651 Arts


Written By VAMONDE

Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions

651 Arts is an organization in Brooklyn that is committed to developing, producing and presenting performance and cultural programming rooted in the African Diaspora. The organization also aims to connect members of the greater New York area to their roots and other members of their community. The organization specifically focuses on connecting contemporary performance and programming.

The organization was created in 1988, and in 2009 the organization dedicated its twentieth anniversary season to women in performance. The season involved artists of African descent participating in music and theater, as well as dance performances by some of the world’s most extraordinary female performers.

The organization involves a young professionals committee that helps to expand educational offerings. This also facilitates networking among performance minded individuals in the area.

651 Arts & Bric house

651 ARTS public presentations take place throughout Fort Greene, Brooklyn, including at Bric House.

Bric House and 651 Arts hosted a joint program called: Look Back, Dance Forward: TALES OF HOME, Congo/Mozambique. This was a two-evening program with works by Faustin Linyekula (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Panaibra Gabriel Canda (Mozambique).

651 ARTS also provides high-quality and innovative educational programming. Their focus is to supplement arts education in local schools without proper funding as well as for students to interact with artists of differing backgrounds. Through high-level education programming, workshops, residencies, and a student matinee series, 651 ARTS gives students access to some of the world's most compelling performances by artists of African descent.

Moving Words is a literary series that features performing artists talking about the books that have influenced their work for an audience of area high school students. The purpose of the program is to use literacy as an access point for contemporary performance work while encouraging reading, critical thinking, and discussion.

In September of 2017, 651 Arts, in conjunction with Bric House, led an event called "Well-Read Black Girl Writers' Conference and Festival."Over 250 Black women from across the country were in attendance and speakers included Marita Golden, Naomi Jackson, Lesley Nneka Arimah, and Ashley C. Ford. The festival consisted of a variety of workshops and panels.

Cover photo credit: @651arts via Instagram

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