What is your mission?
Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), an arts service and presenting organization, is the leading group supporting and connecting Brooklyn’s arts community. Brooklyn’s cultural anchor since 1966, we are dedicated to serving Brooklyn artists and cultural organizations in all disciplines, and ensuring that Brooklyn residents of all backgrounds and ages have access to affordable arts experiences.
What makes your organization so unique in the non-profit space?
Each year, we serve approximately 15,000 artists and cultural groups and 200,000 residents, and proudly work in every facet of the borough, from Greenpoint to Coney Island and from Bay Ridge to East New York. We prioritize support for artists who live and work in Brooklyn, rather than creating programs that bring artists from other areas into our borough. BAC also stands out for our deep commitment to serving artists at all stages of their career, with special emphasis on supporting the work of emerging, immigrant, and traditionally under-served artists. We offer small arts groups vital grants for capacity building; place as high an emphasis on traditional art forms as more contemporary ones; and create site-specific arts programming for at-risk, minority-rich communities to fully support all facets of Brooklyn’s cultural community.
What is your organization up to at the moment & how can CUP Members be involved?
BAC’s core programs and services include:
- Arts in Education: Each year, BAC brings over 300 teaching artists into 75+ schools, afterschool programs, and senior/community centers throughout New York City, providing close to 20,000 students, teachers, parents and seniors—the majority at-risk youth in underserved neighborhoods—with hands-on arts instruction and professional arts performances.
- Grants: BAC's Community Arts Grants programs for artists and small cultural and community groups award almost $300,000 in close to 200 grants annually with funding from the city and state, and act as a training ground in securing public funding for emerging artists.
- Online Artist Registry and Directory of Brooklyn Arts Organizations: These web-based databases promote over 6,600 Brooklyn-based artists and over 975 cultural groups, helping them connect with new opportunities to present their work and earn income through their creative endeavors.
- Creative Coalitions: This unique initiative combines community organizing and technical assistance to build arts infrastructure and spur community development in Brownsville, East New York, and southern/eastern Bushwick.
- BAC Gallery: Located in the heart of Dumbo, BAC Gallery exhibits the work of emerging Brooklyn artists group exhibitions and site-specific, solo installations. All shows are accompanied by related public programs—gallery talks, screenings, performances, etc.—presented during the popular Dumbo First Thursday gallery walks.
- Folk Arts: Hailed as the preeminent Folk Arts program in the state, BAC Folk Arts preserves and presents cultural traditions of Brooklyn’s many immigrant-based communities through thematic, research-based public programming initiatives in music, dance and other forms.
- Services to Artists: We help artists and arts groups achieve their goals through professional development workshops, fiscal sponsorship, opportunities announcements distributed via email and social media, project promotion and marketing assistance, networking opportunities, referrals, and one-on-one assistance.
- Arts Consultancy: BAC works with public agencies, real estate projects, and community groups to place art in new spaces and launch new endeavors, such as public art commissions and cultural tourism initiatives that promote visibility and income for Brooklyn artists.
To support this work, BAC is hosting our annual Alive with Art benefit on April 29th at Giando on the Water in Williamsburg. Alive with Art will honor internationally-renowned, cutting edge visual artist José Parlá, feature performances by Brooklyn artists, and welcome approximately 150 guests drawn from Brooklyn’s business, cultural, and philanthropic circles. We would love to have CUP members join us! Tickets can be purchased here.
In addition, Brooklyn Arts Council welcomes CUP members to join our Board of Directors, as a way to help us provide programs and services that will keep Brooklyn’s arts community viable and vibrant for years to come.