Our Mission & History
BRIC presents programs in contemporary art, performing arts, and video that reflect the creativity and diversity of Brooklyn. BRIC also advances and nurtures emerging voices and works-in-progress by local artists and media makers. BRIC supports open access to arts and media by making programs available without charge or at very low cost, through education and public programs, and by enabling and amplifying individual and community voices.
1979: The Fund for the Borough of Brooklyn (the "Fund") launches the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park with a dual cultural and civic mission, to foster economic revitalization through the arts, to provide opportunities for Brooklyn artists to reach audiences, and to provide free access to cultural programming for Brooklyn audiences. Nanette Rainone was the founder of the organization, and led the Fund until 2002. Burl Hash was the first producer of the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.
1981: The Fund, in order to further strengthen the arts sector in Brooklyn, establishes Rotunda Gallery to support the creation of opportunities for visual artists in the borough and to facilitate access to contemporary art for Brooklyn audiences. Jackie Battenfield is the first director of the Rotunda Gallery.
1988: The Fund is named the Public Access television organization for Brooklyn, to facilitate the creation of and access to Brooklyn-focused television programming and to nurture public participation in the creation of works in the medium of video. The Fund manages Brooklyn Community Access Television ("BCAT"). Onida Coward-Mayers is named the first director of BCAT in 1989.
1990: First BCAT cablecast on Time Warner and Cablevision
1993 – 1996: The Fund oversees design and construction of Brooklyn's Public Access television studios and offices in the former Strand Theater, 647 Fulton Street, in downtown Brooklyn. The Fund develops a plan for the former Strand Theater in partnership with the Borough President, City of New York Department of Design and Construction and Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)
1997 – 2000: Schematic design is commissioned by BRIC to create a multi-disciplinary arts center in the former Strand Theater as per the 1996 Master Plan; capital funds allocated by New York City
1998: The Fund for the Borough of Brooklyn changes its name to Brooklyn Information & Culture (BRIC)
2003 – 2006: BRIC and the City of New York explore various models for developing the planned multi-arts Center in the former Strand theater and accommodating the BRIC programs within the Brooklyn Cultural District.
2005: Leslie G. Schultz joins BRIC as Executive Director.
2006: BRIC launches Brooklyn Independent Television, a media initiative to bring original, professionally produced coverage of Brooklyn news, people, issues, sports and culture.
2008: Leeser Architects is selected as architect to design new facility at 647 Fulton Street; building design is finalized.
2009: Brooklyn Information & Culture is re-named BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn; the original acronym is dropped.
2010: Leeser’s design for BRIC Arts | Media House is awarded a NYC Design Commission Award for Excellence in Design
2011: BRIC and UrbanGlass, the other cultural organization located in 647 Fulton Street, relocate to interim locations to make way for construction. A groundbreaking on new building is held with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, among many other dignitaries, in attendance.
2012: Construction continues on BRIC Arts | Media House
2013: BRIC marks the 35th year of Celebrate Brooklyn! performances in Prospect Park; on October 3, 2013 BRIC Arts | Media House opens to the public. The name of the organization is shortened to BRIC.
2016: BRIC renames its flagship festival (formerly Celebrate Brooklyn!) the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. BRIC renames and relaunches its curated media initiative (formerly Brooklyn Independent Media) BRIC TV.