Colectiva Cósmica is a feminist collective that supports and cultivates artistic production by people who are not represented in the established art world. Interested in collaborating with and uplifting other artists who believe in our approach to art and support our mission, Cósmica strives to unite and support womyn artists from under-represented, diverse backgrounds. Cósmica is pushing for a new art movement that creates alternative platforms for our art. Our mission and goal is to create our own opportunities, foster the community we build, and adhere to our own standards. Cósmica works with the knowledge that art and creative processes empower our lives. We believe womyn are magical in complex ways and seek to unveil our long-obscured powers.
Cyrus Aaron is a Brooklyn based creative writer, playwright and poet. In 2016, Aaron wrote and produced his first original play about the psychological plight of bias and conventional racism. Aaron’s theatrical debut made a resonating impression and with his unique voice as a storyteller the Chicago Native has been commissioned and covered across industries and mediums. His features and commissions include VICE, HBO, YAHOO, iHEART, PYER MOSS, MACY’S, and ELLE, among others. When he’s not writing, Aaron performs live music sets with sonic collective THE BLK HRS, and leads a social empowerment campaign for America’s youth.
In celebration of its 40th anniversary year, BRIC launched the Future Historical Society (FHS), a multi-generational team of artists, activists, educators, and community members who represent a diverse range of connections to the neighborhood of Fort Greene. Led by artist Yazmany Arboleda and the Community Engagement team at BRIC, FHS members will work collaboratively to create a public project that integrates elements of storytelling, art, and media-making to document the histories of Fort Greene, while also envisioning its future. Learn more about the members of FHS here.
Harriet’s Apothecary is an intergenerational, healing village led by the brilliance and wisdom of Black cis women, queer and trans healers, artists, magicians, activists, and ancestors. Our village is committed to co-creating accessible, affordable, liberatory, all-body loving, all-gender honoring, community healing spaces that recognize, inspire, and deepen the healing genius of our vessels. The intention of Harriet’s Apothecary is to continue the rich healing legacy of abolitionist and community nurse and herbalist Harriet Tubman by expanding access to health and healing resources that support our people in their healing journeys toward freedom.
Adaku Utah was raised in Nigeria armed with the legacy of a long line of freedom fighters, farmers, and healers. Adaku harnesses her seasoned powers as a liberation educator,healer, and performance ritual artist as an act of love to her community. Alongside Harriet Tubman, she is the co-founder and co-director of Harriet's Apothecary. For over 12 years, her work has centered in movements for radical social change, with a focus on gender, reproductive, race, and healing justice. Currently she is the Movement Building Leadership Manager with the National Network for Abortion Funds. She is also a teaching fellow with BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity) and Generative Somatics.
Hidemi Takagi was born in Kyoto, Japan, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Takagi has exhibited both nationally and internationally (London, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Berlin, and Paris). Notable selected exhibitions include The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum, BRIC, and The Nathan Cummings Foundation. Takagi was awarded/has participated in the AIM program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NYFA IAP mentoring Program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space, Engaging Artist residency by More Art, BRIC Media Art Fellowship, Utopian Practice Fellowship by Culture Push, En Foco Photography Fellowship, Seed Grant by More Art, and BAC’s Brooklyn Arts Fund.
The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. The Innocence Project's mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.
India-born, Brooklyn-based artist and curator Jaishri Abichandani immigrated to New York City in the mid-eighties. Abichandani has had solo exhibitions at Queens Museum of Art, NY; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA; Rossi Rossi, London, UK; and Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, India. Her work has appeared in group exhibitions at Aicon Gallery, White Box, Wave Hill, MoMA PS1, Asia Society, all NY; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA; and Gallery Exhibit 320, New Delhi, India; among many others. She is the founder of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective in New York and London and has participated in a residency with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and been honored by the Brooklyn Arts Council. She received her BFA from Queens College, Queens, NY, and an MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Jive Poetic is the Brooklyn Poetry Slam’s co-founder & resident DJ as well as an accomplished poet and educator. He has represented the U.S. National Slam Team and has been featured on TV One’s Lexus Verses and Flow. He creates an environment where people feel like they’re legitimately on a Brooklyn stoop. He is a recent graduate of the MFA Writing & Activism Program at Pratt Institute.
Kamau Ware is a multidimensional creative blending complementary yet disparate disciplines as an Artist/ Historian. He is best known for his flagship storytelling project, Black Gotham Experience (BGX), a visual storytelling project founded in 2010 that celebrates the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City through a series of walking tours, graphic novels, and events. Ware's Black Gotham Experience has been recognized by The Atlantic and The New York Times, Columbia University’s History in Action Project Award, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Ware has also received prominent commissions, including a public art display in New York City’s Financial District. Recent engagements include Ideas City at the New Museum in New York, NY, SXSW, and an international speaking tour.
The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that no New Yorker is denied their right to equal justice because of poverty. Since 1876, we have proudly advocated for our clients, changing the laws one case at a time, one reform at a time. Through our Civil, Criminal Defense, and Juvenile Rights Practices, we offer an unmatched depth and breadth of legal expertise to vulnerable New Yorkers in over 300,000 legal matters each and every year. We are the voice for those who suffer in silence, face oppression, and struggle to access justice because of poverty.
