local neighborhood gallery.


Our Partners

NAIA works closely with various neighborhood partners, without whom our work would not be possible:

  1. Lincoln Place Block Association

  2. Friends of Brower Park

  3. Mosaic Baptist Church

  4. Popular Bank

  5. Harvest Home

  6. Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly


New Merchants & Ventures