BRIC OPEN Festival /

BRIC OPEN: Justice - Saturday

Closing day of the festival is an all-day affair featuring a hair party with Urban Bush Women, another healing workshop with Harriet’s Apothecary, a zine fair curated by New Latin Wave, art-making with Colectiva Cósmica, Protest Song Karaoke, more walks with Kamau Ware, and more!  


SAT, APR 27, 2019 | 11AM-9:30PM




BRIC House
647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
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  • Graphic Design by Chloe Borison, Images: Courtesy of the Artist

  • Urban Bush Women | Photo: Hayim Heron

  • Harriet's Apothecary | Photo: Liz Maney

  • Macon Reed: A Pressing Conference

  • Colectiva Cósmica

  • New Latin Wave

  • Strings N Skins

  • Kamau Ware | Photo Credit: Angelys Ocana

  • Another Protest Song: Karaoke with a Message, Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere | Photo Credit: Meghan McGinnis for Creative Time

  • Jaishri Abichandani

  • Jamine Weber, The Other Is You: Brooklyn Queer Portraiture

  • Texas Isaiah

  • Laura Hadden & Tennessee Watson: Wage/Working

  • Still from DisLabeled | Courtesy of BRIC TV


Closing day of the festival is an all-day affair featuring a hair party with Urban Bush Women, another healing workshop with Harriet’s Apothecary, a zine fair curated by New Latin Wave, art-making with Colectiva Cósmica, Protest Song Karaoke, more walks with Kamau Ware, and more! Click here to learn more about the artists, panelists, and other participants.


Superheroes—Write Your Own Story! 
A Family Hair Party with Urban Bush Women 

Hair Parties are interactive workshops—combining conversation, guided movement, and excerpts from Urban Bush Women's Hair and Other Stories. Using hair as a lens through which to examine systemic racism in America, Urban Bush Women fosters bravery and risk-taking to unapologetically delve into conversations on race in the United States. This Hair Party will be a celebratory family space. Perfect for families with children ages 2 to 12 who are interested in sharing their own stories through collage, embodied storytelling, and guided movement, participants will explore new paths on the roads to equity and liberation! To create an intimate and safe space, we ask that you join us for the entirety of the workshop. Space is limited, no late entry.


Healing Justice Workshop with Harriet’s Apothecary

Trauma and violence, proximity to hostility and oppression—whether imposed directly or indirectly—impact our ability to live meaningful and sustainable lives. This introductory and interactive healing justice workshop will explore the question: what is the role of healing, wellness, and radical self care in building and sustaining ourselves individually and collectively? Come learn and share tools and practices to cultivate our well-being and resilience.

Reservations for Healing Justice Workshops with Harriet's Apothecary are currently at capacity. Waitlists will begin one hour prior to the event at BRIC House.


A Pressing Conference: Live
Curated by Macon ReedMahogany L. Browne & Jive Poetic

In this immersive installation, artists, activists, and scholars will respond to current political crises and social injustices as part of A Pressing Conference: Live. From speeches and manifestos, to poetry and music, performers will enliven the podium of this “press room” and invite viewers to reflect and express their political passions and visions. 

12PM: Matt Roche with Macon Reed
1PM:  Irisdelia Garcia 
2PM:  Poetry and Performance curated by Mahogany L. Browne, feat. Cyrus Aaron and The Blk Hrs
3PM:   Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, reading from City of Pearls 
4PM:   Amy Khoshbin
5PM:   MacKenzie Reynolds

Add your voice! Sign up for a time slot with BRIC staff inside the installation. 


Art-Making with Colectiva Cósmica

Make a self-portrait collage and center the image of yourself among symbols of justice and humanity, responding to current political and social issues.


Collaborative Podcasting on Justice

What kind of justice would you like to see in the world? How could someone else better understand your lived experience? Join us and make your voice heard during our collaborative podcasting sessions, when we invite festival goers to share their stories, thoughts, and experiences around themes of justice and empathy through a brief interview.

