Harlem World: What is the mission of the 125th Street BID?
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Barbara Askins: The 125th Street Business Improvement District’s mission is to expand sustainable economic activity in the area including the creation or expansion of businesses and the development of jobs for community residents. We try to maximize the ability of local residents, businesses and institution to benefit from any and all opportunities created by commercial revitalization efforts and improve the quality of life in the community.
HW: When does the campaign begin and when does it end?
BA: The campaign started in October and for year 2010. We begin the campaign for 2011 in January of next year.
HW: What was the concept behind the video?
BA: Showing unity and the passions from Harlemites about lights for 125th Street and to encourage others to get involved in a community wide effort.
HW: Who are the sponsors of the event?
BA: There is a long list. You can get them from the web site.
HW: What can readers do to support the campaign?
BA: Send in donations, attend the events, shop on 125th Street and throughout Harlem. Support Harlem’s commerce.
HW: When do you start planning for 2011 campaign?
BA: January 2011
HW: What do you want for the holidays?
BA: Always love, peace and happiness for myself and my family and friends and I seek items with lavender (clothing, soaks, scents, bath products, etc. ) — my favorite perfume is Angel, and I love great body lotions.
HW: Thank you.
Photograph of Barbara Askins is by Daniel Tisdale surrounded by her artwork at the new Aloft Hotel in Harlem.