For over 50 years, the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) has helped support and uplift the borough’s myriad of artists — and they’ll be hosting their annual Spring Gala next month to raise funds, allowing them to continue supporting the art community.
The Spring Gala will welcome guests at Industry City on June 5, and will feature numerous exciting and entertaining activities for guests to engage in, including a tasty feast, live music performances, an auction and more.
The BAC, which is based in DUMBO, works to support Brooklyn artists through grants, professional development assistance, art education, cultural heritage programming and more to uplift creatives and promote accessible art.
The Gala will honor the many services that the BAC provides for the community, including advocating for sustainable development strategies that understand how integral art and artists are to furthering social innovation and equity.
“We’re coming out of covid, and many artists and arts organizations suffered,” said Toni Yuille Williams, the BAC’s Board Chair and one of the event’s honorees. “We’re also still grappling with a myriad of social justice issues stemming from the killing of George Floyd that sparked a conversation that must continue. Arts and Culture leaders are the nexus; igniting authentic and meaningful conversations in their communities. I believe that we need artists and creatives infused in every sector to move our society forward.”
The event will also honor several community leaders for their respective work in advancing and advocating for artists in different avenues.
The honorees include visual artist and educator Derrick Adams, Brookfield Properties Senior Vice President of Development Alireza Esmaeilzadeh, Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham co-founder and executive director of the Museum Hue and BAC’s Board Chair Toni Yuille Williams.
This year’s Spring Gala will also celebrate the BAC’s new Executive Director Rasu Jilani who plans to use his new role to continue and further the outreach and work of the BAC to serve and support local artists.
“Local artists have made Brooklyn a global cultural epicenter, but they still lack adequate support and recognition for their work in the borough,” said Jilani. “Artists are the driving force behind our authentic and connected community, and we must prioritize their livelihoods and creative practice, rather than exploiting their culture for our benefit. Therefore, it is imperative that Brooklyn Arts Council remains aware of the ever-changing cultural landscape and actively contributes to its development by finding innovative ways to support and facilitate the circulation of culture.”
Williams expressed her delight and excitement at welcoming Jilani to the BAC and celebrating him at the gala.
“I’m excited about this year’s Spring Gala because we’re introducing our new Executive Director Rasu Jilani,” Williams said. “He’s a visionary thinker who will start the wheels in motion to make us a model Arts Council with the aim to support our artists, and arts organizations.”