Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts ‘Black Future Festival’ during midwinter recess

Brooklyn Children's Museum to host festival for Black History Month
Brooklyn Children’s Museum will host a weeklong festival for Black History Month during the Department of Education’s midwinter recess.
Photo by Winston Williams / Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum will host a weeklong “Black Future Festival” during the Department of Education’s midwinter school recess to celebrate Black History Month. The institution hopes Brooklynites will attend the festival to learn more about Black history while also envisioning a Black future informed by the past and present.

In partnership with Bedford-Stuyvesant based non-profit organization STooPS and guest curator, dancer and community organizer Kendra J. Bostock, museum visitors will be able to participate in a series of programming from Feb. 18 through Feb. 25 — including live performances, art exploration, storytelling, dance workshops and more.

“Brooklyn Children’s Museum is proud to present Black Future Festival: We Da People in collaboration with our talented partners, Kendra J. Bostock and STooPS,” said Dylan House, director of public programs at Brooklyn Children’s Museum. “As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s important for our youth to learn about the resilience, triumphs, and contributions of Black individuals throughout history and in their communities today. We hope to inspire young people in envisioning their own futures, as well as work towards a future where these contributions are recognized and celebrated every day.” 

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the relationship art and artistic expression has played on Black-led social movements throughout Brooklyn’s history via the festival’s 11 various programs. The programs include a multidisciplinary dance performance which explores the significance of everyday items in relation to Black histories, present experiences and Afro-futurism and will be performed by Bostock and dancers Brittany Grier, J’Nae Simmons and Kimani Fowlin.

“I am so excited about the partnership between Brooklyn Children’s Museum, myself, and STooPS. Having such an important institution embrace a much younger organization is a great example of a Black Future — giving space and highlighting Black art, voices, and community,” said Bostock, “When I think about the Black Future, I imagine a time where the values, contributions, and lifestyles of Black folks are honored and amplified. As I reflect on Black-led social movements that have paved the way for our present and future to exist, it has not been about overtaking but making space.”

Other festival programs include a storytelling session in which guests will listen to stories of Bed-Stuy led by poet and performance artist Wema Ragophala and a plant allyship workshop led by alchemist Renee K. Smith designed to encourage children to be curious about their natural surroundings.

Festival programs will run twice a day so visitors will have the opportunity to engage in as many as possible.

Co-curator Bostock explained that celebrating Black and African culture and histories in conjunction with exploring the possibilities of the future allows for more people to engage with resistance, as well as community and individual intention.

“Carving out liberatory spaces where Africanist principles such as community, self-determination and collective reliance can be at the forefront,” Bostock said. “These are concepts that we can all embrace, regardless of race, that will lead us to less oppression. This festival is about sharing the beauty and power of Blackness and cultivating a new generation who can move us towards an Afro-future. A future where Blackness is embraced as the change-making force it has always been.”

To learn more about “Black Future Festival: We Da People” and for programming schedules, click here.