Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn 

Various locations, New York, United States
20 Sep 2014 - 12 Oct 2014

Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn 

Creative Time and Weeksville Heritage Center have joined to pair four artists in collaboration with four community partners for Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, a walkable month-long art exhibition that reveals 150 years of Black self-determination in Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.

All sites are open for four consecutive weekends through October 12. Each project will be accompanied by free public workshops and special events at Weeksville Heritage Center located at 158 Buffalo Avenue and Bergen Street (A/C to Utica Ave).


About the exhibition

Artists Xenobia Bailey, Simone Leigh, Otabenga Jones & Associates, and Bradford Young will debut site-specific works that engage hidden Black histories at a school, medical clinic, jazz consortium, and church around the historic Weeksville grounds, the site of a Brooklyn community established by free and formerly enslaved Black citizens 11 years after abolition.


Funk: Xenobia Bailey in collaboration with Boys & Girls High School

Project title: Century 21: Bed-Stuy Rhapsody in Design: A Reconstruction Urban Remix in the Aesthetic of Funk
Location: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Avenue

For three months, Xenobia Bailey collaborated with students from Boys & Girls High School to design and produce “up-cycled” furniture to “funkify” Weeksville Heritage Center’s historic Hunterfly Road homes.


God: Bradford Young in collaboration with Bethel Tabernacle AME Church

Project title: Bynum Cutler
Location: Former site of PS83, 1630 Dean Street

Award-winning cinematographer Bradford Young will create a three-channel video installation in a tribute to the pioneering Black women, men, and children who embarked on countless journeys in search of refuge. Inspired by late playwright August Wilson, the film is set against the backdrop of Weeksville’s historic Bethel Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and installed in the church’s former sanctuary inside historic PS83, Brooklyn’s first racially integrated school.


Jazz: Otabenga Jones & Associates in collaboration with Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium

Project title: OJ Radio
Location: Intersection of Fulton Street and Malcolm X Boulevard (public plaza)

Houston-based artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates is collaborating with the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium to produce a temporary community radio station that will broadcast live from the back of a pink 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Broadcasts will pay tribute to former Bed-Stuy cultural center “the East,” founded in 1969 as a hub for creating cultural awareness around the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanist movements.


Medicine: Simone Leigh in collaboration with Stuyvesant Mansion

Project title: Free People’s Medical Clinic
Location: Stuyvesant Mansion, 375 Stuyvesant Avenue

Simone Leigh will convert the ground floor of 375 Stuyvesant Avenue—former home of Dr. Josephine English, the first African-American woman to have an OB/GYN practice in New York state and midwife to Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz’s six daughters—into a temporary space for self-determined health care. Leigh’s clinic will celebrate the achievements of Black women in healthcare and will offer homeopathic services ranging from yoga instruction to private consultations by local practitioners.



Conversations on self-determination:

Presented and produced in partnership with the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Saturday afternoon community discussions will complement the site-specific public art exhibition by engaging its main themes of Funk, Jazz, God and Medicine. Speakers will reflect on local sites of self-determination and their relationship to the artwork, explore ideas around art and music as a force for social change, and tackle the health effects of discrimination while linking wellness to African-American spiritual traditions. Every Saturday, September 20–October 12.


Artist Xenobia Bailey’s free workshops:

Create spa treatments made from homegrown ingredients, learn to spin Angora Rabbit fur and other fibers, get a first-hand grip on urban beekeeping and honey harvesting, and refine your canning and pickling skills. Every Saturday and Sunday from September 20–October 12.

For more information, click here.



Opening party: Saturday, September 20, 2–6pm
158 Buffalo Avenue and Bergen Street, A/C to Utica Ave, Brooklyn
Featuring music by Jesse Boykins III and DJ Manchildblack


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