2PM & 8PM

Self Portraits
By Phillip Howze
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb

A man on a mountaintop confronts the fear of his own mortality. A mother instructs her son to be more careful walking the streets. A video shares a terrifying truth. Self Portraits is a site-driven theatrical event made up of intimate, experiential moments. This inventive new play reframes the political as personal to reflect on the unpredictable state of the Black body in America. Suspended at the edge of confrontation and contemplation, beauty and brutality, together these theatrical portraits share an expansive vision to provoke personal journeys towards collective possibility.

Reservations for Self Portaits are currently at capacity. Waitlists will begin one hour prior to show time at BRIC House. 


Justicia Zine Fair
Curated by New Latin Wave

New Latin Wave, known for presenting the most comprehensive Latinx-focused publications fair, brings its pop-up zine fair, Justicia, curated by Stephanie Orentas, to the BRIC OPEN Festival. The zine fair welcomes audiences to explore the world of micro publishing with La Liga, Secret Riso Club, and Te Aprecio Foto, among others. Stop by the maker station to experiment with making a zine hands on and enjoy the sounds of DJ Salt Cathedral.


Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere: Another Protest Song: Karaoke with a Message

Another Protest Song: Karaoke with a Message looks to the karaoke songbook as potential for political enunciation through song. Get on your soapbox and belt out what you believe! An ongoing, roving project hosted by Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere.

3PM & 6:30PM

Kamau Ware, featuring poetry by Cyrus Aaron: Who Is Fort Greene? | WALK

Join artist and historian Kamau Ware, founder of the Black Gotham Experience, on a walk that explores a neighborhood defined by flux. Ware will lead participants on a 90-minute journey through Fort Greene, traversing both physical space and time, informed by the often unseen stories of Black residents from the 19th century to the present. These walks are part of the larger project Who is Fort Greene? which offers an interlocking set of artistic experiments that create a visual story about this area. Along with poetry by Cyrus Aaron, Ware uses historical research and interviews with contemporary and once residents as source material for walks, photographic portraits, a poem cycle, video, and public discussion, all engaging with the title’s central question.

Reservations for Who is Fort Greene? WALKS are currently at capacity. Contact to join the waitlist. 


Musical Performance: Strings N Skins
Opening DJ set by Sabine Blaizin 

Founded in Brooklyn by vocalist and percussionist Okai and Latin GRAMMY Award Winner violinist Luisa Bastidas, Strings N Skins celebrates their Caribbean, Latin American and African heritage through the dynamic and explosive blend of the violin and the djembe.


Creative Responses to Persistent Barriers 

In this pair of conversations, we invite you to explore vibrant ideas that engage disability as a creative asset to inspire new responses to disabling environments.

Disability Arts, Artistry and Aesthetics: Ideas in Practice

New York is witnessing bold artwork across genres and disciplines that takes up disability as a profound aesthetic and analytic value. Disability/Arts/NYC (DANT) is committed to fostering disability artistry in New York City, and building a movement for disability arts to thrive. In this program, participants in the DANT’s activist training boot camps will share prototypes of their work to impact the local cultural ecosystem and engage in a conversation around responses to persistent obstacles that limit the possibilities for disabled artists and disability artistry. Featuring Jerron Herman, Pelenakeke Brown, Dominic Bradley, TJ Olsen, moira williams, and Jeff Kasper.

DisLabeled Screening & Conversation

A new TV show being developed by BRIC TV follows host Brian McCarthy on his journey to explore the unexpected and extraordinary worlds of disabled individuals who are overcoming adversity in their quest to live life to its fullest. Come watch an excerpt of the pilot episode and meet the creators and subjects of this exciting new show!


Gallery Talks 

In conjunction with The Portrait Is Political, a trio of exhibitions in the Gallery dedicated to contemporary portraiture, artists Jaishri Abichandani and Texas Isaiah, and artist and curator Liz Collins, will discuss their approach to portraiture and the work included in the exhibitions.

