BED-STUY, BROOKLYN — An arts nonprofit has made its home in Bed-Stuy, and the whole neighborhood is invited.
The Laundromat Project, a longstanding arts organization, will celebrate its move to Fulton Street this spring by inviting neighbors into Open Studios and art-making pop ups that will let locals turn their dreams for the neighborhood into poems and Bed-Stuy-inspired flags.
The nonprofit relocated its headquarters to Bed-Stuy in 2020 after operating out of two locations in Harlem and the South Bronx, according to reports from the time.
Its new space can be found between Kingston and Brooklyn avenues.
“The kickoff of our 2022 Open Studios and Artmaking Pop Ups capture what The Laundromat Project hopes to offer Bed-Stuy and the surrounding communities: a space to amplify the stories already being made amongst artists and neighbors, and further resources to support community members to make art, build community, and create change together,” said Laundromat Executive Director Kemi Ilesamni.
The spring events will feature artists from the Create Change Artist Development Program.
Its first installation kicked off this Wednesday with an exhibit featuring Yemeni American artist Ibi Ibrahim’s photo and oral history project documenting the image and experiences of Yemeni Americans, specifically bodega workers across the city.
Up next will be the art-making pop ups, which will be held on the sidewalk in front of the nonprofit’s space on Fulton Street from 12 to 3 pm on May 7 and 14.
In the first, neighbors will be invited to adorn a community altar with tissue paper flowers or a short poem about their dreams for the neighborhood, organizers said. In the second, neighbors can make neighborhood flags.
Finally, three more Open Studios will be held from May 11 to June 11. Here are the details:
- WHEN: 6:30-7:45pm
- WHERE: Virtual
- WHAT: “Jamel Burgess’s collaboration with East New York, Brooklyn community members to produce Archiving East New York. This archive and accessible digital platform will combine oral histories with multimedia elements to educate East New York residents and the general public about the neighborhood. The documentation and oral histories focus on Black and Brown residents from the community in the decades following the 1960s.” Registration is available here.
- WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m
- WHERE: The artist’s studio in DUMBO at 20 Jay St.
- WHAT: “Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong’s Reflective Urbanisms: Mapping NY Chinatown, a storytelling project about Manhattan’s Chinatown community, as told through its built environment. The project uses stories gathered from story circle events to map Chinatown through changes the buildings and streets have undergone over time. The project consists of several connected components, including design and fabrication of a public seating installation where community story circles are held, and an interactive digital map and archive.” Registration is available here.
- WHEN: 3 p.m
- WHERE: The Laundromat Project’s space on Fulton Street
- WHAT: “Kendra J. Ross will educate guests at The Laundromat Project’s space about The Sankofa Residency, a multi-phase project rooted in the history of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and an Afrofuturist imagining of Bed-Stuy moving forward. Inspired by the Ghanian concept of Sankofa—looking backward in order to move forward—Ross and community members are using research, oral history and collaborative imagining to facilitate a plan for local residents, businesses and stakeholders to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a place of healing, thriving, and progress. The project will culminate in a series of interdisciplinary, immersive dance experiences, taking place on site at local partnering businesses and organizations.” Registration is available here.