Turnstile’s mission is to advance public knowledge about the meaning of place, foster connections and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds, and inspire and reflect a culture of community participation through providing welcoming, well-researched, inclusive, and engaging experiences and resources to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. The company itself achieves its mission through Turnstile Tours, the foundation of the company that operates ongoing public tour programming and research efforts in partnership with select nonprofit organizations, and Turnstile Studio, a consulting practice that supports cultural and government organizations in place-making efforts, visitor engagement, and in the development of tours, programs, and exhibits.
As a New York State-registered benefit corporation, we are legally required to annually review our social and environmental impact measured against our mission, as well as third party standards, and post our findings on our website. In 2017 and 2018, Turnstile Tours was honored by B Lab as “Best for the World Overall,” for scoring in the top 10% of Certified B Corporations in the world, as well as “Best for Community” and “Best in Governance”.
Turnstile Tours include the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Prospect Park, Essex Market, tours of Food Carts and Food Trucks, and custom-made tours, all of which are offered in partnership with select non-profit organizations. At least 5% of all of our ticket sales goes towards supporting the work of select nonprofit organization that help to keep neighborhoods vital and thriving. All of our staff members are engaged behind-the-scenes in ongoing research, archival and field-based, to ensure that the tours we offer are relevant, dynamic, entertaining, and thoughtful.
All Turnstile Tours staff are licensed New York City Sightseeing Guides and have a diverse range of experience and expertise, from historical research to museum studies, sustainable architecture to street food. All of our team members also participates in ongoing research and tour development.
Cindy VandenBosch founded Turnstile Tours & Studio to create interactive and content-based experiences that foster engagement and interaction within and across communities in partnership with non-profit organizations in the neighborhoods of New York City. Cindy is passionate about offering experiences that are welcoming and accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and she has long been interested in socially-responsible business models, which led her to found Turnstile as a Benefit Corporation in 2012.
Andrew loves sharing how the city works, especially its waterfront, industry, and infrastructure. In addition to developing and leading tours, he consults with cultural institutions on operations, interpretation, and accessibility, and he oversees knowledge management for Turnstile, maintaining the archive, library, oral history collection. Much of Andrew’s work focuses on the past and present of New York’s waterfront, and he is an avid shipspotter, birdwatcher, and paddler. Andrew is a member of the New York Council Navy League, American Institute of Architects (Allied Member), and the US Naval Institute, and he serves on the Advisory Board of the Street Vendor Project.
Doug’s diverse talents include being a working actor and an ecological design consultant, experience he gets to blend together at Turnstile Tours. He loves exploring the history and ecology of Prospect Park, he led development of both the Urban Ecology and Sustainable Architecture and Industry tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and he helps Turnstile to incorporate sustainability- and environmentally-focused content into all of our programs and operations.
Brian Hoffman is a food blogger, actor, waiter, and lover of New York. Originally from South Florida, but born to a family of New York expats, he always dreamed of being a starving artist in the big city. After studying theater at Carnegie Mellon University and moving to New York City in 2001, he realized the starving part wouldn’t cut it. So in order to never go hungry again, he founded Eat This NY, a food blog where he searches for the best of New York’s most iconic foods, and a web series of the same name that documents those searches alongside a comedic storyline.
A native New Yorker, Amanda has always had a deep-seated love for the culture, people and history of New York City, and is delighted to bring her passion for history and storytelling to visitors through Turnstile’s tours and programs. She loves working with street vendors, leading our Food Cart Tours in Manhattan, and she also led the development of our new Food Cart Tour in Jackson Heights, Queens. Amanda has a background in museum education and visitor services, having worked previously for the Museum of Modern Art, the Tenement Museum, HistoryMiami, and most recently as the host of How to Be American, the Tenement Museum’s podcast that explores multiculturalism and American identity through people’s stories.
Carinn, a Californian, has interpreted history from coast to coast. Since earning her B.A. at Vassar College, Carinn has immersed herself in NYC through her work with iconic institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Radio City Music Hall. At Turnstile Tours, she has developed curricula for and led summer camp partnership programs in Prospect Park and leads public tours of Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She is thrilled to share her teeming curiosity for New York with visitors and locals alike.
Stefan Dreisbach-Williams is a native of Staten Island who researches and writes about New York Harbor, its estuary, and its maritime network. He leads tours of the Brooklyn waterfront, supports archival and research efforts, and has helped launch and sustain our virtual programming about all things maritime. He is the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Archivist, Museum Associate at the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn, member of the volunteer crew restoring New York Harbor’s Robbins Reef lighthouse, and caretaker for the 1661 Bowne House, the second-oldest building in New York City. He is building a sailing canoe to gunkhole NYC’s 520-mile shoreline and transit the Erie Canal for its bicentennial.
Miriam Bader is a learning designer with expertise in creating dynamic programs, systems, and training that facilitate personal, professional, and organizational development. She has supported diverse NGOs and cultural organizations to develop their leadership capacity. Her experience spans work at JDC, the leading Jewish humanitarian organization, to the National Park Service, Tenement Museum, Singapore Tourism Board, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others. Miriam also sits on the Board of the Jewish Foundation of the Education of Women (JFEW) where she merges her commitment to equity and education to help women of all backgrounds achieve economic mobility through a college support system. She received her Master’s degree in Museum Education at Bank Street College, a Certificate in Leadership & Public Service at NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and from the Institute in Jewish Art at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Salty has been with Turnstile since the beginning, joining Cindy and Andrew’s family in 2012 as a rescue from Brooklyn’s Sean Casey Animal Rescue. She is named after another famous dog of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Salty Sam, who was rescued from a sinking fishing vessel by the crew of USS Wrangell in 1953. Salty can be found most mornings in Prospect Park during off-leash hours, and she enjoys spending time at Turnstile’s office in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
In addition to developing and offering tours, Turnstile Studio offers technical assistance and consulting services to clients that include cultural and government organizations in their efforts to more effectively engage the public through place-making and/or site specific projects, exhibitions, tours, and programs. Our core competencies include storytelling techniques, research and content production, visitor engagement and visitor services, accessibility for visitors with disabilities, cartography and graphic design, and tour and program development and evaluation.
We are so very grateful to the many people and institutions that have made our work possible.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com or by phone at (347) 903-8687.