As Quiet As It’s Kept, a phrase we adopted from our dear friend and colleague Herbert Sweat, is the title for our social justice based projects that use the arts to examine what’s going on beneath the surface of our everyday lives. Currently we have two projects under this moniker: As Quiet As It’s Kept, We Thrive: Stories & Portraits from the Heart of BedStuy and As Quiet As It’s Kept: The Untold Stories of the US Colored Troops from Rikers and Hart Islands. The former will open as a gallery exhibition at Bailey’s early March 2023 and as a public art installation in later that spring. The latter is a longer-term project that involves the creation of a statue and a performance installation commemorating the USCT who trained at Rikers Island and were buried at the public cemetery on Hart Island. You can find out more here.
What’s in Your Hands?: the legacy of makers in BedStuy and Beyond borrowing the phrase from Adam Clayton Powell Jr. we explore both the legacy of making/crafting and the idea that there is something healing and sustaining when we take the time to create with our own hands. With the support of local fiber artist, Ramona Kearns, we host a knitting and crocheting circle on Wednesdays. Summer 2022, we offered our young people five different workshops to choose from including, jewelry making, sewing, candle making, gardening and food justice, and documentary filmmaking as a way to pilot the program. A few of the workshop leaders had never taught someone their craft before and there were challenges, but everyone learned something new, and connections were formed for the future. Documentary filmmaking has continued on Saturdays and our jeweler extended her workshops into an apprenticeship program. Winter 2023, Marshalla Ramos of Bubbly Moon Naturals will be offering entrepreneurship workshops for those interested in developing their craft into a business.
Summer Arts & Leadership Program our summer program has evolved from a single-gender–girl/female identified–program of 15 participants to an all-gender program of as many as 50 participants. Beginning summer 2020, with the consequences of the pandemic, we began intentionally exploring other ways to create the program, besides the arts-based rites of passage focus that dominated in previous years. Due to health and funding reasons, we have kept the program small over the past three years and ceased being centered around co-creating a large culminating performance. Mindfulness as a daily practice provides a foundation as we continue to discover what works best for Bailey’s, our participants and our teaching artists.
Monthly Pop Up Shop since 2021 we have offered a monthly pop-up shop for local artisans and entrepreneurs. This year we added an element of performance giving local up and coming artists an opportunity to be in front of an audience and to draw people to the space. You can find us on the first Friday of the month, excluding January, from 5 PM to 8 PM. Please stop by; you never know what you might find.
Community Sing: Bailey’s has been in partnership with Feel the Music in presenting programming that utilizes the arts as a healing force. Over the years we have built a long-term relationship, with extraordinary vocalist Janice Pendarvis, to bring a monthly Community Sing to Bailey’s. The pandemic turned this into a virtual offering but in December 2022 we returned to an in-person event, accompanied by the phenomenal jazz organist and keyboardist, Greg Lewis. If you want to experience the joy of singing together and learn about the ins and outs of the music industry from two masters, check out Bailey’s calendar for our next Sing.
Beyond Be(yonce) Sip & Dip the unique creation of our dear friend and colleague, Kadeem Alston Roman, the Sip & Dip is a free-spirited opportunity to move your body to Kadeem’s choreography, sip some wine and enjoy the positive freeing energy with your fellow participants. Look out for the next one on our calendar.
Gallery Exhibitions in collaboration with Fulton Art Fair and other local artists Bailey’s backroom has become an informal gallery space. Offering another medium for showcasing the creative work of our community, Bailey’s Backroom is an intimate setting for multi-discipline installations and more traditional exhibitions. Please contact Stefanie at [email protected] if you are interested in exhibiting with us.