The BRIC OPEN is an annual arts and ideas festival borne out of BRIC’s core values of creativity, inclusion, and community, bringing people together to radically imagine a more equitable future. This year’s festival theme, Borders, illuminates the way real and imagined borders intersect, and celebrates our capacity to create connection across boundaries. Saturday of the festival includes Downtown Brooklyn walking tours with Kamau Ware, a panel discussion on the Dominican Republic-Haiti diasporic experience, a Border Shorts film series, a Saturday night dance party, and more.
BRIC OPEN: Borders - Saturday
Family Art Making: Building Bridges Mural
11AM–1PM | BRIC House Ballroom
In a time where it seems that we are more divided than ever, we invite youth and families of all ages to come together to create community through creativity. Using paint, textiles, and a variety of decorative items, we will create a multi-media mural of a bridge, letting the world know that we are much better off building bridges that connect us, not walls that divide us. (Best for ages 5 and up.)
Greenlight Bookstore Pop-up
11AM–6PM | BRIC House Lobby
Our friends and neighbors from Greenlight Bookstore will be at BRIC OPEN: Borders with titles for sale relating to the theme of borders.
12-1:30PM | Gallery at BRIC House
Bring your pencils and sketch book for a community portrait-drawing session where participants are both the artist and the subject of one another's drawings. Hosted by Bordering the Imaginary artists iliana emilia garcia and Vladimir Cybil Charlier and David Antonio Cruz.
Juanli Carrión: Memelismos: Memories from the Other Side
12-4PM | BRIC House Hallway
Memelismos is a collaborative, community-specific project that uses sculpture to address popular memory and personal meanings embedded in everyday objects. For this iteration, we invite you to donate objects that represent a border you have crossed. The border may be geographic, political, emotional, social or linked to your identity, and the object may remind you of the other side. How was it to live there? Why did you leave and what did you leave behind? What were you seeking? Was it hard to cross? How are those memories in your object and are you willing to let it go?
When you donate the object at BRIC, you will be asked to tell a short story about it and what it represents. The artist, Juanli Carrión, will then wrap them in plastic of different colors, transforming them into abstract sculptures and disconnecting them from specific memories. In fall 2018, you can return to BRIC to organize the sculptures in an exhibition in the Project Room and re-encounter your and others' memories, physically present but visually abstracted. The installation becomes a collective, community activity that inspires interaction and conversation around memory and what happens when we cross borders.
#MemoriesFromTheOtherSide | #ArtFP
Borders We Carry - Walking Tours
2PM & 6PM | Meet Outside Main Entrance
Join Kamau Ware, founder of the Black Gotham Experience, on a walking tour that explores the borders we carry within our minds and bodies. Ware will lead participants on a 90-minute journey through Downtown Brooklyn, traversing the neighborhood while reflecting together on the intangible boundaries that define our movements through private, public, and urban spaces.
Space is limited and registration is required to attend the Borders We Carry walking tours. RSVP HERE. Please contact LDiaz@bricartsmedia.org if your plans change and you are unable to attend, or if you would like to join the waitlist for a sold out tour.
Reflections on the DACA and the DREAM Act: Erika Harrsch & Yatziri Tovar
2PM | BRIC House Artist Studio
What are the implications of DACA, and how has it affected the denizens of the United States? How would the passage of the long-proposed DREAM Act change the circumstances of families in our communities? Mexican artist Erika Harrsch and Mexican-born activist Yatziri Tovar (of Make the Road NYC), explore the significance of DACA and the DREAM Act, and how these pieces of legislation affect their lives, work, art, and activism. Moderated by Cesar Vargas, a nationally recognized leader at the forefront of the fight for immigration reform and the DREAM Act.
Border Shorts Film Series
2:30PM │ BRIC House Ballroom
Created by a diverse slate of filmmakers employing varied forms and styles—from animation to documentary to experimental and those that blend and cross genres—this eclectic series of short films speaks to the need for empathy and neighborliness in this time of division. Films include: The Town I Live In (Dir: Matt Wolf and Guadalupe Rosales); Dylan (Dir: Elizabeth Rohrbaugh); See You Yesterday (Dir: Stefon Bristol); The Hole (Dir: Billy Feldman and Courtney Sell); BioHacker (Dir: Brad Heck and Willow O’Feral); Transformation: Profile on Santana (Dir: Sheba Legend); Feet in Two Worlds: Mohammed Fayaz, Queer Muslim Artist (Dir: Sriyanka Ray); Hijab (Dir: Emily Lyon); Aliens of Extraordinary Ability (Dir: MolMol Kuo); and Neighbours (Dir: Norman McLaren).
Haiti-NYC-DR: Reflections from the Diaspora
4PM | BRIC House Stoop
This discussion brings to life a series of commissioned essays from four leading voices of the Haitian and Dominican diaspora. Contributors Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, Edward Paulino, Albert Saint Jean, and Ibi Zoboi will reflect on their personal experiences of the relationship between the countries, and how their unique perspectives are influenced by their families, professions, and passions here in NYC. They will be joined by moderator by Carolle Charles, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology at Baruch College. All speaker bios can be found here and commissioned essays are available online at Remezcla.com.
