BRIC RECEIVES MAJOR GRANT FROM DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION S ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM

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1 For Immediate Release Press Contacts: Blake Zidell, , Jon Yanofsky, , BRIC RECEIVES MAJOR GRANT FROM DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION S ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM BRIC will host acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown and his company, Evidence, for three-year residency at new arts and media complex, BRIC House Project aims to develop demand for contemporary dance among residents of public housing developments neighboring BRIC House Brooklyn, NY / April 10, 2013 BRIC is pleased to announce that it has received a three-year grant of $155,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, through its program The Doris Duke Residencies to Build Demand for the Arts. The grant will support a three-year residency by Ronald K. Brown and his Evidence, A Dance Company at BRIC House, BRIC s new arts and media complex opening in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District later this year. Together, the non-profit arts and media organization and the Company will pilot a project to increase demand for contemporary dance amongst residents of NYCHA housing near BRIC House. Currently celebrating its 35 th anniversary year, BRIC has earned a reputation for serving Brooklyn s diverse population with an extensive array of highly accessible performances, contemporary art exhibitions, public programs, and arts education and media programs. Opening this fall, BRIC House will bring all of the organization s programming under one roof for the first time. BRIC intends to establish BRIC House as a public cultural space that is particularly welcoming for BRIC s neighbors and, working with Brown, BRIC will include access to and participation in world class dance as flagship BRIC House offerings. BRIC and Brown are partnering with the Ingersoll Community Center (operated by University Settlement), which is

2 located just a few blocks from BRIC House and serves New York City Housing Authority residents from the adjacent Ingersoll and Whitman Houses. The project includes four components: Dance Classes: Ronald K. Brown and members of Evidence will teach free, bi-weekly dance classes for members of the Ingersoll Community Center. Classes will be held alternately at the Center, which serves the Ingersoll and Whitman housing developments, and at BRIC House. During the company s residency Brown will identify class participants to take on creative roles that include participating in Evidence performances at BRIC House, choreographing and participating in performances at the Center, and cocurating BRIC House dance parties. Dance Parties: BRIC will host free monthly dance parties at BRIC House, which Brown will co-curate with BRIC staff. For the last two years, BRIC has brought free Celebrate Brooklyn! Dance Parties to Brooklyn Bridge Park, attracting approximately 10,000 people for three events. BRIC will build on this model, leveraging existing artist, community, and audience relationships to establish an exciting new opportunity for social dancing in the neighborhood. Dance Performances: Each of Evidence s annual six-week residencies will culminate in a public performance run at BRIC House. BRIC will provide rehearsal and performance space and the infrastructure to develop performances each fall. BRIC and Brown share a vision of working with residents from Whitman and Ingersoll as participants in all three residencies. Participatory Documentation: As the public access television provider for Brooklyn, BRIC s television channels serve as the primary media outlet in Brooklyn to empower and address the needs of the borough s diverse population, reaching over 550,000 households with professionally-produced programming. BRIC s community media staff will work with Brown and participants at Whitman and Ingersoll to document and disseminate their experiences through media. Nothing concerns artists and arts organizations today more than nurturing and developing public demand for the performing arts, says Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Arts Program Director for the Arts. This program deliberately departs from conventional notions about artist residencies to encourage organizations and artists to work in new, imaginative ways to meet this challenge. Out of roughly 180 applications submitted and with a possible pool of only 10 grants, the proposal from BRIC and Ronald K. Brown was selected as one of just three in the field of dance which speaks to the caliber of the artist, the organization and the ideas that they put forth together. The panel was excited by this partnership and all its possibilities.

