Zine Feast is less than a month away and I’m excited to announce the first listing of the After Feast lineup!
AceMo (Adrian Mojica)is a student at Purchase College that has been honing his craft and putting out some great electronic/beat music for the past few years. Think Flying…
by Willow Goldstein
"One of the things that I think is very heartening [in the Rheingold negotiation] was that some of the strongest opponents, or people at least fighting hard for affordable housing, were some of the newer residents… and I think that’s a very positive thing that is important to note," said John Dereszewski at last Sunday’s AiB Panel on Affordable Housing. Conversations surrounding gentrification have taken place in different forums and venues across North Brooklyn for years, as the the myriad of contributing factors push new residents further East in a quest for affordable space. Arts in Bushwick initiated that conversation last Sunday, March 30, with the first of three panels on artist concerns. Panel organizer Sessa Englund, a Bushwick-based artist and curator, invited a refreshingly diverse panel of six community stakeholders, including Antonio Reynoso (NYC Councilmember representing the 34th district), Chloe Bass (Arts in Bushwick Co-Founder), Shawn Gallagher (active member of Placeholder), John Dereszewski (former District Manager of CB4 and Bushwick Historian), Kunal Gupta (Silent Barn), and Martin S. Needelman, Esq. (Housing Issues and Tenants Rights Specialist, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation). The panel was moderated by Robin Grearson, a nonfiction writer and creative producer. Additionally, Arts in Bushwick prepared handouts on tenant rights, rent stabilization, and housing court.
Left to right: Robin Grearson, Kunal Gupta, Chloe Bass, John Dereszewski, Antonio Reynoso, Martin S. Needelman, and Shawn Gallagher.
John Dereszewski began the conversation with a history of Bushwick, outlining factors in the trajectory that leads neighborhoods, like Bushwick, to this tipping point. Attorney Martin S. Needleman informed on the workings of housing court, including the institutionally ingrained favoring of landlords, through the prominence of eviction courts, over courts designed to hear tenant complaints (the balance currently sits at 14 to 1). Coucilman Antonio Reynoso positioned local affordable housing efforts in context to the City of New York as a whole. Community member Kunal Gupta shared his experience running a DIY community art space that became politically active in the face of the Rheingold rezoning. A reminder came from artist Chloe Bass that discussions about affordable housing need to keep distinct populations in mind, that needs or means of one population are not the same as another. Community activist Shawn Gallagher provided an in-the-works example of how the needs of culturally distinct populations can be merged through obtaining commercial spaces for manufacturing purposes, which allows for artists to work and creates local jobs. Their collective backgrounds and experiences provided an excellent framework in which to have a conversation as complex as this, a conversation that breaches race, gender, and socio-economic status, in an attempt to discern exactly who is entitled to what in an evermore aggressive battle against displacement.
by Sessa Englund, Julia Sinelnikova, and Samantha Katz; photos by Willow Goldstein
Flushing Ave at Morgan Ave, the heart of a neighborhood in transition
Arts in Bushwick is proud to announce the first AiB Panel Discussion, Affordable Housing Today and Tomorrow, to take place at Radio Bushwick. Coordinated by Arts in Bushwick Lead Organizers Sessa Englund and Julia Sinelnikova, and moderated by local writer and community figure Robin Grearson, this panel discussion will focus on the issues surrounding the heated debate over the housing crisis in Bushwick, with an emphasis on art workers and the shifting landscape of New York’s creative sector.
With the highest concentration of artists in the city, Bushwick is home to a diverse community, representing a cross-section of the urban population. As gentrification rapidly transforms the neighborhood, artists and residents are bonded by the local politics of unbridled development. Through discussions featuring experts in the creative fields and prominent community leaders, AiB Panel Discussions aim to source this energy to create a powerful voice for change.