Do all 99 cent stores open for similar reasons? How do barbershops choose their locations? High schoolers in the Brooklyn College Community Partnership (BCCP) program at Paul Robeson (Crown Heights), New Utrecht, and Bushwick High Schools collaborated with CUP teaching artist Mads Lynnerup to find out.

The crews interviewed the owners of 99-cent stores, barbershops, and gift shops in their respective neighborhoods. They took the business owners’ stories and created visualizations of the stores’ beginnings, clientele, and evolution throughout the years.

The project culminated in a borough-wide get-together at the BCCP’s College Art Lab in which students shared their stores’ stories with other public high schoolers. The crew designed a set of postcards that gets at some of the trends and disparities in small businesses across neighborhoods. 

Check out the postcards here.

Resources & Links

The Brooklyn College Community Partnership (BCCP) is a leading nonprofit organization that serves over 1500 youth each year.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the Brooklyn College Community Partnership; public funds from the the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and support from the Bay and Paul Foundations and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Special Thanks

Pasha Discount, R & J Discount Store, Irving 99 Cent and Up, Leroy at Leroy’s Framing & Gift Shop, DHF & Decorations, E & J Cards & Gifts, Stylistic Barber & Beauty, BKNY Barbershop, and Sopranos Barbershop.


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Mads Lynnerup

    • Teaching Artist Assistant
    • Monique MacLeod
  • Project Lead
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Project Support
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Sam Holleran 
  • BCCP
  • Students
  • Maria Sanchez 
  • Carolina Lopez 
  • Quanaisha Phillips 
  • Donaldine St. Fleur 
  • William Joyette 
  • Joannie Syfrain 
  • and many more.
  • Site Coordinators
  • Nixon Mercidieu 
  • Nate Klooster 
  • Cynthia Bernadine 
  • Program Director
  • Steve Ausbury