Over the past several years A@R programming in performance arts, visual arts, and studio residencies met with great popularity in the community. Highlights included the critically acclaimed Then She Fell production, several iterations of Postcards to North Brooklyn, and the Collectively Assembled exhibit. Over 15 artists benefited from 3 month studio residencies, and over 100 senior citizens from our community attended drawing classes taught by local artists. We’re grateful to the many people who contributed to this success.
Unfortunately we were not able to find a sustainable financial model to maintain the high overhead costs of our large space on 2 Kingsland Avenue, and spent the past months re-thinking how A@R could continue serving the community. We’re now delighted to announce that St. Nicks Alliance identified a new storefront space at 601 Metropolitan Avenue in one of its own properties that will enable us to right size the art space, dramatically reduce occupancy costs and achieve financial sustainability. The space is located up the block from the Lorimer/ Metropolitan subway station on one of the most active thoroughfares in North Brooklyn. This presents great exposure and opportunity for A@R.
In mid 2014 the St. Nicks Alliance board authorized the use of $10,000 for preliminary design of the new space at 601 Metropolitan Avenue and engaged CDR Studio as the architect. Through the efforts of City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, in July 2014, the NYC Council, the Mayor and the Brooklyn Borough President awarded A@R $612,000 in Capital funds through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. These funds provide the opportunity to build a new Arts@Renaissance Center, which is expected to open at 601 Metropolitan Avenue in the first quarter of 2016.
To continue serving the community while we build a permanent home, A@R will hold a series of art exhibitions, activities, and events at a large temporarily available space on the very busy Grand Street corridor — the former GEM Stores site at 605 Grand Street, Brooklyn. Interim programming kicked off in December 2014 with an ‘Arts & the Holidays’ event organized in conjunction with the Grand Street BID. Spring programming will include the February 27 – March1 Art Salon and Artists Town Hall gathering, a March and April curated exhibits of work by emerging artists, and a May 2015 School of Visual Arts Student Thesis Exhibit.
Building on several years of success, A@R’s vision is to mobilize the art community and facilitate the growth of emerging artists across the economic, ethnic cultural and generational spectrum. We look forward to working with you as our exciting new chapter unfolds. See you at our next show!
What is A@R?
Arts@Renaissance is an innovative arts program in North Brooklyn that serves as a bridge between the neighborhood’s vibrant long-term communities and the area’s emerging creative population through the development of new multi-disciplinary work, residencies, workshops, and collaborative local art projects.
St. Nicks Alliance founded A@R in 2010 with the purpose of uniting artists and other creative members of the North Brooklyn community with its existing low and middle income constituents. A@R is a natural extension of the housing, youth, health, employment and community preservation services that St. Nicks has provided in the neighborhood since 1975.
Our annual programs include:
1) A site-specific residency that empowers multi-disciplinary artists and arts
organizations to transform local spaces like community gardens and senior centers by creating innovative new work that is relevant to the broader North Brooklyn community and includes public events. The residents present a full calendar of exhibitions and performances. They are selected for three month periods, three times a year through a competitive application process by a committee of local members of the creative community.
2) A studio residency that provides 9 North Brooklyn artists with free workspace for four months, professional development classes, and access to a wide range of unique public
exhibition and installation spaces.
3) A senior arts workshop series with skill-sharing classes for North Brooklyn’s aging population.