The LESCSS Community Center will be a place of sanctuary in downtown Manhattan - a space where people of all ages can create, learn, teach and grow together. Surrounded by plants from the LESCSS collection, one can experience lectures, screenings, performances and more, as well as take or teach classes for teens on a variety of topics.
The Center will be a place for the New York of now, and pave the way for the New York of the future.
The LESCSS (Lower East Side Cactus and Succulent Society) was formed in 2019 by a group of New York creatives united in their shared relationships with desert dwelling plants and how those relationships aid them in cultivating a life that mirrors how we connect, take care of, and create with one another.
During a time where the need for sacred and intentional spaces have become more apparent than ever, the LESCSS is on a mission to respond with a physical community center.
Plants are the heart of the LESCSS, but the visions for community programming extend far beyond. The Center is interested in providing a diverse array of activity that caters to interests across the board. Adult programming will encourage people to explore their interests, future potential interests, and the world around them.
A special focus will be given to experimental art, environmentalism, social justice, film, music, and community. Programming will take the forms of workshops, guest lectures, live musical events, screenings, and much more.
The LESCSS is driven to foster a space for creative kids to explore new ideas in ways that are absent in traditional educational systems. Through workshops, resources, tools, teachers, and mentors, kids will be encouraged to explore new ideas and interests in an environment that simultaneously caters to individuality, and community. All youth programs and resources will be centered around the pillars of accessibility, self empowerment, creative expression, and skill-set development.
Special focus will be given to conservation and environmentalism as learning tools.
In addition to the unique environment, the day to day purpose of The Center is what will separate this space from any other. When programming is not active, The Center will serve as a place for people to exist without the usual hurry of life in New York City.
A place for people to convene and take a break. A place where people can explore new ideas and access tools curated to inspire and assist creative thinkers.
An environment of plants helps us breathe. It serves as a reminder to pay close attention to the needs of life- that we must check in and intervene when care is warranted.
These mentalities help us to care for Mother Earth, but also teach us how to care for ourselves and each other. To have plants present, even when not spoken about, sets the tone for a place where people can feel in tune with their natural selves.
Desert dwelling plants happen to be some of the best equipped to deal with harsh conditions, like their city-dwelling appreciators.
In order to make the center a reality, we will need both immediate and long term financial support. We are looking both for one time donations, as well as ongoing corporate partners. Fundraising efforts will go to:
• Finding, renting and renovating an appropriate space in Downtown Manhattan
• Hiring full time staff including a community outreach coordinator and a programming director
• Purchasing necessary equipment for workshops, events and classes including computers, projector, sound systems, xerox machines, screen printing labs and more.