The Westbeth Beautification Committee, a subcommittee of the Westbeth Artists Residents Council, has been a Westbeth tenant volunteer organization for the past 31 years. Since 1984, the Committee has held an annual WESTBETH FLEA MARKET dedicated to fundraising for projects that benefit Westbeth, the neighborhood community, local charities and disaster relief.
The first Flea Market raised money to build cedar planters to protect the trees along Bethune St. Since then, the annual Flea Market has funded Westbeth’s public gardens, restoration projects, low cost Feldenkrais classes, and most recently a PEN Women’s Literary Workshop.
Westbeth is a home to artists – painters, dancers, actors, writers, sculptors, musicians and more. What they donate to the Westbeth Flea Market are the things they have found to be amusing, beautiful, useful, and astonishing.
You will find here not just and incredible array of books, objects, clothes, artwork, etc, but an artistic aesthetic which reflects not only what Westbeth artists have collected passionately for themselves, but what they have created out of passion.
Our customers include families, techno nerds, artists, set designers, students, art collectors, bargain hunters, book lovers, musicians, people in need of cool (and warm) clothing, treasure seekers, and dreamers.
At the Westbeth Flea Market, you will find the extraordinary. At very affordable prices. COLLECT LIKE AN ARTIST!
Regularly, families of deceased artists donate original artwork to the Flea Market where they find new appreciative owners, thus maintaining a legacy of the artist’s work, and their time at Westbeth.
The Flea Market has sold works by Ralph Dubin, Jane Bolmeieir, Patrick Sullivan, and more. Watercolors, oil and acrylic paintings, fine art prints, sculpture, at prices affordable for all art collectors.
Customers from the neighborhood, across the city, and from around the world return again and again. Many have remarked on feeling a sense of community when they walk through the doors. The Flea Market has also acted as an introduction to the cultural events at Westbeth – art exhibits, performances, music and dance festivals.
We have been featured in Time Out, the NY Times, DNA Info, and the Villager. More recently Neighborhood Slice broadcast a TV episode featuring the Westbeth Flea Market. We are a neighborhood legend.
A TRADITION OF GIVING
Since 1984, the Beautification Committee not only uses the funds raised by the Flea Market to enhance the public areas of Westbeth, design and maintain gardens, and provide low-cost or free classes and workshops, but also as a way for the donors, customers and residents to engage in the world community.
A portion of the proceeds of every sale go to charities, including NY Neediest Cases, the UN High Commission on Refugees, Artists for Elephants, International Red Cross, Mercy Corps, etc, as well as to charities associated with disaster relief – Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, Sept 11th, Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, etc. After the sale, all books are given away free, some to prisons and children’s organizations, and all remaining items are donated to the Salvation Army.
In this way, the donations to the Flea Market reinforce our ties to each other, to the cultural mission of Westbeth, and to the needs of the world community.
SELECTED PROJECTS FUNDED BY FLEA MARKET
Back L to R: Jennifer Cooke – co -founder, sculptor; Halina Warren – real estate; Inez Foose – muralist; Sandra Kingsbury – actor; Nancy Gabor – actor, director; Laura Klein – actor, star; Parviz Mohassel – architect, painter; Christina Maile – printmaker, landscape architect; Paul Binnerts – playwright, director.
Front L to R: Anne Brody – co founder, painter; Milda Vizbar – printmaker; Penny Jones- puppeteer; Gina Shamus – potter; Jane Klein – photographer.
Not Shown: : Jenny Lombard – writer; Blanca Harper – musician; Joya Staack – writer; Anne Weichberger – doula; Beth Griffiths – chamber music singer; Debra Jenks – multi-media; Ruby Ludwig – ethno-musicologist; Bob Ludwig – painter; Gary Friedman – graphic designer, Terry Pruinton – master gardener, Kate Walter – writer; Kiriki Metzo – volunteer; Wesley Pollit – volunteer; Jenny Tango – painter; Jan Leslie Harding – actor, puppeteer; Pawnee Sills – actor, teacher; Linda Marks – poet; Sheila Schwid – painter; Al Cooke – sculptor; John Turner – graphic designer, photographer; Geo Cominskie – photographer agent, community organiser, Roger Braimon – graphic designer.
If you would like to donate clean, usable goods to the Flea Market, or if you would to be on the email list for future sales and events, contact
all photos Christina Maile