Helga Davis's Cassandra; photo: David Andrako

*PLEASE NOTE: The Fireworks Residency Program is currently being evaluated and future opportunities will be announced when details are available.



With the opening of BRIC Arts | Media House in fall 2013, a new kind of cultural space has been formed.  Located in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, BRIC House features a spacious Gallery and Project Room; the Ballroom, a flexible performance space; the Artist Studio, a rehearsal and work space; and state-of-the-art television studio and video production facilities. In addition to being an exciting new venue that has attracted a large, diverse audience, BRIC House is an innovative cultural laboratory for artists working in varied disciplines.

The BRIC House Fireworks Residency is designed to bring together artists of different disciplines who share a vision, and provide them with technical and financial resources to facilitate the collaborative development of creative projects that cross or erase artistic boundaries. During BRIC House’s inaugural year, we developed three ambitious projects under the auspices of this initiative, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund:

  • Armchair Parade, an interactive installation by theater designer and puppet maker Julian Crouch, musician Mark Stewart, and filmmaker Ragnar Freidank, presented in October 2013 to broad acclaim.
  • WOW, an experimental opera by theater artist David Levine, composer and sound artist Joe Diebes, and poet and librettist Christian Hawkey, accompanied by a large gallery exhibition, staged at BRIC House in January 2014.
  • Cassandra, a staged work and installation exploring the ancient myth of Cassandra by actor and vocalist Helga Davis, designer Robert Adams, filmmaker Masha Froliak, and director Michael McQuilken that took place in April 2014.
  • Brer Rabbit The Opera: A Funky Meditation on Gentrification, an adult exploration of tricksterism, techno-anismism, and urban survival techniques developed by performance artist Aisha Cousins, musician Greg Tate, and Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber in January 2015.  
  • The Spinning Wheel, a multimedia performance and interactive gallery exhibition conceived by hip hop theater artist Baba Israel with UK based director Leo Kay and musician Yako 440 in January 2016.

Selection Criteria

We seek cross disciplinary projects in an early stage of development by artist teams that involve at least two of the three disciplines pursued by BRIC—contemporary art, media, and performing arts.  Projects must involve true collaboration; one discipline should not be primarily in support of another (for example, a theater-based project for which an artist designs scenery).

  • At least one member of the artist team must have a Brooklyn affiliationborn, living in or working in the borough. 
  • Projects will be judged on their feasibility given the artists’ record of achievement, the budget and timeline, and how well they align with BRIC’s facilities and technical resources.
  • Given BRIC’s strong focus on Brooklyn artists and audiences, projects with relevance to our borough, and that reflect its diverse cultures are particularly welcome.
  • Finally and most importantly, we seek projects that reflect great innovation and exceptional creativity.  Successful projects will be those that are fresh, unexpected, and marked by a spirit of experimentation.

While definitions of emerging and mid-career artists are flexible, we use these general guidelines: An emerging artist is one who has recently completed education or received their degree within the last 7 years, has received some grants or opportunities, but has yet taken part in a major residency or commissioning.  Emerging artists tend to receive some or no income from their art practice.  A mid-career artist is one who has completed their education or received their degree within the last 8 to 15 years.  They have had at least a few significant residency or commissioning opportunities, and earn income from their art practice.

Resources & Facilities for Artist Residents

Fireworks Resident Artists are given broad access to BRIC House facilities and equipment, as well as BRIC's technical and production staff.

If you have questions about Fireworks, please send us an email.

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