Intergenerational Community Arts Council

The Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC) is a team of NYCHA residents and neighbors from Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn who create values-driven arts programming by, with, and for their communities. The ICAC is proudly supported by program partners BRIC and University Settlement’s The Performance Project.


We are pleased to announce the third cycle of the Brooklyn-based Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC), a multigenerational team of residents from Ingersoll, Whitman, Farragut, Gowanus, and Atlantic Terminal NYCHA houses and surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods. 

The 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 – ensuring Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn remain communities where both longtime and new residents of all income levels can live, work, create, and belong.

This cycle, running from February 2022 – June 2023, focuses on improving the health and wellness of the community through the arts, a theme selected by the members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The members of the ICAC Cycle III are:  

Melissa Apedo
Zolanlly Brunson
Andrew Ceneus
Denise Evans
Alyssa Forte
Chastity Fryer
DaQuan Herring
Mutale Kanyanta
Nicole Norton-Evans
Squala Orphan
Brandon Payne
Julius Roberts
Tanja Richardson
Desiree Rucker
Shawna Ryals
Celeste Staton
Ketriana Yvonne

LEARN MORE ABOUT ICAC CYCLE III MEMBERS



ICAC Background
 

Since 2018, ICAC has gathered monthly to support leadership development, creative project planning, and local community engagement through the arts. In addition to professional development workshops and opportunities, members receive monthly stipends to compensate for their time and expertise. Meetings are made up of creative exercises, program planning and production, and a shared meal provided by a local, independent restaurant. Each cycle, the members elect an Artist-in-Residence to join and lead a project of their choosing. ICAC will have an open call to select their next Artist-in-Residence in summer 2022. 

In its first year, the ICAC selected artist, educator, and poet Najee Omar as their first Artist-In-Residence; hosted arts-based events at Ingersoll Community Center; and produced the WE ARE BROOKLYN Community Block Party, a joyous summer block party celebrating the arts, culture, music, and community of Fort Greene.

The second cycle of the ICAC ran from November 2019 - June 2021, and was designed to build community and create opportunities for arts and culture in the neighborhood. The ICAC invited Najee Omar to return as an artistic guide and mentor. Throughout the pandemic, the ICAC transformed into a valued network of mutual support and creative inspiration, while continuing to produce relevant, adventurous, and joyful programs.




Selected ICAC Programs
 

SHARE! : Resources for Joy
Summer 2022

On June 23, 2022, ICAC members and neighbors gathered in Fort Greene Park for a celebration of joy, summer, and community. The event featured dance, music, and poetry performances by neighbors and artists as well as a participatory altar to the ancestors. Copies of “Resources for Joy,” a community-sourced guide published by the ICAC, were also shared.

Performers: 
Najee Omar: Poet, Educator, and ICAC Artist-in-Residence (2018-2021)
Freakquencee: Hip-Hop/Funk/Soul artist 
+ performances by ICAC members, youth artists, and special guests

Photo credit: Toby Tenenbaum

 

Resources for Joy: Offerings from the ICAC
Spring 2021

ICAC members created a community-sourced resource booklet unlike any other to distribute to friends, neighbors, and partners. It features some of the songs, poems, creative prompts, and practices, friends, foods, and places that kept them joyful during the difficult days of the pandemic. This booklet highlights the wealth of resources in the community and acts as an offering towards the healing we all need to do, together. Resources for Joy was created in partnership with artist/designer Yazmany Arboleda.

 

Brooklyn’s Own: A video chapbook
Winter 2020


Watch Video


In the Fort Greene/Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood, a group of dedicated residents known as the ICAC have been weathering the pandemic by sharing resources, supporting their neighbors, and creating artwork that celebrates the power and connectedness of our communities. Join ICAC members for screening of the ICAC’s video chapbook Brooklyn’s Own, alongside conversation hosted by the ICAC’s artist-in-residence, Najee Omar. Videos produced in partnership with filmmakers Marc Enette and Nijah Spice.

 

How’s That For a Check- in?
Spring 2020

In NYC’s darkest hours of Spring 2020, ICAC AIR Najee Omar introduced a creative exercise he created called How’s That For A Check-in? ICAC members created a video poem out of the prompts that was broadcast during BRIC’s Brooklyn USA Live episode. As Najee writes: “I opened Facebook one day, and my dear friend, the ever so brilliant Victor Vazques, shared the most beautiful update about him and his partner in the heart of the pandemic! Directly inspired by his writing, How’s That For A Check-In? is an opportunity to reflect on all the joy we have access to, even when the work around us is cluttered with chaos.”

 

We Are Brooklyn: A Community Block Party
Summer 2018

In August 2018, The ICAC presented WE ARE BROOKLYN: A Community Block Party. Building on the long-standing legacy of summer block parties in Brooklyn, WE ARE BROOKLYN was an arts-filled event where neighbors of all ages joined together to dance to DJs and live music, create collaborative artworks, access Fort Greene neighborhood cultural and social resources, participate in games, sports, and creative workshops, connect with one another, and celebrate the ICAC's core values of passion, liberation, family, courage, vision, and truthfulness. The block party took place outside the Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center at the intersection of Myrtle Ave and Fleet Street.


About University Settlement

University Settlement is one of New York's most dynamic social justice institutions with deep roots on the Lower East Side. Each year University Settlement's diverse programs impact 40,000 low-income and at-risk people as they build better lives for themselves and their families. With an impressive legacy as the first settlement house in the United States, University Settlement has been an incubator for progressive ideas for more than 130 years, offering pioneering programs in mental health, early childhood education, literacy, the arts, and adolescent development that set the standard.

Public support is provided by The New York State Council on the Arts and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

 

There are no upcoming events at this time.