One of the first major and ongoing achievements of grassroots women in Williamsburg was the founding of the Swinging Sixties Senior Center and Small World Day Care Center at 211 Ainslie Street. In the late 1960’s, when the Women’s movement was in full throat, Jan Peterson, then a young community organizer, guided a dozen Italian American housewives on Consyelea Street into forming the Consleyea Street Block Association. They went on to found Swinging Sixties Senior Center and Small World Day Care.
In April 2018, roughly a half century after its opening, the story of the Conselyea Block Association and the founding of Swinging Sixties and Small World was celebrated and its founders honored and paid tribute to.
A short documentary film on the Conselyea Street Block Association and the founding of Swinging Sixties Small World.
Some Swinging Sixties members talk about what the center means to them in this portrait.
From Lorimer to Leonard the Building of a Block Association by Lori Ann Doyon appeared in the Greenline, The North Brooklyn Community Newspaper.
It tells how despite neighborhood opposition, a group of grassroots Italian American housewives brought to Williamsburg a senior center and day care center that have been vital to the community since 1975.
Swinging Sixties and Small World are often in the news in the Greenline. Search “Swinging Sixties” on their website to get the stories.
On April 20th, 2018 an awards celebration was held for the founders.
The article Golden Night for Founders by Lori Ann Doyon in the Greenline describes this joyous event.
The following local businesses donated delicious food:
Carmine and Sons (358 Graham Ave), Lorimer Market (620 Lorimer St), Patrizia’s Restaurant (35 Broadway), C-Town (Graham Avenue), Tony’s Pizzeria (355 Graham Ave), Manhattan Special (342 Manhattan Ave), La Lacanda Restaurant (432 Graham Ave), Bahia Restaurant (690 Grand St), Anthony & Sons Panini Shoppe (433 Graham Ave), and Napoli Bakery (616 Metropolitan Ave)
This is a video of the Golden Celebration and Awards Ceremony.. It is a chance to hear stories and see some of the people behind the Center.
A short tribute to Jan Peterson, whose energy and vision guided the women to the fulfillment of their goal, a Day Care and Senior Center serving Williamsburg.
Going through her personal photos Maria Aragona recently found this 1999 snapshot taken at her 8th grade graduation. In it are the founders of Swinging Sixties.