GiveNOLA Wrap-Up + Summer @ PlayBuild

We’re excited to announce that we closed out this year’s GiveNOLA just above our goal with combined donations and pledge amounts totaling $25,356. Thanks for everyone for bearing with us through the process.

To all who donated, you have made a massive and immediate contribution, and we’re now moving forward full-steam ahead with our plans for the summer.

We’ve got a mix of activities from Free Play Sessions for younger PlayBuilders in June to our enrollment-based 2-Week Design Discovery Program in July. We’re also thrilled to be teaming up with FirstLine Schools and YEP, two ongoing partners of PlayBuild as a program partner to enable us to reach a wider audience of kids.

Here’s the scoop!

First Up: WE’RE HIRING Funding and support that you provided through your GiveNOLA contributions has enabled us to recruit instructors for our summer activities.

Our Camp Instructor job description will be posted shortly. You can also email to request a copy of the description.

June @ Thalia Street

Breakfast Building Series- FREE: Join us at Thalia Street for morning drop-in camp sessions from 8:30 – noon. Parents are invited to bring PlayBuilders aged 4-8 for morning building sessions at Thalia Street.

Dates: June 7th – July 1st

July @ Thalia Street

Design Discovery NOLA- $$; Limited enrollment of 15 students; with some scholarship slots available: Design Discovery NOLA is PlayBuild’s stand-alone camp. Hosted at our space on 2828 Thalia the two-week program will immerse PlayBuilders Multiple cultural influences contribute to the unique design history of New Orleans. Beyond architecture we will look at the City’s evolution and the multiple colorful strands that contribute to New Orleans rich tapestry.

Dates: July 18th– 29th
Morning sessions: 8 am – noon
Afternoon sessions: 1 pm – 5 pm

We are currently inviting pre-registrations from interested families and parents from our mailing list. Registration for Design Discovery NOLA will officially open on June 1st.

camp photoSummer Camp Program Partnerships

Summer Camp X: Designing the Future | New Orleans 2030 We’re thrilled to partner with FirstLine to bring Designing The Future: New Orleans 2030. Timed to coincide with the process of the City of New Orleans’ Master Plan revision, Summer Camp X students will get a window into the live process of City Planning. With a one-week crash course in City Planning followed by a three-week Design Sprint students will learn planning basics and then develop a set of recommendations to be integrated into the public participation process and presented to the CPC.

Dates: June 7th – June 29th

Youth Empowerment Project: We are excited to partner with Youth Empowerment Project to provide open play sessions and activities to their summer campers. Sessions will take place on OC Haley and at PlayBuild’s 2828 Thalia Street location and will feature PlayBuild activities and lessons built around the Imagination Playground and the Rig-a-ma-Jig.

Dates: June 7th – July 8th


New Orleans Lot to be Transformed into Architectural Playground

Local Nonprofit Partners with Contracting Firm to Build Design-Themed Playground in Central City


An early rendering of the next phase of PlayBuild's outdoor classroom at 2828 Thalia Street in Central City, New Orleans.

An early rendering of the next phase of PlayBuild’s outdoor classroom at 2828 Thalia Street in Central City, New Orleans.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
10 AM
2828 Thalia Street, Central City
(Look for the lot with a green shipping container at the corner of Willow Street)


PlayBuild, an educational nonprofit focused on teaching kids about design and architecture, is partnering with New Orleans Contracting Firm, Palmisano Contractors, to turn a Central City eyesore into an innovative new playground. The new PlayBuild play space will host programs and classes to teach neighborhood kids and school children about design through experiential play and hands-on art activities.

In 2013, PlayBuild turned an overgrown, blighted lot at 2828 Thalia Street into an outdoor classroom, hosting neighborhood charter schools for afterschool lessons and field trips. The nonprofit’s recent partnership with Palmisano Contractors will fulfill the dream of a permanent play space, tied to PlayBuild’s mission of creating dynamic spaces for kids to learn and play. Palmisano will build out the site with assistance from its network of construction partners, delivering a six-figure investment to the community.

The site will feature open green space for free play as well as benches, tables and seating for more structured classroom-style lessons. In the space, PlayBuild will host building and construction-related play activities with blocks and other learning toys as well as design-themed arts and crafts. The site will also feature a small garden. From its current state the site will also be upgraded with electricity, plumbing facilities and wifi. PlayBuild plans to host local kids and school groups on weekdays and afterschool, along with special events on the weekends.

“Since the beginning our vision has been to create a dynamic and exciting destination for our Central City block and for the neighboring families and schools in the vicinity” said Angela Kyle, co-founder of PlayBuild. “Kids need safe and accessible play environments. PlayBuild delivers on that need. Our play environment is also a learning environment where kids can be inspired and appreciate the richness of New Orleans architecture and the local culture and history of their neighborhoods and their city.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Palmisano on the final phase of the site development for 2828 Thalia Street. Since the beginning Wesley and his team have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping us bring this project to fruition. They have mobilized their network of partners and brought their unparalleled professionalism and project management expertise to bear on making the project a success. We cannot thank them enough for believing in our mission and bringing us one step closer to the execution of our vision,” Kyle said.

Wesley Palmisano, owner of Palmisano Contractors, says he’s also happy with the partnership. “We searched our surrounding neighborhood for a local cause that has a true impact in our community,” Palmisano said. “PlayBuild’s programming is unique because it concentrates on educating kids about architecture and construction, which made it a great fit for us. We’re very excited to take an active role in the revitalization of Central City and helping to provide a vital service for kids.”

We invite you to join us Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at 10 am as we break ground on this innovative, new play space in Central City!



About PlayBuild

PlayBuild is a two-year old educational nonprofit co-founded by Angela Kyle and Charlotte Jones and based in Central City, New Orleans.  PlayBuild’s mission is to transform under-utilized urban spaces into exciting kid-friendly environments for play and learning. PlayBuild has received local and national attention for their innovative model, which uses hands-on activities to teach kids about architecture and design. PlayBuild partners with charter elementary schools and community organizations to reach kids, ages 4-12.  In just under two years through school partnerships and community outreach PlayBuild has engaged over 1,200 local kids. 

In 2012, PlayBuild was named a Top 10 semifinalist in the 2012 PitchNOLA Lots of Progress contest.  The organization received grant support in 2013 from KaBoom and Dr. Pepper Snapple and in 2014 from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation. PlayBuild was named a semifinalist in the 2014 LEGO Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers Re-Imagine Learning Challenge, a global competition to identify social innovators working at the intersection of learning and play. In September 2014, PlayBuild was voted one of New Orleans’ favorite education start-ups in the education entrepreneur challenge.   

PlayBuild is a registered nonprofit corporation in the state of Louisiana.  For charitable purposes and to accept tax-exempt donations, the organization operates under the fiscal umbrella of Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN), a registered 501c(3).  


About Palmisano Contractors 
Palmisano Contractors is a cutting-edge general contractor, with New Orleans roots dating back to 1950, delivering a wide range of project types regionally. Today, the third-generation company is forging a new building tradition, led by a tenured team of construction professionals. Palmisano Contractors specializes in a collaborative delivery process that guides each project from concept to completion. The company maintains a smaller size and low overhead while having the financial strength necessary to complete larger projects.





Amy Sneed Barrios
Multimedia Solutions
1615 Poydras Street
Suite 900
New Orleans, LA 70112