Happiness is… Harbor Camp!

Story by Waterfront Alliance

Before the new school year begins, the Waterfront Alliance will send more than 4,000 kids out to the water on Harbor Camp trips. They’ll have raised the sails on the Clipper City, checked out the fighter jets atop the aircraft carrier Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, fished courtesy of the Hudson River Park Trust, observed plankton under microscopes at The River Project, waved to the Statue of Liberty from the deck of the Pioneer, and more.

With the goal of opening children’s eyes to the wonder and fun of New York Harbor and its waterways and waterfronts, Harbor Camp is a longstanding Waterfront Alliance program sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, the Paula del Nunzio Balser and Paul F. Balser Sr. Family Foundation, and the Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as many generous individual donors. By the end of this summer, nearly 20,000 children will have passed gleefully through this program.

Marc Santora’s kids at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, ages 5 through 13, went aboard the Intrepid and the South Street Seaport Museum’s schooner Pioneer. “They had a really good time,” Mr. Santora said. “At the Intrepid, they got to see what life was like for sailors when the Intrepid was an actual ship. They even got to see simulators, so they had a sense of what it would be like to drive a boat like that. Our older kids went on the Pioneer and learned how to put up sails and take them down. They learned what it took to be a sailor in the in 1880s. They learned how to tie knots, they got to see some of the wildlife that lived in the harbor, and they sailed!”

This summer, the Waterfront Alliance was pleased to expand Harbor Camp, welcoming several new youth groups to the program. And in a special extra gift to Harbor Camp participants, + POOL, an initiative to build the world’s first water-filtering floating pool for New York City waters, provided learn-to-swim scholarships for children from the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center.


A Renaissance at Lincoln Square


PUBLISHED MAR 8, 2016 AT 2:28 PM (UPDATED MAR 8, 2016)

A rebuilt stage at the West Side neighborhood center will inaugurate new arts programming

The stage in the auditorium of Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, a multigenerational cultural hub on West 65th Street, will again hold performances after more than two years of languishing in a state of disrepair. The community center, which mostly serves tenants of the nearby Amsterdam Houses public housing complex, received a $50,000 donation from Lowe’s to restore a moldy and unstable platform into a new black hardwood floor of professional performance venue quality.

With a working stage once again in place, the center hopes to begin a community arts program that will bring artists and shows to the neighborhood for free. “This is a neighborhood where lots of artists live but they don’t have a place to perform, so this could become an incredible gathering place for the arts,” said Susan Matloff-Nieves, executive director of Lincoln Square.

She’s hoping to turn the auditorium into a performance venue that showcases different types of art, music and dance for a community that would often be hard pressed to pay for shows at even neighboring Lincoln Center, just two blocks away and home to the Metropolitan Opera, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and The Juilliard School.

“Lincoln Center is a hub of music and theater and activity and there’s a tremendous economic divide between those that go to Lincoln Center and right across the street, where the median income is $25,000 and below,” said Stephan Russo, director of the Goddard Riverside Center, the parent company of Lincoln Square. “So the goal would be able to bring quality arts program into the center and make them available and accessible.”

What makes the venue unique is the versatility of the space: there are two openings to the stage, one into an auditorium, and the other to the outside. In that way, the house will be able to host both indoor and outdoor performances.

Last June, Lincoln Square merged with Goddard Riverside, a community center on Columbus Avenue, in an effort to continue getting the resources and funding needed to run its programs. Goddard Riverside has a much larger budget and community base than Lincoln Square so the merger was able to provide the smaller center with the support needed to continue and build upon its existing programs. Lincoln Square has been serving residents in the community for about 60 years and is used regularly by about 1,000 residents. Programs there are for participants under 25 years of age or over 65 and include a senior center that provides a daily hot lunch, a daycare program and a series of afterschool extracurricular classes, all for little to no cost.

Many in the community have lived at the complex for decades, helping to establish strong connections among neighbors and fellow tenants. Patricia Ryan, president of the tenant association at the Amsterdam Addition, has lived at the development her whole life and knows almost everybody who lives in the development. She’s watched Lincoln Square grow and support her fellow seniors with free programs and a gathering space. She’s looking forward to the center’s newest addition. “It’s been a long time coming,” she said of the new stage and what it promises. “What I’d like to do personally is just get up there and say ‘Ahhh’, just feel the floor, I need to do that to know that we are back, it’s back,” she said.

- See more at: http://www.nypress.com/local-news/20160308/a-renaissance-at-lincoln-square#sthash.An79MTAt.dpuf


By Jessica Brockington


From left to right: Janice Sweeting, Board of Directors, LSNC; Dan Campanello, Office of the NYC Controller, Scott Stringer; Stephan Russon, Executive Director, Goddard Riverside; Kim Smalls, Flooring Specialist, Lowe’s; and Susan Matloff-Nieves, Executive Director, LSNC.


The neighborhood center is located at 250 West 65th Street. It provides multi-generational programming to over 1,000 residents of the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition. It offers lunch daily to seniors, as well as daycare, after-school activities and summer camp.

