Stoop Stories™ is a documentary storytelling project designed to connect, support, and celebrate our NYC neighbors, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic and systemic inequities. We honor generations of New Yorkers, past and present, who rejoice and take refuge in stoop culture.
The iconic stoops of New York City have always been the place to meet up, catch up, and build community. During lockdown, our stoops became our sanity and our solidarity. We gathered there to bang pots for essential workers, to safely socialize, dine al fresco, and work remotely. Some days, our stoops were our only connection to the outside world. What started as a solo pandemic project has evolved into a collective of visual storytellers who share their unique vision of community from their own neighborhoods, and yours.
Since April 2020, we have produced hundreds of features from families, essential workers, small business owners, activists, and artists throughout the five boroughs. We amplify voices of BIPOC and underrepresented communities and call out injustice, while celebrating stoop life and moments of joy. New Yorkers have shared stories from their stoops, including notable natives like Black Trans activist Qween Jean on the stoop at The Stonewall Inn and Holocaust survivor and novelist, Lore Segal, at her bench in Riverside Park. Since not everyone has a stoop, we like to say, "A stoop is a state of mind." With that in mind, we visited sidewalks, storefronts, fire escapes, NYCHA houses, the red steps in Times Square and the grand stairway of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Two years later, the idea of the stoop as a safe haven still looms large, but we are also profiling New Yorkers who are unhoused, evicted, in shelters and trapped at Rikers. We are exploring how we can redefine "home" in a more equitable way.
Stoop Stories has been featured by The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Washington Post, NY1, PIX11 News, and News12 Brooklyn. Our work has been exhibited at the International Center for Photography, Arts Gowanus ArtWalk, Papergirl BK, and Art on the Ave NYC. We recently wrapped up a large solo show at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum with a companion exhibit and program at Photoville in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We’ve also partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NY and other organizations to create content series, including video and interactive experiences.