Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Lefferts Gardens are three neighborhoods increasingly populated by newcomers; this change is part of a larger Brooklyn transformation. In response to this, artists from these neighborhoods were asked to produce and share works that engage with these places and themes. Participants are hoping that these artworks, as well as a series of artist talks and readings presented as part of OF GENTLE BIRTH will be a platform for investigative and honest conversation.
I've lived in Crown Heights for 12 years, seen changes to the local business owners and patrons in that time and gotten to know my neighbors who lived here in the 1960s and 1970s. Recently I find myself asking what do the artists and young white people signal to the local community, who've seen and known this neighborhood through extraordinarily challenging times? Artists are regularly confronted by economic marginalization and restricted means and agency - issues that resonate strongly with the current conversations surrounding gentrification, but pale in comparison to the structural racism the Crown Heights community has endured for decades. This group of artists has prepared poetic and passionate responses to these issues and I’m interested to hear them question privilege, creativity, and community, and see their work provoke others to join in the asking and sharing. – Jonathan Allen
November 7 – December 20, 2015
Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
Closed November 26–29
Saturday, November 7 6–9pm
Opening Reception - Join artists and organizers to kick off this group show and series of live events.
November 10 5–7pm
ARTIST TALK: ALL AMERICAN BOYS
Novelists Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely read from their unforgettable new novel in which two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.
November 18 7:30–9pm
PARTICIPATORY EVENT: STORIES OF CROWN HEIGHTS
Longtime residents of Crown Heights share personal stories.
December 12 3–5pm
PARTICIPATORY EVENT: BARTER TOWN
As part of her ongoing Trading Post series, Heather Hart presents what may look like a carnival or block party but is run on bartering only. Participants are invited to bring ideas, services, songs, stories, unwanted goods, canned goods, handmade art, appliances, anything they think hold value, and haggle for something that they want.
Sponsored in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).