Recap: Staying Afloat During COVID-19

We are thrilled so many of you were able to join us this past Friday for our virtual “Breakfast Talk.” Thank you for attending and, of course, special thanks to our wonderful panelists who shared their experiences of navigating their unique organizations through the pandemic: 

The Brooklyn waterfront is blessed with many institutions, but three of the most unique are led by these three dynamic cultural entrepreneurs. After each explained their unique mission, they told us what they did to carry on during COVID, how they did it, and which of the changes they have made will be carried into post-pandemic Brooklyn.

As a follow up, we now have a recording of the event up on youtube and more information about each of the organizations below  please check them out and support their important work!


Andrew Gustafson Turnstile Tours

Andrew Gustafson is the vice president of Turnstile Tours, a social enterprise that works in partnership with museums and nonprofit organizations to build capacity to welcome the public, including developing and operating public tour programs, and working behind the scenes consulting on training, operations, education, and interpretation. Much of Turnstile’s work has been interpreting the past and present of the industrial waterfront of New York City, as they have developed tour programs with the Center for Brooklyn History, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where they have been the official tour provider since 2008. During the pandemic, Turnstile’s team has offered over 200 unique virtual programs spotlighting archival research, museums, historic sites, artists, manufacturers, and more, many of them connected to the Brooklyn waterfront. Andrew has been a licensed New York City sightseeing guide for over 10 years, and he previously worked at the Sites of Conscience, a global network of museums that use difficult histories to promote positive social change. He is originally from New Haven, Connecticut, and he is a member of the United States Naval Institute and the Navy League New York Council.

Carolina Salguero
PortSide NewYork

Carolina began life in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and spent her teen years in New England, often on the coast. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale with two majors (Art and American Studies). The social policy studies from the latter informed her journalism and ultimately PortSide.  She worked around the world as a freelance documentary  photographer and writer from the opening of the Berlin Wall through 9/11 where she arrived at ground zero by boat.  Her intrepid photojournalism had her survive a hit man and Shining Path bomb in Peru, and a car-jacking at machine gun point in South Africa.  Since 1998, she has been researching, documenting, boating and advocating on behalf of New York City’s waterfront. In 2002, she completed a multi-year project on NYC tugboats for National Geographic which introduced her to the working waterfront.  In 2003, she launched the first interactive community board website in NYC for Brooklyn Community Board 6 about the “Piers 6-12 Study” pertaining to plans for the Red Hook Containerport.  Her motivation for founding PortSide NewYork was captured in a 2015 profile in Waterwire and she continues creating art photography via a series of porthole views from the MARY A. WHALEN.  In 2013, for her PortSide work, Carolina received a “Champions of Change” award from the Obama White House and a National Maritime Historical Society ship preservation. In 2018, she won a “Waterfront Hero” award from City Lore and was honored as a “Spirit of McAnaney” by the New York Preservation Archive and the Friends of George McAnaney.

David Sharps
The Waterfront Museum

David has a BS degree in Recreation Program Leadership from West Virginia University. His variety act SERIOUS FOOLISHNESS traveled to over 40 countries entertaining aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, SUN LINE Cruises and in film, television and commercials. At Carnival Cruise Lines, David worked his way up to the title of Assistant Cruise Director before deciding to study theatre at the renowned L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq School of Movement Theatre in Paris. Returning stateside, he bought and lovingly restored a sunken barge — the 1914 Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge #79 listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the last surviving wooden example of a Hudson River Barge. For the past 35 years he has developed programs and funding for the Waterfront Museum attracting over 200,000 people to the antique waterfront barge while promoting public waterfront access, historic preservation and programs in the arts and education. David has lived in Red Hook since 1994 with his wife Sarah Burd-Sharps where they raised their two children aboard Barge 79.