Perched near Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, once a desolate and polluted waterway and now a burgeoning arts neighborhood, Proteus Gowanus is a multidisciplinary gallery, shop and reading room. Each week, the gallery opens its doors for the Fixers Collective, a free community event where people bring broken objects they hope to fix.

Neighbors gather to help one another fix goods.

Neighbors gather to help one another fix goods.

Per their website, “The Fixers Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing and mending. Our goal is to increase material literacy in our community by fostering an ethic of creative caring toward the objects in our lives. The Collective grew out of this year’s exhibition at Proteus Gowanus entitled MEND, presenting art, artifacts, books and events focusing on fixing, mending and remaking.”

Attendees patch a machine vacuum bag together

Attendees patch a machine vacuum bag together

One might argue that The Fixers Collective is strengthening more than damaged objects. An open event such as this can bring a growing community together, teach new skills, and create new personal connections as well.

“Every Thursday from 5-8 pm, all are invited to bring their broken things to Proteus Gowanus, explains Director Tammy Pittman.  “If you can get it through the door, we will put it on our common fixing table, put our heads together and try to fix it or, perhaps, alter it if that seems more appropriate. A $5 donation is requested unless the attendee is a Fixers Apprentice (see the website for more info on the Apprentice program.)”

Hopefully, the gallery – and this event – will become more connected with the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket, bridging the adjacent neighborhood together.

The community comes together at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn

The community comes together at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn

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