Nanette Rainone lived many lives. She produced feminist news shows for radio station WBAI in the 1970s before becoming their program director, worked on the mayoral campaign of Bella Abzug in 1977, and was communications director for Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden. And that was all before she started BRIC.
Created in 1979 while Rainone was working for Golden, BRIC (originally called the Fund for the Borough of Brooklyn, then Brooklyn Information & Culture) was envisioned as a space where art and education would coexist, much in the same way as Rainone’s early programs for WBAI.
BRIC is celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2019, and has gone through many changes. The Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn Heights, established in 1981, is now closed; the former Strand Theater in Downtown Brooklyn, once home to their public access studio, has been redesigned as BRIC Arts | Media House, their current home.
But their mission remains the same. They are rolling through their four-decade celebration with a banner year of programming, the first under new president Kristina Newman-Scott. Some of the highlights include February’s BRIC Biennial: Vol. 3, with a specific focus this year on artists from southern Brooklyn, and the annual BRIC OPEN in April, whose theme is justice.
Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Fall/Holiday 2018/19 issue of Brownstoner magazine.
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