Bed-Stuy org to host ‘community conversation’ series on gentrification, activism

Buildings in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Buildings in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Photo by Cate Corcoran

A local non-profit organization dedicated to uplifting artists is hosting a three-day “community conversation” in Bedford-Stuyvesant to highlight the important issues facing the community — gentrification, preservation, activism and more.

The Laundromat Project, which dates back to 1999, will host the “Artists as Neighbors: Living Liberation” event between Jen 9 and June 11, and will feature several public forums, panel discussions and neighborhood participants as they work to address the challenges that affect both artists and neighbors working in fields relating to advocacy, local organizing and philanthropy. 

“As a non-profit arts organization, we certainly see artists and cultural producers as key to developing innovative ideas about and approaches to solving the complex problems we face as a community, particularly in our organizational home of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,” said Ayesha Williams, Executive Director of The Laundromat Project.

Since they were officially incorporated in 2005, the areas they serve have rapidly changed, with many communities of color seeing a rapid influx of new residents, and a culture that has shifted dramatically. 

In response, the organization has looked at “how memory, history, and activism can be used in tandem to reclaim and defend neighborhoods,” while helping to promote those who are working as advocates and artists in those communities. 

According to the organization, they have invested over $1 million for artists and the community since 2005 and have engaged nearly 50,000 New Yorkers.

This series will conclude at a community brunch at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Restoration Plaza on June 11 and participants will engage in dialogue to discuss strategies facilitating community and creative growth.

“I’m excited to see how generative the outcomes of discussions about gentrification and belonging can be when creativity is placed at the center of possible solutions, and when artists are seen as core facilitators and leaders in the efforts to improve the future of neighborhoods like ours in Bed-Stuy and across greater New York City,” said Williams.

“Artists as Neighbors: Living Liberation” will be free and open to the public between Jun 9 and June 11, with registration available at their website, laundromatproject.org.