Binghampton nonprofit Carpenter Art Garden celebrates 10th anniversary

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Binghampton nonprofit Carpenter Art Garden celebrates 10th anniversary

The turn from Mimosa onto Carpenter Street is like entering a new world. Lined on both sides by colorful houses, hand-painted signs and decor and lots overflowing with greenery, the street is a far cry from the usual apartment buildings and businesses around the corner. Welcome to the Carpenter Art Garden.

The Art Garden is a nonprofit organization that serves the Binghampton community by providing after-school activities and classes, vocational training for teenagers, and freshly grown produce, along with helping with what seems like any other needs that arise. Started in 2012 with one weekly outdoor art class and a few picnic tables, no one could have imagined how the program would grow in the next 10 years.

“It all just grew from spending time and having conversations and building relationships,” said executive director Megan Banaszek.

Banaszek began volunteering just two years after Erin Harris, a former art teacher, started the first outdoor art classes in the yard across from the Cornerstone Prep Lester campus, but by the time she joined, they were already expanding and building. the Purple House – which is indeed painted purple – on the next lot.

An indoor space sits on the grounds of Carpenter Art Garden on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis.  Carpenter Art Garden is a non-profit organization that provides after-school activities and classes, including sewing and cooking classes, to community members.

“People loved coming to Tuesday Art Garden, people loved doing these classes,” Banaszek said. “Well, there’s a need now for an indoor space so we can be more consistent, we can be more regular about what we’re doing.”

Now Carpenter Art Garden consists of the original art garden, two vegetable gardens, a sculpture garden that doubles as a mini produce market twice a week, a kitchen, a bike shop, a sewing studio, a tutoring center and the Purple House which houses the offices and a small indoor art classroom.

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