This program is presented in partnership with the Haiti Cultural Exchange.
On a Knife Edge
4:30PM | BRIC House Ballroom
On a Knife Edge (Dir: Jeremy Williams) is a father-son story about Guy and George Dull Knife that unfolds over the course of George’s coming-of-age journey. Under his father’s guidance, George becomes an activist and organizer, and begins identifying with the role of traditional Lakota warrior, which he views as his family legacy. He commits himself to the fight for social justice, but struggles with adapting the old ways and his father’s expectations to the modern-day realities of growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Told largely through George’s eyes, the film offers a privileged glimpse into the youngest generation of the American Indian Movement, as well as George’s own evolving notions of Native identity, manhood, and duty. His story is interwoven with animated sequences that depict five generations of family history, narrated by his father and based on paintings he has created to explore the continuum of their fight through the generations. Followed by a conversation with scholar and Standing Rock activist Jaskiran Dhillon and film producer Eli Cane.
RAGGA x BRIC: Dance Party
8PM-12AM | BRIC House Ballroom
Join us for a dance party with RAGGA NYC that celebrates Caribbean culture and creates space for solidarity and identities that break boundaries.
The evening will feature DJs Oscar Nñ of Papi Juice, Serena Jara, LSXOXOD, and Neon Christina; a live performance by Viva Ruiz; video projections honoring dancehall queen culture; and a "Caribbean market" of items that speak to liberation and power of people of color and queer communities.
Bordering the Imaginary: Art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas
10AM-10PM | Gallery at BRIC House
Bordering the Imaginary investigates the complicated relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti—two nations that share a single island. The exhibition features work in a wide array of media by 19 Dominican and Haitian artists, based in both their native countries and in the United States. The artists draw on their experiences of difference, movement, and immigration to create a collective visual narrative that exposes inequalities and stereotypes of race, gender, and sexuality, which have plagued the island since the 15th century. Their work also displays the vitality of the visual arts in their communities. Through the exhibition, exhibition catalogue, and public programs, Bordering the Imaginary will reveal the complexities of a historically shifting transnational border space and the formation of distinct but intertwined nations.
Erika Harrsch: Under the Same Sky...We Dream
10AM–10PM | BRIC House Artist Studio
This immersive multimedia installation by Erika Harrsch, in collaboration with internationally acclaimed Mexican singer Magos Herrera, is an homage to the children who cross borders to start a new life with or without their parents, and to parents who dream of a better life for their kids. The piece reflects on the right to move freely across borders, the consequences of migration, the dehumanizing experience of detention, and the DREAM Act legislation of the United States that was never adopted. Participants are invited to rest in the room as an act of reflection and solidarity with the Dreamers, over 20,000 of whom live in Brooklyn.
10AM–10PM | BRIC House Swing Space
In a fractured world, human beings too often see themselves and their tribes in isolation and competition. Portals, a global public art initiative, is about harnessing the incredible technology we have at our fingertips to forge connections between communities that might otherwise never meet. Portals are gold spaces equipped with immersive audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a Portal somewhere else on Earth live and full-body, as if in the same room. As walls are going up across the world and borders are hardening, the BRIC_Portal carves wormholes throughout the planet, connecting individuals to create unexpected dialogues that engage questions of borders in many ways. BRIC_Portal is presented by Shared_Studios™.
Katie Shima: What time is it there?
10AM-10PM | BRIC House Hallway
Katie Shima’s intricately constructed wall relief sculptures weave together digital and traditional techniques as a means to explore how societies shape their environments by building in, over, and through the landscape. What time is it there? is comprised of natural materials such as stained wood and fiber, the installation will appear as if an archipelago of disparate locales.
In an effort to make the BRIC OPEN Festival truly accessible, all events are FREE with RSVP, but if you have the means, and you value artistic and cultural work, please consider making a donation to support the continued health of this programming at BRIC. Donate here!
NOTE: Seating for BRIC OPEN: Borders events is on a first come, first served basis, whether you have RSVP’d or not.
BRIC House is Brooklyn’s cultural living room: a 40,000 square foot multi-disciplinary arts and media complex in the former Strand Theatre, where emerging and established artists can create work that deepens their practice and engages the diverse communities of the borough.
Attendees of any BRIC House programming must show proof of full vaccination and photo ID for entry. Masks are currently required while inside BRIC House. If you have questions regarding this protocol, please email Safety@bricartsmedia.org. For our full BRIC House COVID-19 policy, visit: https://www.bricartsmedia.org/safety.
BRIC is committed to welcoming people of all abilities. The main floor of BRIC House has an accessible entrance on Rockwell Place, in addition to an accessible, all-gender bathroom. The BRIC Media Center, located on the 2nd floor, is accessible via elevator. The Gallery level is accessible via a wheelchair lift. Portable FM assistive listening devices are available for programs on the Stoop and in the Ballroom upon request. To make a specific access request, or to let us know other ways we can provide you with a welcoming experience, please contact Cristina Tamarez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.683.5610.