HOSTED BY FRANCHESCA RAMSEY AND PATRICK KONDAS (COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV, LAST NAME BASIS PODCAST), AND FEATURING FASHION PARTNER & STYLE LEGEND NANETTE LEPORE, THE NEWLY RELAUNCHED OPENING NIGHT REVEL HONORS HILARY E. ACKERMANN
Who: Patti LaBelle
Where: BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival (Prospect Park West & 9th St., Brooklyn)
When: Tuesday, June 4 at 8:00 P.M. (Gates open at 6:30 P.M.)
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)
More information: www.BRICartsmedia.org/cb or 718.683.5600
BRIC is pleased to announce that iconic GRAMMY Award-winning entertainer Patti LaBelle will open BRIC’s 41st season with a free concert on June 4 to open their annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Preceding the concert, BRIC will relaunch its beloved annual opening night fundraiser with the first ever REVEL, an immersive artist driven experience from day to dusk to dark. This event will welcome and feature fashion partner Nanette Lepore and honor BRIC’s outgoing Board Chair Hilary Ackermann.
Since its inception in 1979, BRIC has hosted a diverse range of magnetic performers across musical disciplines to kick off its beloved summer festival—including in recent years the electrifying Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings in one of her final concerts, “Queen of Funk” Chaka Khan, cultural luminary David Byrne, reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, and pop innovator Janelle Monáe. This year’s concert continues in that vein when the incomparable force that is Patti LaBelle takes the stage. Belting out classic rhythm and blues renditions, pop standards, and spiritual sonnets has created the unique platform of versatility that she is known and revered for.
“We are thrilled to kick off our summer concert series at the Prospect Park Bandshell with R&B icon Patti LaBelle and celebrate the extraordinary leadership of our outgoing Board Chair Hilary Ackermann at our first ever REVEL. This year’s festival will open with a renewed sense of energy and commitment to the artistry that defines Brooklyn,” says BRIC President Kristina Newman-Scott.
Prior to the free concert, BRIC will host the newly relaunched BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival REVEL, proudly honoring Hilary Ackermann. The REVEL will be hosted by actress, comedian, and author Franchesca Ramsey (Comedy Central, MTV) and her husband Patrick Kondas, who are known for their acclaimed podcast Last Name Basis, part of the BRIC RADIO network. In 2018, Franchesca published her first book, Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist. Fashion designer Nanette Lepore, who recently moved her company to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will be lending her creative vision to the evening as the official fashion partner.
Over 13 years with BRIC, Hilary Ackermann has had a profound impact on the organization. During her tenure, Ackermann worked with the Board and senior leadership to significantly expand BRIC’s programming, education initiatives, and community engagement work, to realize the full potential of BRIC’s multi-disciplinary arts and media center, BRIC House. New programs launched under Ackermann’s leadership include the BRIC JazzFest, Brooklyn's ultimate jazz festival; the BRIC Biennial, a major exhibition highlighting Brooklyn’s significance as a home for visual artists; and BRIC TV, an Emmy Award-winning cable TV and digital network. Most recently as Board Chair, Ackermann guided the national search for BRIC’s President Kristina Newman-Scott, the first immigrant and woman of color to serve in this role. The former Chief Risk Officer for Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Ackerman also serves on several corporate boards, including Credit Suisse Holdings USA, Inc. and The Hartford Funds.
The REVEL will offer guests an immersive one-of-a-kind experience, from day to dusk to dark. Highlights will include a creative cocktail hour, a wonderful shared meal for 400+ of Brooklyn’s tastemakers and decision-makers in a joyful outdoor setting in Prospect Park, reserved seats up front for the performance, followed by drinks and dancing at our DJ-led After Party.
Revel tickets, starting at $750, can be purchased online at www.BRICartsmedia.org/cb or by contacting Marissa Miller at 718.683.5637 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The proceeds provide vital funds that help keep BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival programming free and accessible to everyone. Following the concert, REVEL guests and Friends of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival (i.e. members) are invited to the Opening Night After Party.
ABOUT PATTI LABELLE
Patti has written six books, Don’t Block the Blessings, LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About, Patti’s Pearls, Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine, Recipes for the Good Life, and her most recent, Desserts LaBelle. Several years ago, she introduced Patti’s Good Life, a successful product line that includes a variety of pies, cobblers and cakes. Additionally, Patti released her first jazz album, Bel Hommage, and a holiday album, Patti LaBelle and Friends - Home for the Holidays, in 2017.
World renowned for her dynamic career as an entertainer and entrepreneurial success, Patti’s work as a humanitarian is just as legendary. She remains an advocate for adoption, diabetes, cancer, HIV / AIDS and many other causes and non-profit initiatives. While she has reached the heights of success throughout her 50-plus year career, Patti has also endured and survived personal strife. Within a ten-year period, she lost her mother, three sisters and best friend to diabetes and cancer. In 1994, she was diagnosed with diabetes and shortly thereafter became a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.
The same motivation that had Patricia Louise Holte blossom from a choir member to lead vocalist for Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and later Labelle, to a solo artist is the same energy that keeps her fire burning at seventy-four years young. “Each year I grow, and that’s a blessing from God. I do what I can do. I do what I feel God has given me the energy to do, so I just go out there and I do it…It’s not about making money because I don’t need money, but I need to sing. With a voice or without, I’ve got to get on that stage.” And the world is thankful that Patti’s voice sounds so good to our ears.
BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. The organization presents and incubates work by artists and media-makers that reflects the diversity of New York. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.
BRIC’s main venue, BRIC House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio and artist work spaces.
Some of BRIC’s most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park; groundbreaking media initiatives, including BRIC TV, BRIC Radio, and Brooklyn Free Speech; and renowned contemporary art exhibitions. BRIC also offers education and community-building programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn.
In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables BRIC to most effectively reflect New York City’s innate cultural richness and diversity.
ABOUT BRIC CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! FESTIVAL
The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is BRIC’s flagship performing arts program. Unlike the multi-stage destination festival scene, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is a free, summer-long experience allowing New Yorkers to come back again and again with their friends and family to appreciate or discover a new genre, acclaimed artist, or world culture each night of the Festival. From its very first performance in the summer of 1979, the mission of the Festival has been to bring Brooklyn together in a safe, harmonious setting that enhances our quality of life and understanding of the world by illuminating the vibrant cultures that make our borough so unique.
During its 40-year run, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival has presented more than 2,000 artists including celebrated global music icons, legendary jazz artists, chart-topping indie bands, gravity-defying dance troupes, large-scale film projects and even a virtual reality performance, drawing a diverse audience upwards of 200,000 each season.
“In the crowded summer festival season, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! stands apart.” — Billboard
Winner of the Village Voice Readers’ Poll and Critics’ Picks for “Best Free Concert Series”
“Every year, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! broadens the city’s horizons with dozens of shows by an unbelievable lineup of artists to the Prospect Park Bandshell.” — Metro
The festival’s Executive Producer is Jack Walsh. Its Artistic Director is Rachel Chanoff. Kristina Newman-Scott is the President of BRIC.
For more information, please visit www.BRICartsmedia.org.