As part of an ongoing collaboration with MoCADA (the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), New York City StoryBooth staff completed a day of recording in the basement of the building that is home to both StoryCorps and the museum in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Curator Dexter Wimberly worked with StoryCorps to bring in a diverse group of artists to talk about their work, life, and inspirations, which led to the opening of the exhibition “The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks” at MoCADA on February 4th.
While I was away, super StoryBooth interns Charlotte Okie and Liam Pierce attended the event to work the crowd, dish about StoryCorps, snap a few photos and take names.
Charlotte Okie reports:
The hall was chock full for the three-hour opening, but it didn’t seem to deter anyone; people kept pouring in, filtering through the exhibit and making contacts, and MoCADA had to force people to go at the end. Gentrification is a topic close to the hearts of Brooklynites, particularly residents of Fort Greene, the neighborhood where MoCADA and StoryCorps have set up their headquarters. Stories jumped off the exhibition walls (through art from the likes of Rachel Falcone and Michael Premo, who also happen to be former StoryCorps facilitators) and flew around the room.
“I used to live in Fort Greene, back when it was mostly Italians!”
“I had to leave because the rent kept creeping up.”
“We were afraid to walk down our street five years ago. Now I let my kids run ahead.”
StoryCorps was there to remind visitors to the exhibition of the importance of talking and listening, of telling these stories and remembering our varied and collective pasts, arguing and agreeing, and working together for a better future.
Thanks Charlotte and Liam!
For those interested, the exhibition will run through May 16 in MoCADA’s gallery.