Curated by Katherine Gressel
From colonial religious settlements to western frontiers to urban renewal efforts to planned suburban enclaves, the US has historically been obsessed with Utopian communities. Brooklyn is no exception to this, with its history as a home for Dutch colonial and myriad immigrant settlers, 19th Century social reformers like Alfred T. White, influential artists and writers from Walt Whitman to Spike Lee; and its distinctive neighborhoods ranging from the Coney Island amusement paradise to luxury “Manhattan suburbs” like Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.
The past decade marks Brooklyn’s growing popularity and often competing and controversial attempts to re-plan and rebuild Brooklyn—from luxury developments to new sports and entertainment complexes to affordable housing and “green” architecture initiatives. Brooklyn has also traditionally nurtured grassroots organizations—community arts centers, urban farms, bicycle advocacy groups—practicing alternative models. How effective are all these efforts? What harm is being done? What additional innovations are possible? And what can survive recent economic and environmental crises?
The Brooklyn Utopias? project invited professional artists and emerging youth artists to identify and respond to these often-conflicting visions of the most livable and sustainable Brooklyn, and/or imagine their own Brooklyn “Utopias.”
Visit the website for a schedule of events.