Anthony Posada is a supervising attorney in The Legal Aid Society’s Community Justice Unit (CJU), which works with New York City’s Crisis Management System providing legal services and representation to Cure Violence organization’s citywide. Posada is also the Founder and Art Programming Director at Project Attica: Community Through the Arts, Inc. Project Attica, founded in 2010, is devoted to working with youth and underserved communities through art-based activities like artivism workshops, which combine art and activism focused on social justice and raising awareness of the crisis of mass incarceration.
Liz Collins is an artist who draws from the materials, processes, and techniques of fiber and textile media. Employing a range of materials, she incorporates vivid palettes and dynamic patterning to create work that varies in scale, from the object-based to the immersive and architectural, and straddles the divides between the functional, the decorative, and the expressive. Embracing optics, textures, color, and dimensionality, Collins recreates her experience of the world as a place of stupendous wonder and cosmic energy. Collins has had solo exhibitions at the Tang Museum, LMAKgallery, BGSQD, and Heller Gallery in New York; AMP in Provincetown, MA; and the Knoxville Museum of Art. Group exhibitions include the following museums: Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Museum of FIT, the New Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, and MoMA, all NY; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. Collins’ awards include a USA Fellowship, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship. She has had residencies at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; MacDowell Peterborough, NH; Haystack, Deer Isle, ME; and Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy. She holds BFA and MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, and is represented by LMAKgallery, NY. See a list of the artists featured in The Other Is You: Brooklyn Queer Portraiture here.
Macon Reed is an artist working in sculpture, installation, video, radio documentary, painting, and participatory projects. Her work has shown at venues including PULSE NYC Special Projects, BRIC, ABC No Rio, The Kitchen, Art F City FAGallery, Chicago Cultural Center, Mana Contemporary, Roots & Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, ICA Baltimore, and Athens Museum of Queer Arts in Greece. Reed completed her MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a University Fellow in 2013 and received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. Additionally she studied Radio Documentary at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and Physical Theater at the Dah International School in Belgrade. Most recently Reed was an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a Research Fellow at Eyebeam Center for Art+Technology.
The Cave Canem, Poets House, and Serenbe Focus alum, Mahogany L. Browne is the co-founder and host of the Brooklyn Slam. Browne is the author of several books including Redbone (nominated for NAACP Outstanding Literary Works), the illustrated book Black Girl Magic, and the recently released chapbook collection Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books). She is the Urban Word NYC Artistic Director (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room, Programming Coordinator for Black Lives Matter at Pratt, Professor at Pratt Institute and Adelphi, where she hosts the Friday Night Slam, and is a recent graduate from Pratt Institute MFA Writing and Activism program.
A Brooklyn-based poet, performer, and educator, Najee Omar uses the arts to engage and cultivate community. He is the recipient of fellowships from The Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and Poetry Incubator for Emerging Poets. His selected features include Russell Simmons’ All Def Poetry, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and colleges and universities across the United States. Omar is the Founder, Executive Director of Spark House: an arts education organization dedicated to developing youth voice and promoting social/emotional well-being. As a teaching artist, he turns classrooms into stages by conducting poetry and performance workshops for inner city and high need youth in schools and juvenile justice facilities across the country. Omar is a 2018 Artist-in-Residence with the Intergenerational Community Arts Council and a New York Times Visionary.
Dedicated to celebrating the most current and compelling voices in Latinx art, music, literature, and film, New Latin Wave is a multidisciplinary platform that seeks to open conversations about Latinx and Latin American contributions and identity in the United States by creating a space for performers, writers, and artists. Our mission is to be a resource for discovery and exchange for both those within and outside the Latinx arts community in New York City and the U.S.
Phillip Howze is a playwright whose work includes Self Portraits (BRIC) and Frontieres Sans Frontieres (The Bushwick Starr). His writing has been developed or produced at American AF Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, BRIC, The Bushwick Starr, Clubbed Thumb, PRELUDE, The Public Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and Yale Cabaret. Fellowships include the Sundance Institute Theater Lab, Montalvo Arts Center, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, and the Emerging Writers Group at The Public. He is a Resident Writer at Lincoln Center Theater and was recently named the Lecturer in Playwriting at Harvard University's Theater, Dance and Media program. His writing is published by Samuel French, 53rd Street Press and Theater Magazine.
Phony Ppl is a mix of people, time, and sound that’s been nurtured over generations in Brooklyn. Over the years, the bandmates have ebbed and flowed, but now they’ve reached their final form with these five original members: Elbee Thrie on vocal duties, Aja Grant on the keys, drummer Matt Byas, guitarist Elijah Rawk, and bassist Bari Bass. Their sound is a mix of soul, R&B, funk, hip hop, jazz, pop, and everything between and beyond. They do their own songwriting, arrangement, mixing, and production. The band just released their sophomore album, mō’zā-ik., in the fall of 2018.
