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Meet Jenna Blakeman of the SoHo Broadway Initiative

SoHo Broadway Initiative: New Community Engagement and Planning Intern joins our team

Jenna Blakeman joined the SoHo Broadway Initiative as Community Engagement & Planning Intern in October 2022. Born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and currently studying at Pratt Institute, Jenna is passionate about setting new expectations for what we can accomplish in our cities. Bringing experience in grassroots organizing at the state and local level, she is excited to be involved in community engagement and planning work.

5 Questions with Jenna:

SBI: When did you start working with the SoHo Broadway Initiative?

JB: I began interning at SoHo Broadway Initiative in October 2022. I am a current graduate student at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, where I am studying Urban and Community Planning. I am looking forward to engaging with community partners and key stakeholders to develop plans that meet the needs of a diverse, mixed-use neighborhood.

SBI: Outside of work, what are your interests and activities?

JB: I enjoy picnicking at a neighborhood park, running loops around Brooklyn Bridge Park, and playing tennis with friends. I love going to concerts at different venues across the city. At home, I like to re-watch Mad Men and try new cooking recipes.

SBI: What is the best part of the next thing you’re doing?

JB: I am looking forward to learning more about the history of SoHo and engaging with community partners to explore opportunities to improve quality of life for people who live, work, and play in the diverse, mixed-use neighborhood of SoHo. I am inspired by past and present artist-activists that believe in a future of SoHo that works for all of us.

SBI: What is your favorite hang-out spot in the SoHo/Downtown area?

JB: A perfect day in SoHo for me is spending time at Elizabeth Street Garden with a coffee and pastries from Vesuvio Bakery located on Prince St. I love walking the cobblestoned streets of the neighborhood and taking photos of the cast-iron architecture. 

SBI: What is your preferred mode of transportation in NYC?

JB: My preferred mode of transportation in NYC is by foot because you get to interact with the built environment in such a meaningful way. I also love our subway system! My favorite moments on the subway are running into people I know, or making new connections with people that take the same train as me in the morning.

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