Perhaps nothing is as emblematic of both the old and new Brooklyn as the newly restored Kings Theatre in Flatbush. After a $93 million restoration, it opened in February for the first time in 40 years and has gone on to win a preservation award and kindle renewed interest in the area.

And now it will be acquired by Ambassador, a vertically integrated theater chain, which produces shows, sells tickets and runs theaters. The iconic theater was not an acquisition target on its own but is part of another theater group, ACE Theatrical Group, that Ambassador is acquiring, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (more…)


Brownstoner happened across this apparently finished installation by artist Tom Fruin on the top of the former Broken Angel building at 4-8 Downing Street in Clinton Hill. As readers may recall, developer and architect Alex Barrett of Barrett Design, who is converting the building to condos, told Brownstoner in April the piece was in the works.

The condos are still under construction, but sold out in less than a month when they went on the market in April. Longtime Brooklyn residents and Brownstoner readers will recall the sad story of this building, which could be read as a metaphor for the history of Brooklyn in recent years. It has gone from tenement to empty shell to art project to condos, as property values have fluctuated. (more…)


A slew of local artists put up murals on the 16-foot-tall green construction fence — recently dubbed the “Green Monster” — along Dean Street in Prospect Heights during Saturday’s 10 Murals/1 Day block party thrown by Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park developer Greenland Forest City Partners. 

Headed by Broad City illustrator Mike Perry, the public artwork project was required of the developer by an environmental impact agreement with the state, according to DNAinfo.



Gabriel Koren’s story sounds all too familiar. The 68-year-old artist — lauded for making public sculptures of African American luminaries like Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X — has been priced out of her Dumbo workspace with nowhere else to go, according to an article in Sunday’s New York Times.

But for Brownstoner, Koren’s story hits close to home. The studio she’s kept for the past 28 years is just one floor above our office at 68 Jay Street. When we visited her yesterday afternoon, Koren was overwhelmed by the response to the Times article.

“So many people call. I am very thankful that so many people are calling,” she told Brownstoner. Koren is still listening to her many voicemail messages. She welcomed the possibility of help.



Afropunk Fest returns next week, August 21 to 23, to Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park. The festival, now in its 10th year, features largely black, punk musicians, and “is a platform for the alternative and experimental,” according to the group’s Facebook manifesto.

“Urban kids who once felt like outsiders are the core of this fast-growing community,” the manifesto goes on, “Afropunk is a voice for the unwritten, unwelcome and unheard-of.”



Artist Steven Weinberg recently painted a fanciful 25-foot mural of Brooklyn brownstones inside a newly renovated Crown Heights home. Weinberg — who moved from Brooklyn last year to open a Catskills inn — popped downstate to complete the entire mural in a single summer day. In a blog post detailing his work, Weinberg writes:

“It’s great working with the source material of my former hometown, Brooklyn. I love drawing mountains and trees now, but it’s something totally different taking in all of the amazing details of Brooklyn’s architecture.”



A Fort Greene warm-weather music staple, the Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival returns to Fort Greene Park Saturday, September 12.

The free event, now in its sixth year, features nonstop jazz by local musicians and singers from 3 pm. to 7 p.m. It happens twice a year, once in July and once in September.

The festival was started by Fort Greene resident and musician Eric Frazier. Raised in Brooklyn, Frazier — who studied Conga Drum and African Dance — performs jazz and world music throughout the New York area at venues including Madison Square Garden and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Every year he brings the music back to Fort Greene for Jazz Fest. (more…)


Pioneer Works is Red Hook’s answer to the Dia Art Foundation, a place where anyone can wander in off the street, take off their shoes, and perhaps even lie down on the cool concrete floors to contemplate the art and the soaring ceiling and exposed beams of the former industrial space.

If you’ve never visited the Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation before, you’re in for a treat and a surprise. Located in a former industrial space with an open garage door on a side street in Red Hook, inside you’ll find a sprawling complex with resident artists and scientists at work, galleries with art work on display, an extensive library of arts-related publications, and a well-maintained flower garden with sculpture outside.

There are even drinks and food for sale, if you time your visit right. All in all, it’s a pleasant place to chill on a hot afternoon. (more…)


If you’ve passed through Brooklyn Bridge Park lately you’ve likely noticed “The Fence,” the sprawling photo installation that spans hundreds of shots spread along 1,250 feet of fencing, stretching from Dumbo down to Pier 5 at Joralemon Street.

It’s the fourth year for the exhibit, which presents the work of 40 photographers from around the world. The photographers are selected by a jury of art and photography mavens, who look for work that “exemplifies the essence of ‘community’ across cultural boundaries and geographical lines.”


They promise “the dopest cultural festival New York has ever seen.” That would be the 11th annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, which kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday, when it culminates with a daylong hip-hop show in Williamsburg.

The festival, “a celebration of hip hop culture and the borough of Brooklyn,” includes film, food, art, and panel discussions as well as music. Tomorrow’s event is a daylong program of lectures and panel discussions exploring “macro issues facing the hip-hop community” and how hip-hop can help. (more…)


A concert by a pair of city-based electronic acts will kick off a new Downtown Brooklyn concert series on Wednesday.

“Downtown Brooklyn Nights” will run through the end of the month, with a lineup of four concerts curated by the Brooklyn-based record label Paper Garden, and presented in conjunction with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Paper Garden’s owners, Heidi Greenwood and Bryan Vaughan, hatched the idea after moving to Downtown Brooklyn a year ago. They fell in love with the neighborhood, and “could see the potential in creating a scene in the area and bringing entertainment to the local community and businesses,” said Greenwood. (more…)


As we all know, Brooklyn’s become a boomtown for creative dreamers and makers. Now, a study from the Center for an Urban Future has confirmed and quantified the artsy influx.

CUF is a think tank and master of urban stats (we’ve written about their work before) so you can look forward to hearing these figures merrily repeated by pro-art policy makers in the months to come. The report was already cited at least twice at last week’s Make It In Brooklyn Summit, though not by Bruce Ratner.

Ready to face the facts?