MEDIA ALERT: On October 30, AIGA/NY will launch “The Seaport Stories,”
 an Innovative Interactive Audio Tour to Conclude Catch — & — Release, Part of the Participatory Design Initiative Design/Relief

New York, NY, October 27, 2014 – As we are about to celebrate Hurricane Sandy’s second anniversary, AIGA/NY is pleased to announce the concluding event and final outcome for Catch — & — Release. This project is part of Design/vRelief, a participatory design initiative aiming to engage three New York City neighborhoods imagine a more vibrant future for themselves as they overcome the lingering effects of the storm. The New York chapter of AIGA (the nation’s leading professional association of graphic designers) explores design’s potential in creative placemaking, a field defined by the intentional use of arts and artists to shape the physical, social, and economic future of communities. Design/Relief is supported by an innovation grant from ArtPlace America.

The second phase of Design/Relief’s Catch — & — Release provides a deeper understanding of South Street Seaport’s history and culture. It follows a participatory installation under the FDR last winter that highlighted its human connections and spirit of resilience. Over the past year, the team has collected multiple perspectives on the Seaport and gathered personal memories through design pop-up exhibits, community engagement, charrettes, and in-depth interviews, to reveal the lively culturalmosaic that makes this twelve-block enclave a unique place in New York City.

The audio tour will provide visitors and residents a special opportunity to experience the Seaport through vivid tales told in situ. These extraordinary stories will be brought to life by a handful of colorful characters of the Seaport, including photographer Barbara Mensch, painter Naima Rauam, and fishmonger Frank Mineo. A temporary installation of site-specific posters will also guide the walk as well as serving as markers for the tour.

A nighttime walking tour on Thursday, October 30 will launch The Seaport Stories with an unusual self-guided tour composed of a larger collection of personal stories revealing what is not visible on the surface of the Seaport today. The Seaport Stories will be made available online on that date at

Walking tour and party THURSDAY OCTOBER 30, 2014, 6:00-8:00 PM
6:00 PM: Meeting point at the South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038
6:30 PM: Opening remarks and presentation and hot cider
7:00-8:00 PM: Guided tour throughout the Seaport
8:00-9:00PM: Drinks at Paris Cafe, 119 South Street, New York, NY

“Catch — & — Release is an endeavor to creatively make visible the invaluable culture of South Street Seaport, but more importantly, its people, whom we interacted with for over a year. I hope this project not only helps revitalize the community, but also inspires others to appreciate authentic cultures in a time of urban gentrification,” says Yeju Choi, lead designer on the project.

Catch — & — Release was developed by:
Yeju Choi of Nowhere Office, designer
Francesca Birks and Josh Treuhaft of ARUP, community engagement strategists
Tyler Silvestro, storyteller
Laetitia Wolff, project director
Special thanks to ARUP for their ongoing technical support


AIGA/NY is the largest chapter of AIGA, the nonprofit professional association for design. Founded in 1914 and headquartered in New York City, AIGA has brought design to the world, and the world to designers. The New York Chapter aligns with AIGA’s overall mission to advance design as a respected craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. From content that defines the global practice to events that connect and catalyze, AIGA/NY works to enhance the value and deepen the impact of design on business, society and our collective future. The Design/Relief project is overseen by Laetitia Wolff, Program Director, with present AIGA/NY board members Juliette Cezzar and Manuel Miranda, and past board members Willy Wong and Glen Cummings. For the complete list of team members and updates please visit:

About ArtPlace America
ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants totaling $42.1 million to 124 organizations in 79 U.S. communities (and a statewide project in the state of Connecticut). Foundations participating in ArtPlace America include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors. ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council. ArtPlace America is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley.

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