Stoop Stories was born in Brooklyn at the height of COVID-19. Leveraging the power of storytelling, we seek to turn empathy into action and help neighbors in need. Our platform is a safe space and a megaphone for those who are fighting not only to stay put but to thrive in NYC, especially New Yorkers hardest hit by the pandemic and systemic inequities. We believe solutions start with stories—telling them and REALLY listening to them. We see connection and collaboration as an antidote to isolation and a catalyst for change.
The stoops of New York City have always been the place to meet up, catch up, and build community. During lockdown, our stoops became our sanity and our solidarity. We gathered there to bang pots for essential workers, to socialize from a safe distance, to dine al fresco, and to work and learn remotely. Some days, our stoops were our only connection to the outside world.
Since April 2020, we have produced over 100 authentic stories straight from the stoops of NYC. We spotlight the stories that matter most to the 5 Boroughs, amplifying the voices of families, essential workers, small business owners, and activists. We call out injustice, while celebrating silver linings and moments of joy.
Stoop Stories has been featured by The New York Times, Time Out New York, PIX11 News, and News 12. Our work has appeared in several exhibits, including #ICPConcerned: Global Images for a Global Crisis, at the International Center for Photography, Papergirl-Brooklyn, and Arts Gowanus ArtWalk on Atlantic Ave.
Every stoop has a story — and every story deserves to be seen and heard. What’s yours?
"Each [Stoop Story] is like a digital time capsule captured on what is essentially an outdoor extension of a living room or foyer. It’s where families, at least those who have stoops, can be in the context of their homes and still be outside—a gateway to the outside world during the citywide shutdown.”
— Time Out New York
Founder | Producer | Photographer
Marj Kleinman is a visual storyteller and the creator of Stoop Stories. A lifelong Brooklynite, residing in her childhood brownstone, she has years of stoop-sitting under her belt. This symbol of Brooklyn culture became both her refuge and muse, especially in times of crisis.
In addition to photography, Marj has more than 20 years of experience as a children’s content producer and writer, creating award-winning educational media with PBS KIDS, Sesame Workshop, Scholastic, and Noggin. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Time Out New York, PBS Parents and Scary Mommy. She was also a contributing writer/photographer for Toca Boca Magazine, exploring the power of play and creativity in childhood.
Marj holds an M.A. in Educational Psychology from New York University and a B.S. in Theater Management from Emerson College. She has taught theater to kids and photography to grown-ups. Marj is mom to a very feisty black cat named Blackberry.
Co-Producer | Editorial Director
Lara Weinberg is a pun-loving wordsmith and communications consultant with eclectic experience in entertainment, marketing, and media. Born and bred in NYC, Lara studied Literature & Rhetoric at SUNY-Binghamton and went on to associate produce “The Writing Code” — a critically acclaimed, three-part PBS series on the origin, history and art of writing. She is the former managing director of MGTN, a nonprofit leadership and career transition organization, and was the Director of Sales and Business Development for ShadowTV.
In May 2020, despite being stoopless in the city, this ground-floor apartment dweller was enlisted to create content for and co-produce Stoop Stories. Channeling her COVID blues into heartfelt storytelling, Lara is proud to edit prose, contribute original pieces, and craft stories that honor her fellow New Yorkers. When she’s not scouting stoops, you’ll find her flexing her greenish thumb, pruning her pandemic avocado pit plant collection.
Founder | Producer | Photographer
Marj is a visual storyteller and the creator of Stoop Stories. A lifelong Brooklynite, residing in her childhood brownstone, she has witnessed the gentrification of Boerum Hill. Marj has over 20 years of experience as a children’s content producer and photographer, creating award-winning, innovative, educational media for Scholastic, PBS KIDS, Sesame Workshop, and Noggin. She holds a Master’s in Educational Psychology from NYU and studied Performing Arts at Emerson College.
UPDATE and lengthen
Co-Producer | Editorial Director
Lara Weinberg is a NYC-based writer and communications consultant. In May 2020, she was thrilled to join Marj as the co-producer of Stoop Stories, channeling her COVID blues into heartfelt storytelling. Lara studied literature at SUNY-Binghamton and went on to associate produce “The Writing Code,” a critically acclaimed, three-part PBS series on the origin, history, and art of writing. It was “written in the stars” that Lara would put pen to paper (and eventually fingers to keyboard). She was the Director of Sales and Business Development for a boutique technology company and even dabbled as a ghostwriter for an internationally published astrologer. One of her most rewarding positions was Managing director of Mission: Getting to Next (MGTN), a nonprofit leadership and career transition organization, where she helped women trust and articulate their inner voices and write their next chapters.
Delilah is a native New Yorker, raised in Queens and Manhattan and currently living in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. She is a community builder/facilitator who runs events to help people connect and practice vulnerability. She also works for a nonprofit helping formerly homeless folks obtain permanent housing. Currently, she volunteers with Stoop Stories and spends her freetime crocheting, reading personal development books, and attending mindfulness events.
Sydney lives in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. She is a filmmaker who specializes in documentary and children's content. She has worked in the art department, as an assistant director and now as a producer. When she's not volunteering with Stoop Stories or the Children's Media Association, you can find her painting watercolors, cooking Syrian dishes, or strolling around Prospect Park. She doesn't have her own stoop yet but often hangs out on her Brooklyn balcony (AKA fire escape garden) dreaming up her next children's show!
Hannah M. Johns
Hannah is a social worker in Manhattan. Raised in Texas, she moved to New York to receive her Masters of Social Work from Columbia. Hannah is a passionate voice for every cause that she has ever learned about and is determined to use her voice to support others. With a history of photography, she has long been interested in storytelling. Her pre-COVID free time was spent traveling but she currently finds herself in a rapidly increasing plant collection.