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2013 Jane Jacobs Medalists Announced

MAS proudly congratulates the recipients of The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal — Bette Midler and Ian Marvy. The Medals, administered by MAS, are awarded annually to recipients whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding New York City, challenges traditional assumptions and creatively uses the urban environment to make New York City a place of hope and expectation.

The Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal was created in 2007 to honor the author and activist who died in April 2006 at the age of 89. The Rockefeller Foundation’s relationship with Jane Jacobs dates to the 1950s, when the Foundation made a grant to the then-obscure writer from Greenwich Village for the research and writing of the book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Now more than fifty years later, Jane Jacobs’ work remains one of the most influential books ever written on urban design.

About the Honorees

Ms. Midler, who has restored parks, saved and stewards community gardens and spearheaded the planting of one million trees in New York City, will receive the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership. Mr. Marvy, the Founder of Added Value, which bring educational opportunities and fresh produce to Red Hook, Brooklyn, will receive the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. Along with the medal, each recipient will receive a cash award. Ms. Midler will donate her $100,000 award to New York Restoration Project.

Bette Midler

Lifetime Leadership

Bette Midler

Entertainer and Founder, New York Restoration Project

Since 1995, the award-winning actress and singer has been a tireless, passionate and influential advocate for New York City’s most neglected and forgotten spaces: parks and community gardens in underserved neighborhoods throughout the city’s five boroughs. Bette’s vision for New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and its role in the greening of New York City steer NYRP in both inspiration and execution at every level of the organization.

Bette is a true pioneer in the now popular green movement. In the 18 years since she founded NYRP, its accomplishments have been enormous. The organization has revitalized neglected parks in upper Manhattan; restored storm-ravaged parks in Queens and Brooklyn; and transformed a derelict stretch of shoreline into Sherman Creek Park, a waterfront gem featuring the first boathouse on the Harlem River in over 100 years. Bette led the charge to save 114 community gardens from development, and NYRP continues to maintain and program 52 of them, with concentrations in East Harlem, Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. Together with Mayor Bloomberg, Bette launched the MillionTreesNYC initiative, which is now slated to reach its ambitious goal a full two years ahead of schedule.

New Ideas and Activism

Ian Marvy

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Added Value

Mr. Marvy is Co-Founder and Executive Director, Added Value. In April 2001 Mr. Marvy and his friend and colleague Michael Hurwitz founded Added Value in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Their mission is to build a more sustainable Red Hook by nurturing a new generation of young leaders through the operation of a socially-responsible urban farming enterprise. Ian and the Added Value team have partnered with their neighbors, civil society, City, State and Federal governments to transform acres of unused land into vibrant urban farms. These farms serve as community centers where thousands of men and women, young and old, learn and grow together. They are inspiring platforms that promote community development, economic activity and environmental sustainability.

Under Mr. Marvy’s leadership, Added Value has demonstrated that urban agriculture is a powerful catalyst to activate public space and motivate youth to positively engage with their community. They have pioneered innovative programs that support food access for low income communities, educational initiatives for public school students and agricultural projects benefiting urban and rural New Yorkers. Mr. Marvy is an Echoing Green Fellow, a Petra Social Justice Fellow, a Union Square Awardee, and the National Resource Defense Council/Earth Day Environmental Activist of the Year. He and Added Value were partners on Phase I of the Design Trust for Public Space’s Five Borough Farm project, and he frequently consults on new projects, for funders and government on urban agricultural projects.

The selection of the Jane Jacobs Medalists and allocation of the prize money was determined by the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal Jury, chaired by Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. The Jury also includes Richard Kahan, Founder and CEO of the Urban Assembly and recipient of the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership; Reggie Van Lee, Executive Vice President, Booze Allen Hamilton; and Susan Freedman, President of the Public Art Fund. The Medal will be given in a private ceremony next month.