5-For-5:  How Are We Doing?

PlayBuild recently turned 5 years old.  We’ve come a long way since we started, but we still have a long way to go to stabilize resources and ensure that we can create long-term impact in Central City and beyond.

With emerging opportunities like the Claiborne Corridor Cultural Innovation District, and demands for more school and event partnerships, we are using our 5-year milestone to hit pause and take stock of our current performance, and our near and short-terms needs.

PlayBuild’s program delivery is driven by people, and we need funding to hire and train them, especially our network of community mentors.

Transportation will also help us stabilize our neighorhood efforts and to bring kids safely from across Claiborne and MLK and from other parts of Central City to our Thalia Street space.


Our 5-Year Scorecard

PlayBuild Scorecard for their 2017 Programs
Neighborhood Open Play – In the past sponsorship support and GiveNOLA funds have enabled up to hire community mentors and to produce a consistent weekly schedule of after-school programs and seasonal weekend events. 

Short-term needs:  funding to hire community mentors to staff Thalia Street consistently five days a week after-school and for weekend family and event programming

Long-term needs:  transportation to shuttle our PlayBuilders from different parts of the neighborhood to Thalia Street and to take small groups on field trips and other excursions

  • PlayBuild in Schools – We are looking to build on our partnership with First Line Schools, which is currently in its second year. Last week we hosted our Langston Hughes Academy 2nd graders for their first trip to Thalia Street.

These kinds of outings and experiences are key to getting our PlayBuilders out into the City to experience the richness of New Orleans architecture and neighborhood history firsthand.

Short-term needs:  We want to offer more field trip and learning excursions to our Langston Hughes students and to other groups of students across the First Line Network

Long-term needs:  In order to expand our schools program we need to invest further in curriculum content and growing our instructional capacity.  We’re working on those plans now and will share more in 2018.

  • PL@Y MLK – Our PL@Y MLK pilot ended in the Spring, but we’re looking to bring play back to the neutral ground, and to make the program bigger and better in 2018. We need to implement some design features on the corridor for safety, and to build a coalition of partners and collaborators who can help us create an Open Streets movement in 2018.  We’ll kick off in January during MLK Weekend with a goal of popping up weekly throughout the spring, and building momentum for an Open Streets initiative in the summer.

Short and long-term needs:  a local sponsor to support our efforts to create environmental design elements and offset costs of moving and storage.

  • Events – We’ve just wrapped our event season for 2017, and are going into planning mode for 2018 with an eye on April which is when our biggest events happen including Jazz Fest, Zurich Classic and Mini Maker Faire.

Short and long-term needs:  an umbrella sponsor to support our entire events program would stabilize our efforts and ensure that we can deliver a more consistent experience for kids and families across the multiple events that we produce each year.

  • “Learning Through Play” Curriculum Design– in the Spring we completed an important phase of Research & Development work led by Advisory Board Member, Dr. Michael Hanson and a team of Masters student researchers at Columbia Teachers College. Building on 3 months of research into how kids learn through play, Michael’s work identified 8 learning outcomes to provide the foundation for our Learning Through Play Curriculum, and guide our content development.

Short and long-term needs:  we need a long-term strategic partner or source or funding to complete the next phase of this work.


Our Season of Thanks + Giving

In honor of our 5-year milestone we are kicking off a season of Thanks + Giving to acknowledge the supporters who have brought us to where we are today, and to solicit support for our year-end fundraising efforts.

Next Tuesday, November 28th is Giving Tuesday, and we invite you to support our mission and our work with a tax-deductible contribution.

Our 5-For-5 vision and roadmap are ambitious, and we won’t get there without your continued support.


You can make an immediate impact on the work we do in Neighborhood and Schools with a $25, $50 or $100 contribution.

For our longer-term initiatives – PL@Y MLK, our Events Program, and our “Learning Through Play” Curriculum Development initiative we need deeper pockets and deeper partnerships.

We invite you to get in touch if you or your company has an interest in sponsorship, or your organization might be a good fit for a strategic partnership to help us reach some of our larger goals.