BC Cultural Producer

As Quiet as It’s Kept (AQAIK)

An exploration of home, community service and legacy.


Bailey’s Café and producing artistic director, Monica L. Williams in collaboration with artists Zoe Flowers, Michael Hill, Anna Pond, DJ Reborn, Kadeem Alston Roman and Robyn Twomey presents As Quiet As It’s Kept (AQAIK), a series of multi-discipline performance installations based on the stories of Black Veterans and long-time residents of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn examining home, community and honor while expressing hopes for belonging in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

Bailey’s Cafe commissioned Monica L. Williams to be the artistic leader of AQAIK in 2015. She was already consulting for the organization exploring different development options and referring artists to AQAIK. Her leadership tenure started with community conversations – Bailey’s always leads with community.

Monica has been working in the genre of ‘performance installation’ since 2013 with her own project, LoveHustle, and proposed it as a genre for Bailey’s Café.

Monica curated four artists from within Bailey’s community (Kadeem, Anna, Zoe, Michael) and two Brooklyn artists who are her long-term collaborators and bring increased visibility (Robyn T, DJ Reborn) to work with her on the development of AQAIK into a performance installation.

Over the past 5 years, Monica has worked closely with Bailey’s founder and Executive Director to research the community, secure funding, create a project team infrastructure and, most importantly, turning community conversations into pieces of art in collaboration with our installation artists.

As Quiet As It’s Kept first performed at Bailey’s Cafe in 2017.

In 2020-21 we will be premiering the next phase of AQAIK and delving deeper into ideas of home, community, identity and honor and how they shape a rapidly changing neighborhood.

Learn more about upcoming AQAIK events.

#AsQuietAsItsKept # AQAIK #BaileysCafe # MonicaLWilliams # AnnaPond #KadeemAlston #MichaelHill #DJReborn #RobynTwomey #ZoeFlowers #MAPFund #NYCCouncil #NYCDCA

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AQAIK: 10K in 45 days

Bailey’s Café, a community-based arts safe space in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn launches ‘10K in 45 days’ fundraiser for As Quiet As It’s Kept, our multi-discipline installation performance.

Make a donation to As Quiet As It’s Kept at http://fundly.com/10-k-in-45-days


As Quiet As It’s Kept evolved out of Bailey Cafe’s longtime relationship with Black Veterans for Social Justice and long time residents in the Bedford Stuyvesant community.  Stefanie Siegel, founder and executive director of Bailey’s Café was influenced by Herbert Sweat, a decorated Vietnam Veteran and Bed Stuy neighbor.  “When Sweat says the phrase As Quiet As It’s Kept you know something is going to be revealed that people don’t talk about.” 

Siegel partnered with conceptual artist Monica L. Williams to create a long-term, multidisciplinary, community-based art experience through performance installations.  Over a five year period, Williams conducted community conversations with neighbors and curated a team of six collaborating artists.   “My hope is that As Quiet As It’s Kept is a model for durational community-based art collaboration between artists, neighborhood business and community members working with collective agency towards community wellness by addressing topics otherwise kept quiet”, says Williams.

AQAIK includes original dance, digital art, music, theater, sonic, photography installations created in collaboration with Williams by artists who either live or work in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood.  “Robyn Twomey, a commercial print photographer and self-proclaimed gentrifier, wanted to create in and about her community,” says Williams.  “Our installation, We Are Here, is a story of home and belonging and like all of the installations, it considers how our ideas shape a rapidly changing neighborhood.” 

We Are Here is a feature of Photoville Fence touring 11 cities including Brooklyn.   All other installations will be streamed via Bailey’s Cafe’s website and various social media platforms once a month from October through January.  Click here for more information about each installation.

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