DJ Sabine spins Global Soul: House, Afrotech, Afrobeat, Haitian Roots and other diasporic tunes. Her mainstay has been the monthly event Brooklyn Mecca which has been coined the home of "Grassroots Dance Culture." Sabine worked for the Ocha Records label as a Brand Marketing Director/Producer and Bembe NYC Party resident DJ. She has also been the resident DJ for Subrosa's monthly party Cumbancha, a resident DJ for Fania Records' Fania Collective and she curates a monthly party at Le Bain NYC called Rekolte: A Night of Haitian Roots & House. She's had the great opportunity to spin nationally in the U.S. in NYC, Atlanta, St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago, Omaha, Boston, New Orleans, Miami, LA/Oakland, NJ, Washington DC, Dallas, Denver, and internationally in Canada, Senegal, Haiti, Cuba, London, Paris, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, and Mexico.
Strings N Skins celebrates their Caribbean, Latin American, and African heritage through the dynamic and explosive blend of the violin and the djembe. The band was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2015 by vocalist and percussionist Okai and Latin Grammy Award Winner violinist Luisa Bastidas. Bastidas was born in Cali, Colombia, and moved to New York City with her parents when she was 11 years old. She tells her story of the challenges of adapting to a new culture while maintaining and growing her native culture at the same time. Okai was born in Brooklyn, and both of his parents are Haitian. He tells his story of the importance of learning about ancestry and representing proudly even if it’s from far away. Their purpose is that by educating our minds and embracing our roots we can take control and live with dignity and love. Let the music speak.
Tennessee Watson is an award-winning artist, independent journalist and educator. Her work uses sound, story and popular education to foreground the solutions that emerge from the collective sharing of lived experiences. She has taught documentary arts and facilitated community media projects at The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, The Latin American Youth Center in DC, and The Educational Video Center in NYC.
Laura Hadden is a documentary media artist whose work has been featured at Frameline Film Festival, Hot Docs, and on The Documentary Channel and BBC News. She currently works as the editor for the podcast Rendered and the Marketing Manager for Live Wire Radio. Previously, she spent three years as the Media & Communications Manager of The Moth, where she managed the production of the Peabody award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, oversaw digital strategy, and produced The Moth Podcast. She has taught storytelling and media production through the Center for Digital Storytelling as well as at CUNY Hunter College, where she is currently pursuing an MFA in Integrated Media Arts.
Texas Isaiah is a visual narrator whose work explores multi-dimensional realities by inviting a sitter to participate in the photographic process. He is interested in replacing the negligence that has been perpetuated within the photographic process with intimacy and vulnerability. He is invested in the possibilities of what it can mean to be seen, loved, and cared for when you have your photograph taken. Texas Isaiah has exhibited in numerous spaces including the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Aperture Gallery (NYC), Phillips (NYC), Residency (Los Angeles), The Kitchen (NYC), The Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles), Antenna (New Orleans), Slought Foundation (Philadelphia), and New Space Center for Photography (Portland). Reviews and mentions of his work have appeared in Art Forum, PDN, Artnews, and Cultured Magazine. He is the 2018 Grant Recipient for Art Matters.
UBW galvanizes artists, activists, audiences and communities through performances, artist development, education and community engagement. With the ground-breaking performance ensemble at its core, ongoing initiatives like the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), BOLD (Builders, Organizers & Leaders through Dance) and the Choreographic Center, UBW continues to affect the overall ecology of the arts by promoting artistic legacies; projecting the voices of the under-heard and people of color; bringing attention to and addressing issues of equity in the dance field and throughout the United States; and by providing platforms and serving as a conduit for culturally and socially relevant experimental art makers.
The duo behind Another Protest Song: Karaoke with a Message, Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere are multidisciplinary artists whose projects and research investigate contemporary music and sound, the electromagnetic spectrum, dissent, and public fora. Their interests lie in the formation of itinerant, performative, and discursive-based social spaces with works that move between the spatial simultaneity of performance and enunciation, reflecting upon political agency through lyrics, audio, and transmission. Nevarez and Tevere have been working together since 2001. They have produced new works for exhibitions at: MoMA, NY; Manifesta 8, Spain; Casino Luxembourg, LU; New Museum, NY; Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden/Oslo, Norway; Museo de Arte Raúl Anguiano, Guadalajara, Mexico; and Paul Kasmin Gallery, NY; Creative Time, NY; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (among others). Their recent fellowships and grants include awards from Creative Capital, Art Matters, NEA, and Franklin Furnace. Both Nevarez and Tevere were Studio Fellows at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program and artists-in-residence at the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden (IASPIS).
Yazmany Arboleda is a Colombian-American artist based in New York City. An architect by training, Arboleda’s practice focuses on creating “Living Sculptures,” people coming together to transform their experience of the world through co-creation. Over the past decade he has created public art projects with communities in India, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Afghanistan, Spain, Colombia, and the United States. His work has been written about in The New York Times, Washington Post, UK’s Guardian, and Fast Company. In 2013, he was named one of Good Magazine’s 100 People Making Our World Better. He is the co-founder and chief creative officer of limeSHIFT, a creative agency that brings artists into public and private communities to shape and elevate culture, and the associate director of communications for Artists Striving To End Poverty.