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The Bushwick Community Darkroom is moving to a bigger space and expanding the types of processing it offers as well as classes and other events. Founder and Director Lucia Rollow, who is also one of the organizers of Bushwick Open Studios, plans to shut down the current darkroom in The Loom at 108 Thames during the month of March, then reopen at the new location at 110 Troutman Street at the beginning of April, she told us. The new space, which measures 2,400 square feet, will be renovated inside and out during the month of March.

This will be the third location for the darkroom, which Rollow started in the basement where she was living. The darkroom offers classes, darkroom rental and exhibitions.

To celebrate and raise funds for the move, there will be a party and art show on Tuesday, February 24, featuring photographs by Wilson Novitzki, Scott Nyerges, Caleb Savage, Rollow and Sarah Graham. Brooklyn bands, including Dan Zanes, will perform, and there will be rum punch from an El Dorado bartender. A RocketHub campaign to help with the move concludes at the end of the month.

The new darkroom will offer more space, more processing stations, and large-format and alternative-processing facilities. There will be a group darkroom with eight to 10 stations, a private dark room for black and white and other alternative processes, four private color darkrooms, and one 33-inch Colex RA4 processor, among other things. The darkroom will also expand its classes, including middle school after-school programs, and there will be lockers, movie nights, lectures and workshops.

Annual memberships cost $75 or $115 a month; a lifetime membership is $2,000. GMAP

Photo by Bushwick Community Darkroom

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If you didn’t catch the broadcast of WNET’s hour-long celebration of the 50-year-old New York City landmarks law Saturday night, you can watch it online. “The Landmarks Preservation Movement,” an episode in the public television station’s “Treasures of New York” documentary series, sweeps through landmarks history to the present day, comparing the landmarking of Brooklyn Heights, New York City’s first landmark district, in 1965 to the current-day effort to expand the Bed Stuy historic district.

If not for the efforts of Brooklyn Heights resident and distinguished preservationist Otis Pratt Pearsall, pictured above, who takes us on a tour of the Heights, 80 percent of the area would likely be gone today, according to the film. Bed Stuy resident and preservationist (and sometimes Brownstoner commenter) Claudette Brady speaks movingly of the need for protection for Bed Stuy’s 19th century houses, arguing that landmarking is crucial to preserving the community and its way of life. Catch her at 33:46 and again at 56:38.

Treasures of New York: The Landmarks Preservation Movement [WNET 13]
Still image from “The Landmarks Preservation Movement”

In honor of Black History Month, the Brooklyn Museum is hosting soul and jazz concerts, documentaries that challenge assumptions about racial identity, talks from black artists and poetry readings Saturday night. New Orleans-based band Water Seed will start the evening by performing “sophisticated jazz infused with funk,” and R&B singer Bilal will round out the end of the night with songs from his album “Love Surreal.” You could check out documentary screenings about soul food and the lives of queer women of color. Or listen to a poetry reading and discussion from Black Poets Speak Out, a collective inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. See the whole schedule here, with events running from 5 to 11 pm on February 7 at 200 Eastern Parkway.

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Arts Gowanus has issued an open call for artists to create public art on either side of the Carroll Street Bridge, in front of Whole Foods, and other public sites around the neighborhood, as Brokelyn was the first to note. Projects should highlight “the history, the Canal, the culture of creativity and the diversity of the community,” according to the organization.

A panel made up of reps from the Parks Department, Department of Transportation and local arts nonprofits will select three to five works to display throughout Gowanus. Projects can be in any medium and must follow the Parks Department guidelines for public art. A $35,000 grant connected to Brad Lander’s “Bridging Gowanus” program will fund the installations.

The deadline for proposals is March 2, 2015, and all artwork must be ready for installation by June 30, 2015. Work will be on display outdoors for up to 11 months. Anyone who’d like to participate is encouraged to attend a community meeting on Monday, February 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Old Stone House, located at 336 3rd Street. At the meeting, local leaders and community members will discuss what makes Gowanus unique and what they’re looking for from artists. 

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The Dumbo Arts Festival won’t return this fall, after 18 years in the gallery-filled waterfront neighborhood, Two Trees announced this afternoon. It began in 1997 as the Art Under the Bridge Festival, a grassroots art initiative meant to attract art lovers and artists to Dumbo. One of the original organizers, Joy Glidden, ran the festival until 2009, when Two Trees took over organizing the event.

“But as the festival grew and grew – more than 220,000 visitors flooded the neighborhood for the festival weekend last year – it became clear that we could no longer mount the festival ourselves without commercializing it in a way that didn’t feel right. We were getting too far from the original mission of the festival,” Two Trees’ cultural affairs director Lisa Kim wrote in an email. 

Instead, Two Trees will spend the money for the Dumbo Arts Festival on other arts programming, including Dumbo galleries, the First Thursday Art Walk, a studio program that offers free work space to artists, subsidized rent for cultural organizations, public art commissions and art projects at the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg.

