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Black Brooklyn Renaissance Begins Year Long Cultural Initiative


Brooklyn Reigns High With 
Launch of Project

Black Brooklyn Renaissance: 
Black Arts & Culture: 1960 - 2010

Year-Long Arts & Culture Activities Feature 
Artists, Concerts, Workshops, Exhibitions And More!

Inspired By The Harlem Renaissance

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), in partnership with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, announces Black Brooklyn Renaissance: Black Arts & Culture, 1960-2010This landmark, year-long initiative is the first effort of its kind to take a holistic look at Black culture and arts in Brooklyn over five decades. The project explores a range of genres and styles from drumming to painting to jazz to hip hop and spoken word, and looks at how Black artists retain ties to mid-century social and political movements and how artists preserve legacies and influences across generations.

KICK OFF EVENTS - February 28 and March 3

Major components of the initiative include 12 months of concerts, performances, workshops, readings, screenings, exhibitions, a conference and an archive to share this work with future generations. Black Brooklyn Renaissance kicks-off with an African Dance/Brooklyn Style Showcase onSundayFebruary 28 and Symposium on Wednesday, March 3 (details below).

Black Brooklyn Renaissance will join cultural and community organizations across Brooklyn in an exploration and celebration of Black culture and arts practices over the past 50 years. A major goal of Black Brooklyn Renaissance is to educate a new generation of New York artists and audiences about Brooklyn’s Black artistic legacies by encouraging attendance at a wide array of programs presented by Brooklyn cultural institutions and presenting organizations. The Harlem Renaissance is the project’s symbolic point of departure, in that the literary and jazz-infused Harlem era of the early-20th century finds a powerful counterpoint in Brooklyn’s black cultural explosion, which began in the mid- 20th century and continues in the present.

BAC is pleased to announce its partnership with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation for Black Brooklyn Renaissance.

"Brooklyn Arts Council is proud to partner with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, a leader in the Black Brooklyn community, on Black Brooklyn Renaissance. Restoration has presented and recognized the contributions of countless Black artists and has shaped our culture here in Brooklyn over many decades.

- Ella J. Weiss, President of BAC

“From its inception in 1967, Restoration incorporated the preservation and promotion of arts and culture as essential elements of its comprehensive community development agenda. We know that artists simultaneously anchor and elevate the aesthete, appeal, and cultural nuances of a community. What’s most exciting about this partnership with Brooklyn Arts Council is that we will document the evolution and impact of the Black arts movement over the past 50 years. This will be an invaluable resource for artists, students, historians, community representatives and other stakeholders for generations to come.”

- Colvin W. Grannum, President of Restoration

Many events in the kick-off season this spring focus on the folk roots of the Black Brooklyn Renaissance —community arts, ceremonies and rituals that retain distinct Afro-diasporic legacies and traditions. Events feature Afro-Caribbean ceremonial music and dance, West African drumming, the influence of African traditional dance in contemporary choreography, southern-style African-American gospel and spiritual music and the early history of Brooklyn jazz. Many of these initial concerts, panels and workshops examine how migration, immigration and political movements have galvanized these cultural expressions while drawing attention to the evolving interplay between Afro-Caribbean, southern African American and African traditions.


African Dance/Brooklyn Style 
Sunday, February 28, 2 – 5pm

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College (BCBC), Whitman Theater

2900 Campus Road & Hillel Place, Brooklyn

Brooklyn dancers perform in a range of styles, from traditional to postmodern, demonstrating the rich history and evolution of African dance in the borough. The dance showcase features accomplished dancer and choreographer Camille A. Brown, whom Wendy Perron of Dance Magazinedescribes as, "a fabulous performer, turns sexy into funny and eccentric. Bravo!" Brown's choreographic style injects the stage with the energy and vibrancy of many creative art forms, as she allows traditional and contemporary expressions to flow through her. The dance showcase also features Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater, which combines dynamic movement and music patterns of traditional African styles with African American showmanship and staging, creating a powerful signature blend as one of the younger Brooklyn-based dance companies, as well as Haitian postmodernist Baraka de Soleil, Panamanian Conjunto Nuevo Milenio, Afro-Brazilian Rita Silva, and others.

African Dance/Brooklyn Style Symposium

Co-presented with Urban Bush Women
Wednesday, March 3, 7 – 9pm

The Great Room, A.R.T. NY Building
138 S. Oxford Street, 2nd Floor (between Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue), Brooklyn



Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), a nonprofit 501c3 organization founded in 1966, serves Brooklyn artists and arts groups in all disciplines and provides residents with affordable access to the arts. We are the go-to service group for Brooklyn’s independent dance, music, film and visual artists, and for finding out about the wide array of cultural groups and projects in our area. We’re also one of the main organizations working to preserve the arts in Brooklyn schools, after school programs and community centers. Our leadership has helped Brooklyn become home to more artists than any other borough, and for the arts to flourish in Brooklyn’s amazing diversity of neighborhoods.

Black Brooklyn Renaissance is sponsored by MetLife Foundation.

Programs are made possible by support from American Express, Con Edison, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust, Park Avenue Building and Roofing Supplies, LLC, Concord Baptist Christfund, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by New York State Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Delegations of the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York City Council and its Brooklyn Delegation. Media sponsorships provided byThe New York Times, Community Affairs and WBLS


Alicia Evans
(516) 377 - 6146


STORY TAGS: black, african, american, renaissance, cultural, culture, initiative, history, heritage, black history month, black news, black radio network, minority news, Brooklyn Reigns High, Black Brooklyn Renaissance, Brooklyn Arts Council, harlem,

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