Richmond Hill Love Letter


Richmond Hill Love Letter is a storytelling, art, and oral history program aiming to strengthen community by highlighting all there is to love about Richmond Hill, Queens! This series presented monthly free workshops and community events throughout 2016, leading up to a culminating celebration on December 11, 2016.

More Richmond Hill Love Letter programs may be coming up!



Our most comprehensive program to date, Richmond Hill Love Letter aims to increase neighborhood pride, transform strangers into neighbors, and galvanize residents to act on changes we wish to see in our neighborhood.

This program was conceived by Five Boro Story Project Creator Bridget Bartolini, a Richmond Hill native who knows firsthand how a lack of community programming leads to disconnected residents, and how the act of sharing personal stories has an incredible power to create meaningful connections between people. Local stories provide a connection to the past and a platform for planning the future, helping neighbors move forward with a shared understanding of the neighborhood.

In addition to storytelling, art-making, and writing workshops, Richmond Hill Love Letter includes facilitated discussions that explore neighborhood history and assets, examining positive and negative attributes of the greater Richmond Hill area, and envisioning the changes we hope to see.

In 2016 Richmond Hill Love Letter received support from the New York Council for the Humanities and Citizens Committee for New York City to hold the following programs:

1. From April to November 2016: Community activities, including story circles, community discussions, and art-making and writing workshops in local libraries, community centers, and parks, deeply engaged participants with our neighborhood and neighbors.

2. In December 2016: A culminating event showcased performances by community members of true life stories, creative writing, dance, and a display of love notes to Richmond Hill. We created an ode to the neighborhood like we’d never seen!

Five Boro Story Project partnered with Queens Memory, an archive run by Queens Library and Queens College that combines historical and contemporary photography, maps, news clippings, and other documents with oral history interviews of current residents. At Richmond Hill Love Letter workshops, Queens Memory staff set up displays of historical photographs, and digitized participants’ memorabilia for inclusion in the Archives at Queens Library’s collections.




Richmond Hill Love Letter Culminating Celebration

Sunday, December 11, 2016
The “Richmond Hill Love Letter” culminating celebration showcased true stories, creative writing, and dance performances inspired by Richmond Hill, Queens. Attendees read and wrote neighborhood love notes and participated in our open mic. MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter Writing Workshop

Saturday, November 12, 2016
In this workshop we discussed the special characteristics of Richmond Hill and wrote about the “divine details” that make our neighborhoods what they are. MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter – October 8 Story Circle

Saturday, October 8, 2016
This workshop invited the people of Greater Richmond Hill to share special memories about moving to and growing up in Queens, and engage in a discussion about life in Little Guyana. MORE


Love Note Writing at Richmond Hill Park Fair

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Richmond Hill Love Letter participated in Richmond Hill Block Association’s 43rd Annual Park Fair. We set up a station in Forest Park, collected love notes to the neighborhood, and displayed them in the park. MORE


Love Note Writing at the Libraries

Fri, Aug 12 & Sat, Aug 13, 2016
We held neighborhood love note-writing workshops at Richmond Hill’s two local libraries (right in the middle of the summer’s biggest heat wave). MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter – June 29 Story Circle

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Our third “Richmond Hill Love Letter” Story Circle workshop at the Richmond Hill Block Association invited locals to share stories and memories, and discuss what Richmond Hill has in abundance and what is lacking. MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter at Richmond Hill Cultural Pizza

Sunday, May 15, 2016
At “Richmond Hill Cultural Pizza: Family Fun Day”, a health and culture fair in Smokey Oval Park, we invited people to write love notes to Richmond Hill and displayed the notes in the park. MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter – April 18 Story Circle

Monday, April 18, 2016
Our second “Richmond Hill Love Letter” Story Circle workshop brought neighbors together at the Richmond Hill Library to share stories and memories, with an emphasis on Richmond Hill’s history. MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter – April 9 Story Circle

Saturday, April 9, 2016
Our 2016 “Richmond Hill Love Letter” series launched with a story-sharing workshop at the Lefferts Library, in the heart of South Richmond Hill’s Little Guyana. MORE


Richmond Hill Love Letter – September 2015 First Iteration

Saturday, September 19, 2015
Our first iteration of ”Richmond Hill Love Letter” invited locals to stop and reflect on the neighborhood and respond to the prompts “What do you love about Richmond Hill?” and “What do you want to see changed in Richmond Hill?” MORE


Get a taste of our “Richmond Hill Love Letter” activity at Richmond Hill Cultural Pizza: