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Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership continues 5th Annual Black Artstory Month

Creating Sanctuary & Healing Through Annual Artwalk

February 14, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of Present Futures perform “Present Futures: Healing and Self-Preservation as Resistance” on Friday, Feb. 10. Photo by Tim McLoraine
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The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership is presenting the Fifth Annual Black “Artstory” Month, “The Altar: Rituals of Healing in the African Diaspora,” throughout February. The monthlong series includes an artwalk and events co-presented with Museum Hue, Present FuturesBLDG 92Willow Arts Alliance and FOKUS.

Black Artstory Month 2017 seeks to explore the vital role and traditions around healing, restoration and realignment in the African Diasporic community. Performances include everything from dance performances, visual art and live exhibitions to film screenings and spoken word performances. Featuring the work of more than 20 Brooklyn-based artists, Black Artstory Artwalk takes place at 15 businesses along Myrtle Avenue while events are presented at a variety of venues including Ingersoll Community Center, Leisure Life NYC, Pratt Institute and Brooklyn Navy Yard’s BLDG 92. 

According to its release, “The Altar: Rituals of Healing in the African Diaspora” recognizes arts’ ability to act as a medium and conduit to expose, question and inspire when other forms of communication or action fall short. Themes include altar, inheritance, transference, ritual, ancestors, tradition, lineage, sacred spaces, liberation and power. 

“This long legacy of healing practices are by their very existence acts of resistance, aimed at regaining equilibrium and maintaining wellness for community, family and self in the face of social structures and societal trauma. This year, artists’ interpretations of the theme speak truths about our intentions in the world,” said Black Artstory Month 2017 curator Suhaly Bautista-Carolina.

“We are thrilled to work with Suhaly, and to host a collective conversation around the theme of healing in our community. Black Artstory Month is our premier Arts & Culture program on Myrtle Avenue and this is our fifth consecutive year. Every year we are excited to create opportunities for local artists, celebrate our community’s rich African-American history and invite new audiences to Myrtle Avenue,” said Meredith Phillips Almeida, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

Attendees can take a self-guided art stroll that features the work of more than 20 artists at window murals, exhibits and installations in 15 locations along Myrtle Avenue during regular business hours. The work celebrates the contributions that African Americans are making in the art world and is on display until Feb. 28. Participating venues are concentrated on Myrtle Avenue between Washington Park and Classon Avenues. 

Upcoming Events:

“This Ain’t A Eulogy: A Ritual for Re-Membering” — film screening
Date: Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Location: Five Spot, 459 Myrtle Ave.
Moved by the non-indictments of the police officers responsible for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, “This Ain’t A Eulogy: A Ritual for Re-Membering” draws parallels between discarded materials and the violent treatment of black people in the U.S. Through performance and installation, Taja Lindley is reimagining how to recycle the energy of protest, rage and grief into creating a world where, indeed, black lives matter. The solo performance healing ritual debuted in January 2015 at La Mama’s SQUIRTS: New Voices in Queer Performance. This presentation is the world premiere of the film. 


Poems About My Rights: (We Will Not Go Silently) — spoken word and poetry
Date: Friday, Feb. 17, 6 to 8 p.m.

Location: Leisure Life NYC, 559 Myrtle Ave. Space is limited, arrive early.


Taking its title from June Jordan’s powerful poem, Willow Alliance presents poets Yesenia MontillaRoberto Carlos GarciaNkosi Nkululeko and Randall Horton for a night of commentary and critique. Presented by Willow Arts Alliance.

A Seat at the Table” — art making, movement and dance 
Date: Friday, Feb. 24, 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave. Space is limited, arrive early.

This Black Artstory closing event is presented by Museum Hue and BLDG 92.


For more information, visit


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