Photo by Jane Kratochvil for Two Trees

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Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership is coordinating an interesting list of events for Black History month that celebrate Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s deep culture of African American arts and performance. Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company Hammerstep will blend Irish step dance and hip hop in a performance at Ingersoll Community Center on February 7, and a group of renowned local jazz musicians will perform live on February 15 at Splitty. There will also be a “digital media and live sound installation that re-imagines the concept of Afrofuturism in the wake of recent police violence in New York City” at the Emerson Bar on February 28. You can check out the full schedule, which includes poetry readings and art shows, over at Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership’s website.

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Flatbush’s Kings Theatre is set to re-open for the first time in 40 years with a free debut performance on January 27 by local dancers and musicians, including the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Brooklyn Ballet. The beautifully restored venue at 1027 Flatbush Avenue has also announced its lineup of 2015 concerts, which kicks off with Diana Ross and includes Crosby, Stills & Nash, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, Sarah McLachlan and Gladys Knight. Diana Ross will headline the grand opening concert on February 3, and there will be a free open house tour of the theater on February 7, according to KensingtonBK.

Tickets for the free show on January 27 will be available on the Kings Theatre website starting January 20. Check out the full schedule here. We’re looking forward to seeing the interiors, which just underwent a $94,000,000 renovation led by developer ACE Theatrical Group and Martinez & Johnson Architecture.

Built in 1929, Kings was one of the five Loew’s “wonder theaters” constructed throughout New York and New Jersey. It shuttered in 1977 and remained abandoned until 2012, when the city selected ACE to revive it.

Photo by Matt Lambros

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Creative agency Vanderbilt Republic, who lit up the Kentile Floors sign one last time using projections, will project a constantly changing “light sculpture” onto the Smith-9th Street Bridge in Gowanus. Beginning January 12, “this half-mile light sculpture will evolve nightly through two weeks of research, transforming the frame of the Smith-9th Street Bridge into a canvas for ecstatic creation,” according to the group’s website. The show will start after dark every night until January 23. There will also be an artist reception January 16 featuring an installation from light artist and scientist Colin Bowring, aka “the Wizard,” at Gowanus Loft, 61 9th Street, Loft C8.

Flyer via Vanderbilt Republic

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Green-Wood Cemetery is teaming up with online social network Groupmuse to host a classical concert inside the cemetery’s beautiful Gothic chapel later this month. “Groupmuse connects young classical musicians to local audiences through concert ‘house parties’ in unexpected locations,” according to the writeup.

There will be cocktails and mingling with the musicians before and after the event, and you can bring your own or purchase drinks there. The concert will happen Friday, January 23 at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 or $5 for BHS/Green-Wood members, and you can buy them through Groupmuse.

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Dumbo artist Tom Fruin has installed another sparkling, stained glass sculpture in the shape of a water tower at 334 Furman Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The multicolored structure will be lit up at night and powered by a solar array on the roof of the building, which serves as the offices for Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. The artist said the water tower should be illuminated by next weekend and will stay up for a year.

Fruin installed his first water tower on the roof of Dumbo’s 20 Jay Street two years ago, and it has quickly become an iconic part of the neighborhood’s skyline. Earlier this fall, the sculptor built a stained glass house on the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of Dumbo Arts Festival. The house was originally supposed to remain through March, but the artist told us the park is now letting it stay through September. Click through to see an interior shot of the water tower.

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Brooklyn Heights Cinema owner Kenn Lowy is still looking for a new space for the theater since the building at 70 Henry Street was sold and it shut down in August, he told Brooklyn Brief. “I need a big location, with good foot traffic, but with a landlord who isn’t only seeing dollar signs, but has an interest in providing the community with a venue for culture. I’m doing everything I can to keep going.”

Lowy bought the theater for sentimental reasons: He grew up watching films there. In the wide-ranging interview, he also said the influential Brooklyn Heights Association had played a large role in the theater’s closing, by opposing proposals to redevelop the property:

The sad thing is that these two plans for buildings were really nice, contextual with the neighborhood, and would have allowed a cinema to stay at the location. But the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) had a lot to do with the plans never being voted upon, which was akin to them being turned down. They felt the building had historical significance, and they fought tooth and nail against any changes. The local Community Board supported us, and some of the local politicians supported us, but others didn’t, not wanting to go against the BHA. The BHA represents a very small contingent of Brooklyn Heights residents, but has a very strong sway.

The interview, which also ran in the Brooklyn Eagle, is definitely worth a read.

Anyone know a suitable venue?

In Conversation: Kenn Lowy on the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, and Future Plans [BK Brief]
Brooklyn Heights Cinema Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Brooklyn Heights Cinema/Facebook

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The Williamsburg Independent Film Festival is screening five days of indie flicks at the Wythe Hotel this weekend, starting Thursday. Each night of screenings begins at 6:30 pm and features 10 to 12 short films created by emerging filmmakers based in Brooklyn and around the world.

The first night will include the premiere of the feature-length movie “Like Sunday, Like Rain,” pictured above, starring Deborah Messing and Billy Joe Armstrong. Tickets are $15 for each hour-and-a-half long block of films. You can buy tickets and see the full schedule at Brown Paper Tickets.

Image via Williamsburg Independent Film Fest