Fort Greene

BRIC TV celebrates one-year anniversary, launches fall programing in style

September 30, 2016 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Guests watch a one-minute snippet of BRIC TV’s upcoming fall programs. Photos by Antonio M. Rosario
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On a seasonably cool evening with a brisk wind whisking off the Fort Greene brownstones, it was only appropriate that BRIC TV hosted its fall launch party.

Brooklynites dusted off their light jackets to attend the gathering, which was not only a forum intended to showcase BRIC TV’s upcoming fall programs, but also as a celebration of BRIC TV’s one-year anniversary.

BRIC is a nonprofit arts and media organization that was founded in 1979 and is located next to the BAM Harvey Theater in Fort Greene. BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City.

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Last year, BRIC launched BRIC TV, an award-winning cable TV and digital network with more than 1.5 million digital views that strives to reflect all that Brooklyn has to offer.

At the party, there was an open bar, light hors d’oeuvres, a DJ, speakers and a one-minute preview of this season’s upcoming shows.

Partygoers also had the opportunity to sit in on a live broadcast for one of BRIC TV’s shows, and they were able to listen to a preview of the newly launched BRIC Radio podcasting network.

In addition, the party allowed Brooklyn’s artistic minds to come together, converse, share a drink, dance and reflect on everything that makes the borough unique.

Speakers included BRIC President Leslie G. Schultz, Director of Community Media Anthony Riddle, Executive Producer Aziz Isham and Chief Correspondent Brian Vines.

Following the one-minute clip, Vines told the audience, “We hope you saw yourselves up on the screen, and even if you didn’t literally see yourself up there, we hope you saw yourself and we hope it makes you want to watch.”

Following the party, the Brooklyn Eagle had an opportunity to catch up with Isham to reflect on the party and the past year for BRIC TV.

“We have done a lot in the first year of BRIC TV, and as a group, this is probably the most talented, most diverse group of producers I’ve ever worked with in my life,” Isham told the Eagle. “We don’t pause ever to take a step back and take a moment to appreciate each other, the audience, the freelance community, the community producers and the people we speak to who make the programming possible every single day.”

BRIC TV has earned nine nominations for the 2016 New York Emmy Awards and has created more than 250 short documentaries.

“Our 250 short documentaries reflect Brooklyn and the people in it, and they show why the borough is the greatest place on earth in terms of the artists, the culture and the ‘mmm,’” said Isham.

BRIC TV has partnered with the Guardian to provide a uniquely Brooklyn perspective to the publication’s presidential election coverage and with WNYC on projects dealing with gentrification and arts and affordability.

BRIC has several key programs, including Investigates, which is the station’s investigative journalism strand, and they also have Frameworks, which is its feature documentary stand.

“It’s important that community media organizations like ours don’t forget that there is a real role that we need to play in the journalism ecosystem,” said Isham. “We need to make sure we’re doing good community-based, investigative and hard-hitting documentaries.

“I think the journalism and community affairs programing that we do is pretty rare for a nonprofit TV network … we’re looking at a different demographic and one that speaks more to our location in a younger, more diverse, edgier borough.”  

In addition to BRIC TV’s shows, the company’s employees, according to Isham, are a quintessential reflection of Brooklyn.

“The Brooklyn authenticity is a big part of out cultural identity,” said Isham. “The diversity of our producers and filmmaking crew — talking about racial, cultural, age, gender — we’re one of the most diverse newsrooms I’ve ever been in, and that gives us access to more stories than a traditional newsroom. It reflects the borough that we’re in.”


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