Stick around after the talk to purchase catalogs from a previous iteration of Liz Collins' The Other is You: Brooklyn Queer Portraiture. On view at the Bureau of General Services - Queer Division (BGSQD) in 2018, Cast of Characters included 100+ LGBTQ artists in an immersive installation curated by artist Liz Collins. The 46-page catalog includes beautiful, full-color reproductions of all the work on view and essays about the project by Liz Collins and by Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum of the BGSQD.


The Portrait is Political

The recognition of the individual is the first step in justice; for this reason, we curated The Portrait is Political, a series of three exhibitions related by their unique deployment of the genre of portraiture to make a political impact. A solo exhibition of small-scale, circular and triangular panel paintings by noted Brooklyn-based artist Jaishri Abichandani, Jasmine Blooms At Night, portrays South Asian American feminists in the local community who are making a large social impact. These jewel-like paintings are elaborated with decorative elements drawn from South Asian visual traditions. Dear Los Angeles, Love, Brooklyn, is a selection of photographs by Texas Isaiah, a visual narrator from Brooklyn, that explores gender, race, and sexuality by inviting the sitters to participate in the photographic process. The invitation constructs a space to begin and continue collaborative visual dialogues about legacy, self-empowerment, emotional justice, protection, and topophilia (the affective bond between people and place). The Other Is You: Brooklyn Queer Portraiture, curated by Liz Collins with assistant curators Anna Parisi and Sol Nova, is an exhibition of portraits by some 37 Brooklyn LGBTQ artists, displayed salon style on the large center wall of BRIC’s gallery. In addition, Collins, who is both an artist and designer, designed a gathering space/viewing lounge in the center of the Gallery. This exhibition contains nudity

Future Historical Society HQ

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. At businesses, churches, and parks throughout Fort Greene, personal histories of this community come to life through podcasts, performances, and visual installations created by FHS members. The stories illuminate untold histories of the neighborhood, while envisioning a more connected, interdependent future. Stop by the HQ to pick up your map, meet FHS members, and learn more about the groups' creative process. The Future Historical Society is commissioned by BRIC. To learn more, visit

Macon Reed: A Pressing Conference

Focused on providing truth in a world of fake news, A Pressing Conference is an immersive installation, participatory project, and resource guide for those interested in resisting and responding to the current political crisis. The installation is based on the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House and recreates the podium, presidential backdrop, flags, columns, microphones and seating chart. Performances and readings will take place throughout the festival, and the public is also invited to step up to the podium to share visions of what news briefings might sound like from their perspective. We encourage visitors to share their thoughts and photos on social media, by including #apressingconference in the caption.

Laura Hadden & Tennessee Watson: Wage/Working

Wage/Working explores income inequality and the concept of wage by asking participants to spend one dollar to hear a dollar’s worth of a worker’s time. A jukebox holds a collection of audio portraits of individuals reflecting on labor and compensation. Each of those portraits are edited to a length which corresponds with the amount of time it takes the profiled worker to earn $1. Those who earn the least are given the most time to speak.

Harriet's Apothecary Healing Space 

A space for self-guided reflection and sanctuary, with materials and instructions provided by Harriet's Apothecary.

The BRIC OPEN is an arts and ideas festival that converges around BRIC’s core values of creativity, inclusion, participation, and community, bringing people together to radically imagine a more equitable, liberated future. This year’s festival theme, JUSTICE, interrogates the possibilities of justice and empathy and creates space to find freedom in self-expression and to witness others in their full humanity. Click here to learn more about the artists, panelists, and other participants.

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Venue Information:

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. 

Beginning Sept. 12, 2022, attendees of any BRIC House programming must show proof of full vaccination OR negative lab-administered COVID-19 test for entry, along with a photo ID. Masks are currently required while inside BRIC House. If you have questions regarding this protocol, please email For our full BRIC House COVID-19 policy, visit:

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 Benno Orlinsky at or 718.683.5631.