The community performance space has been out of the limelight for the last several years. The stage floor, originally a wood parquet, was buckled by flooding and used primarily for storage space.

“Last August I received a call from Lowe’s. They were new to the area and were offering to paint the community center,” said Susan Matloff-Nieves, Executive Director of LSNC.

“I told them I had received four offers to paint the facility in the six weeks that I’d been there.”  When she suggested they help refurbish the stage floor, she said they jumped right into the project.

“Lowe’s said ‘We’re going to do this right.'” Matloff-Nieves said.

    Photo of the construction in progress courtesy of Goddard Riverside.

 Photo of the construction in progress courtesy of Goddard Riverside.

Free consulting on exactly how to reconstruct the floor came from Synapse Audio Visual Design. It took four days to put down two layers of plywood, and then the “gorgeous” hardwood oak floor. It is a professional stage floor.

 Kim Smalls, the flooring specialist from Lowe’s, was involved from the get-go.

“They wanted a black hardwood oak floor. We were able to achieve the effect with a brownish gray. It’s 1000 square feet of flooring and it’s absolutely beautiful,” Smalls said. “We were very happy to make this $50,000 investment in the community.”

Stephan Russo, Executive Director of Goddard Riverside Community Center, which recently merged with LSNC, said that the stage shows the strength of the new partnership between Goddard Riverside and Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.

“Goddard is able to share its resources,” he said. “It’s the first concrete project we’ve undertaken together. It’s very symbolic.”

In terms of getting the stage fully functional, there is more work to be done, according to Susan Macaluso, Arts Director at Goddard Riverside. The floor is just the first step.

“It’ll take $10,000 to get the lights back up. They are also water damaged, but we don’t know what we’ll find when we start taking them apart,” Macaluso said. A total redo, with new curtains, sound, lights, and project screens could cost as much as $100,000 on the high end.

In an area rich with world class performers and performance spaces, LSNC envisions future partnerships with Lincoln Tower Players, Juilliard School of Music, and LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, among others.

It will be a fine space for up and coming performers, said Macaluso. 

The first performance on the new floor is scheduled for May 21. It is a multi-generational music composition competition. There are two categories: under 25 and over 65 and it represents the vision of the neighborhood center to offer integrated programming to the community.

See more at http://www.westsiderag.com/2016/03/05/lowes-helps-build-new-performance-floor-at-neighborhood-center

Press Release: Goddard Riverside Community Center and Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center Embark on Strategic Alliance to Build for the Future

Media Contact

Anne L. Conroy

Director of Development and Communications

Goddard Riverside Community Center

212-873-6600, ext. 310


Goddard Riverside Community Center and Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center Embark on Strategic Alliance to Build for the Future

 New York, NY (June 5, 2015)—Goddard Riverside Community Center and the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center are thrilled to announce a strategic alliance —a partnership that will expand the capacity to provide services to more than 1,000 members of the greater Lincoln Center neighborhood.

The alliance combines the institutional strength of Goddard Riverside Community Center, one of New York City’s leading human service organizations, with the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center’s robust programming and deep roots in the neighborhood.

“Both organizations recognize the challenges of operating in today’s environment,” said Goddard Riverside Executive Director Stephan Russo. “This strategic alliance will ensure that the families who are served so well by LSNC will continue to be served far into the future.”

The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center will retain its name as well as its current slate of services. Every effort will be made to transition seamlessly with the staff and programs already in place.

The center works with some 1,000 clients, mostly from the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition complex. As the average income level in the Lincoln Square area has skyrocketed in recent years, these residents have become increasingly cut off from affordable food and services. The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center plays a vital role in helping them thrive.

Lincoln Square’s incoming Executive Director, Susan Matloff-Nieves, LMSW, brings more than 30 years of leadership to the role.

“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the Lincoln Square community with the outstanding support of Goddard Riverside Community Center,” said Matloff-Nieves. “I look forward to building on existing strong programs to create dynamic new initiatives that will support the aspirations and goals of neighborhood residents.”

Key financial support for the alliance came from the New York Merger, Acquisition and Collaboration Fund. “It took real commitment by both organizations to make this happen,” said the Fund’s John MacIntosh. “But it was worth it as the alliance should allow for greater services in the community going forward.”

Sabin Danziger, Chairman of the Board of Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center said, “I am thrilled to have Lincoln Square partner with Goddard Riverside. In strategic terms, this Alliance is the best thing that could have happened to our agency and to our community.”


Goddard Riverside Community Center is one of New York City’s leading human service organizations, assisting more than 17,000 people each year on the Upper West Side and throughout New York City.

Goddard Riverside builds community and changes lives with vital services including early childhood and youth programs, college counseling, supportive housing, employment readiness, older adult services and outreach to homeless people.

The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center provides support to multiple generations living in the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition through programs such as daycare, after-school activities, summer camp and senior services. The Center helps residents live full, dynamic and rewarding lives.