The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (MARP) is proud to present the 3rd Annual Black Artstory Month, a month-long series of FREE art exhibits, performances, film screenings, and more throughout all of February in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Wallabout, Brooklyn.

This year’s event is entitled, Where I’m From: The Black Artstory of Myrtle and Beyond” featuring themes of time, travel, and transition by over 25 Brooklyn-based artists.

Black Artstory Month has become the highlight of Myrtle Avenue’s Arts & Culture programming, Meredith Phillips Almeida, executive director at MARP.

“We are excited to create opportunities for local artists and to celebrate and elevate our community’s rich African-American history, especially in the arts,” said Phillips Almeida. “Our locally owned businesses join us in the effort to create collaborations with artists and organizations and to introduce new audiences to the Myrtle Avenue artistic & cultural experience”

Black Artstory kicked off its 2015 season on Sunday, February 1, with an art walk and opening party.  For the next three consecutive weekends, residents can participate in an array of free artistic events, including: 


2/1 (SUN, 4-6PM) – Black Artstory Month Artwalk + Opening Party (Visual Art & Music)

Artwork by over 25 Brooklyn-based artists will be on view at over thirteen small businesses along Myrtle Avenue between Carlton & Classon Avenues. The art at each location is curated by the following independent curators: Remi Onabanjo, MoCADA, SONYA, Freecandy, Jessica Lynne, Naimonu James, Rasu Jilani, Pratt Institute’s BAKO Tribe and Daonne Huff. Artwork can be viewed during the Artwalk (Feb 1, 4-6pm) and also during regular business hours. For a complete listing of all events, featured artists, programs and venues, please visit here.

2/1 (SUN, 6-9PM) – Black Artstory Month Opening Party (Music)

Start February off right with dancing and drinks at the Black Artstory Month Opening Party. Sounds by Flames Baldwin.

Location: Brooklyn Eats, 474 Myrtle Ave between Washington Avenue & Hall Street

2/7 (SAT, 3PM) – Irish Arts Center Presents: Hammerstep on Myrtle (Dance)

In the late nineteenth century, Fort Greene—home to over half of Brooklyn’s African American population— also became widely known as ”Young Dublin” for the large Irish population that settled on what is now Myrtle Avenue. Black Artstory Month explores the intersecting histories of Irish and African American communities in Fort Greene with an unforgettable performance by Hammerstep, a Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company whose cutting-edge choreography melds traditional Irish dance, tap and hip hop to address contemporary social and political issues.

Location: Ingersoll Community Center, 177 Myrtle Avenue at Prince Street

2/13 (FRI, 7-9PM) – BLACK BROOKLYN/HOME: A Reading (Poetry & Performance)

What does it mean to call a place “home”? How do we understand our physical, mental and emotional relationships to a place in flux? Jessica Lynne curates a reading of poetry, prose and essays by writers who offer intimate reflections on Black Brooklyn, the soul of a city that means so much to so many.

Location: Leisure Life NYC, 559 Myrtle Avenue between Emerson Place & Classon Avenue

2/15 (SUN, 6-8PM) – Slide Hampton Jazz Jam (Music)

Enjoy an evening of live jazz in honor of legendary trombonist and Fort Greene resident Slide Hampton, whose home on 245 Carlton Avenue hosted world famous jazz musicians and groundbreaking jam sessions for over two decades. Curated by reknowned jazz bassist and Fort Greene resident Bill Lee.

Location: Splitty, 415 Myrtle Avenue between Vanderbilt & Clinton Avenues

2/20 (FRI, 6-8PM) – Remembering Rodeo Caldonia | Lisa Jones + Alva Rogers in conversation with Culture Critic Greg Tate

Take an insightful look at women artists of the black Brooklyn renaissance of the 1980s and 1990s, as profiled in Brooklyn Boheme, the recent HBO documentary by Nelson George. Writer Lisa Jones and writer/composer/performer Alva Rogers discuss the black women’s Fort Greene arts collective Rodeo Caldonia in a conversation facilitated by cultural critic Greg Tate.

Location: Pillow Café, 505 Myrtle Avenue between Ryerson Street & Grand Avenue


2/21 (SAT, 11AM-12PM) – BLDG 92 presents: “Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future” Exhibition Tour (Tour)

BLDG 92 and Inside Out Tours offer an exhibition tour exploring African American Heritage and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Location: BLDG 92-Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, 63 Flushing Avenue at Carlton Ave

2/21 (SAT, 5PM) – THESE HANDS BUILT: A Performance by Hot Hands (Performance)

The experimental music group Hot Hands will present a live performance inspired by the histories of former African American workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Incorporating live instruments, samples, and vocals; the ensemble will interpret and transform environmental soundscapes, music from the 1940s, and the words of those who worked in the Yard as an homage to the Brooklyn Navy Yard as both space and historical catalyst.

Location: BLDG 92-Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, 63 Flushing Avenue at Carlton Avenue

2/21 (SAT, 3-5PM) – FOKUS presents: Making “The Dance” (Family Workshop)

Join art educators from FOKUS for a youth and family workshop celebrating the acclaimed visual artist and former Fort Greene resident Emilio Cruz. Participants will reinterpret Cruz’s 1962 painting “The Dance” by creating their own abstract artworks, as well as take a journey through popular social dances of the last 5 decades. Come ready to move!

Location: Ingersoll Community Center, 177 Myrtle Avenue at Prince Street

2/28 (SAT, 8-11PM) – New Negress Film Society presents: “I Cried, Power!” On the Limits & Possibilities of Black Life

The New Negress Film Society presents an evening of digital media and live sound installation that re-imagines the concept of Afrofuturism in the wake of recent police violence in New York City and beyond. For our closing event, female-identified video and sound artists consider the realities of resistance and how revolutionary social movements can be built and sustained.

Location: The Emerson, 561 Myrtle Avenue between Emerson Pl & Classon Avenue

This is a celebration of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s rich legacy as a hub for black artistic production and a platform to feature the dynamic ways local creatives and institutions are contributing to this legacy here and now.”- Ali Rosa-Salas, Producer & Curator.

The full Black Artstory Month schedule of events and Artwalk map can be found here.

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