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"Even though the planet is round, there are just too many spots where you can find yourself hanging on to the edge…unless there’s some space, some place, to take a breather for a while…" - Bailey’s Café, by Gloria Naylor

Bailey’s Café” is a literary reference, from a novel of the same name by Gloria Naylor, based on the stories of people who find themselves at the edge of the world and seek a place to heal and ground themselves.

At our core, We Believe that healthy, vibrant communities have spaces where people can go to find their personal relevance and sense of purpose, nurture their individual growth, and make connections with other people, including across generations. We create physical and virtual spaces in partnership with local leaders, artists, and inter-generational volunteers, through a focus on community building, service, and the arts.

Who We Serve

Bailey’s Café is Brooklyn-based and our roots are in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. We serve community members in the Central Brooklyn area. We are committed to working in communities across New York City that lack Bailey’s Café type spaces and programs.

What We Do

Since its founding in 2003, Bailey’s Café has focused in primarily two areas:

  1. Community Building and Service
  2. Arts Education and Production

Across our programs, Bailey’s Café builds inter-generational connections and story sharing, expose our participants to new experiences, honor the stories of those whose voices are seldom heard and help develop a sense of possibility, healing and renewal through community-based organizing and artistic expression.

How We Serve

Bailey’s Café has long-term partnerships with eight schools, over twenty youth/community-based organizations, and over twenty-five teaching artists in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights area.  Programs include:

  1. School-Based and Summer Programs
  2. Community-Based Arts Programs
  3. Artist-in-Resident Program

Through our School-Based and Summer Programs, we impact the lives of 600 youth on a yearly basis; while currently enrolling 100 youth per year. The schools that we work in range from an arts-based high school that is part of the Consortium of Essential Schools; to a community-based elementary school; and to gender specific 6-12 schools that offer strong academic, service oriented curriculum in a single-sex environment.  In collaboration with our numerous arts and Community-Based partners, we arrange for youth and elders to experience a wide-range of activities, including jewelry making, poetry workshops, and an inter-generational choir. Ongoing community-based programs include Mix & Mingles, monthly facilitated conversations to initiate long-term reciprocal positive relationships between the generations and Errands for Elders (E4E), which connects youth or young adult volunteers with an elder in need of assistance with daily chores.  Our new Artist-in-Resident Program will engage community around important local, national and international issues through artistic expression and collaboration with community-based partners. Our inaugural Artist-in-Resident will collaborate with Black Veterans for Social Justice to highlight specific issues confronted by veterans of color through a multimedia performance piece devised with Bailey’s youth.

Future Goal

Bailey’s Café acquired its first home in Spring 2015–a former barbershop in Bed-Stuy,  we are working with our teaching artists, local entrepreneurs and others to create opportunities for economic development, social entrepreneurship, community engagement and artistic expression through our communal cafe, media center, music, movement and visual art studios, performance space, community garden and wellness clinic.