3 The relationship between BRIC and Brown dates back to 1988, when the organization first presented Evidence, A Dance Company at the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, BRIC s flagship performing arts program. The Company s three appearances at the Festival have generated a palpable connection with Brooklyn audiences, engaging thousands of people in collective celebration through dance. Since the Company s last Celebrate Brooklyn! performance, in 2006, Brown has remained involved with BRIC and was identified as the inaugural BRIC House artist-in-residence more than two years ago. Furthermore, the longstanding relationship between BRIC and Brown is rooted in a shared philosophy and locale. Both the organization and the artist are deeply committed to serving their shared community by advancing access to dance. BRIC President Leslie G. Schultz said: To advance our mission and succeed as a true public arts center, it as our organizational responsibility to be good neighbors and ensure our programs engage those who might traditionally feel unwelcome and/or priced out. We are deeply grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for supporting us, Ron and Evidence as we attempt to build a two-way street, bringing contemporary dance to our neighbors and building a shared home at BRIC House that is illuminated by, and reflective of, our community. Ronald Brown said, As a resident of Brooklyn, with the Evidence office in the same neighborhood as BRIC House, I have long admired the work of BRIC. They understand the need for BRIC House as a space for the public. I often find communities that feel a sense of over there, and BRIC and Evidence are both committed to removing that distance. This vital support from the Doris Duke Artist Residencies to Build Demand for the Arts enables us to pursue this shared goal together. We are thrilled to welcome BRIC and Ronald K. Brown into our space to bring such an exciting program to our community, said Samantha Johnson, director of University Settlement s Ingersoll Community Center. University Settlement has a rich history of making the arts accessible to individuals and families in neighborhoods throughout New York City. Being able to bring world-class dance to families in Fort Greene with the tremendous support of BRIC and Ronald K. Brown is truly special and cements our Center s role as a vital resource for the community. About Evidence The mission of Evidence, A Dance Company, is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.

4 Founded by Ronald K. Brown in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, New York, Evidence focuses on the seamless fusion of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms. He is an advocate for the growth of an African American dance community and is instrumental in encouraging young dancers to choreograph and to develop careers in dance. Evidence now tours North America annually, and has also traveled to Cuba, Brazil, England, Ireland, France, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Holland, Hawaii, Cote d Ivoire, South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal to perform, teach master classes and conduct lecture/demonstrations for young people. In 2010, while celebrating its 25th anniversary, Evidence joined the U.S. State Department s DanceMotion USA initiative for a special four-week tour to Africa. Evidence brings arts education and cultural/historical connections to local communities that have historically lacked these experiences. Annually, the company reaches an audience of more than 30,000. For more information, visit About BRIC BRIC, which celebrates its 35 th anniversary this year, has been the driving cultural force behind a number of Brooklyn s most renowned and beloved arts and media programs. All of BRIC s programs are anchored by the organization s commitment to artistic excellence, programmatic breadth, diverse cultural representation and genuine accessibility. BRIC presents live music and performing arts, contemporary art, and community media programs. The organization places special emphasis upon providing opportunities and platforms for Brooklyn artists, such as Brown and Evidence, and media makers to create and present new works. BRIC will inaugurate a new era of service to the borough when it opens BRIC House, a 40,000 square-foot arts and media facility located in the cultural hub of Downtown Brooklyn. The complex includes a flexible state-of-the-art performance space, a major contemporary art gallery, artist workspace, and multiple television and media production studios. The $45 million renovation, design and construction of BRIC House is led by the Mayor s Office of Economic Development, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York City Economic Development Corporation, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Major public capital funding and support for the project has been provided by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York

5 City Council, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and New York State Senate and Assembly. The project was designed by Brooklyn-based architect Thomas Leeser. For more information, visit About University Settlement and the Ingersoll Community Center University Settlement is one of New York s most dynamic social service institutions, serving over 25,000 individuals and families from 21 sites throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. With an impressive legacy as the first settlement house in the United States, University Settlement has been an incubator for progressive ideas for over 125 years, offering pioneering programs in mental health, early childhood education, literacy, arts education, and adolescent development that set the standard. The Ingersoll Community Center, located in Fort Greene and serving families in nearby NYCHA housing and the surrounding neighborhood, is one of University Settlement s newest sites offering a range of recreational, educational and community building programs for all ages. Learn more at About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The Arts Program focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, visit ####

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