The ICAC at the WE ARE BROOKLYN block party in 2018. Photo by Jordan Rathkopf.

In a Brooklyn that is rapidly changing, how can we make sure that Black history in our neighborhood is preserved? How can we shape Brooklyn's future in a way that is informed by what we've learned from its past? This month, join the Intergenerational Community Arts Council and the Future Historical Society for storytelling and history-collecting events created in collaboration with Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership's Some Words: Black Artstory Month.

Now in it's eighth year, Black Artstory Month elevates and celebrates this neighborhood's long-standing history as a haven for Black artistry. This year's title and programs have been inspired by Audre Lorde's poem Coal:


"Some words live in my throat
Breeding like adders. Others know sun
Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
To explode through my lips
Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
Bedevil me."

                                                                                   –excerpt from Coal 

Some Words brings together a number of organizations in the Fort Greene area, including BRIC, FOKUS, Audre Lorde Project, Walt Whitman Library Branch, Future Historical Society, University Settlement, Intergenerational Community Arts Council, Greenlight Bookstore, Pratt Institute School of Art, Black Alumni of Pratt, and more. 

Learn more about ICAC and FHS, their work perserving Black history and looking forward to Black futures, and how they foster BRIC's relationship with the long-standing community in the neighborhood we call home. 

Squala Orphan and Hetep aka BarBoy at the ICAC's WE ARE BROOKLYN Block Party. Photo by Jordan Rathkopf. 

SHARE! Some Words | Black Artstory Month 
FRI, FEB 7 | 7-9PM | FREE
Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center

The ICAC will be curating an evening of performance, poetry, and stories reflecting on what words need to be shared in these dynamic and challenging times. It's a time to testify, to witness, and to be praised so we can hope and heal together. SHARE! SOME WORDS is a special Black History Month edition of the SHARE! performance series, a University Settlement tradition that honors artists at every stage of development on one equal platform. Featuring poet Timothy DuWhite.

The Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC) is a multigenerational team of residents working together to curate and produce values- driven arts programming by and for community members of the Ingersoll, Whitman, Farragut and Atlantic Terminal NYCHA Houses and the neighboring Fort Greene area. A joint program of BRIC and University Settlement, ICAC is designed to support NYCHA residents as central stakeholders and decision-makers in the artistic and cultural life of the community, and facilitate connections with neighbors, resources and local business outside the housing developments.

Future Historical Society members with their Mobile Storytelling Lab. Photo by Angelys Ocana.  

Future Historical Society at Fort Greene SNAP | Black Artstory Month 2020 
FRI, FEB 21 | 11AM-1PM | FREE

The Future Historical Society leads an interactive storytelling and history-collecting workshop and installation, focusing on the vital role that Myrtle Avenue and Fort Greene SNAP has played in our community. In connection with this year’s Black Artstory Month theme, Some Words, this FHS workshop provides a forum for sharing history and meaning in one’s own voice and words, while creating an archive to preserve, interpret, and share those words through an artistic and community-created public art installation.

The Future Historical Society is a community storytelling project created by a multi-generational collective of Fort Greene neighbors, and led by artist Yazmany Arboleda. Tgus multi-generational team of community members joins together to create a neighborhood archive that honors the histories of our changing community, while transforming our vision for the future. Learn more about FHS here. 

Photo by Samuel Herrera. 

Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership | As Told
SAT, FEB 22 | 2-4PM | FREE
BRIC Artist Studio

Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership will host a panel discussion of their recently published book, As Told: Brooklyn Histories at BRIC as part of our Stoop Share series. The book is the written companion to their “We are Here” and  “As Told" oral history projects which document the stories of elders in Brooklyn.

The "As Told" project serves senior citizens and community members from the neighborhoods rapidly changing neighborhoods of Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. Over their lifetimes, our neighborhood’s senior citizens have keenly observed and experienced gentrification, a force that—in addition to shifting racial and social makeup of a neighborhood—favors certain age groups. Gentrification is for the young. New stores and architecture reflect the desire to attract youth and capital. Meanwhile older denizens’ needs are often sidelined. To counteract this sidelining, we want to center their experiences: How do older residents move through a changing neighborhood? What does it mean to carry long life-experience in a relentlessly changing city? What no longer / still feels like home? 

We're honored to work with so many dynamic and passionate organizations in our neighborhood, and hope to see you at one of these events. See the full program for Black Artstory Month. Keep Black Artstory going past February with Greenlight Bookstore's reading list!
Learn more >>