06.18.24

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and BRIC Unveil Multimedia Installation by April Walker Honoring Female Hip-Hop Pioneers in Downtown Brooklyn’s Albee Square

Contact: Emma Brownstein

Risa Heller Communications – DBP 

[email protected] | 718.838.8328 

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Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and BRIC Unveil Multimedia Installation by April Walker Honoring Female Hip-Hop Pioneers in Downtown Brooklyn’s Albee Square 

Designed by Fashion Icon April Walker, “THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE” Depicts the Stories and Contributions of Women in Hip-Hop 

 

(Brooklyn, New York – June 18, 2024) — Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and BRIC today unveiled THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE, a multimedia installation that pays homage to female pioneers in Hip-Hop. Funded by a NYC Department of Small Business Services Commercial District Lighting Grant awarded to Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE will activate Albee Square at the heart of Fulton Mallwith interactive programming and transform into an illuminated attraction on four evenings this summer. Conceived by fashion icon April Walker, this public art installation will project historic images, including the work of the iconic photographer Janette Beckman, along with lyrics and quotes by women artists, leaders, and innovators. It shares the victories, challenges, and cultural impact of women in the Hip-Hop genre. 

“This installation not only pays much-deserved homage to the women of hip-hop, but it also illuminates the streetscape, providing light to the shoppers, business-owners, residents and workers who make Downtown Brooklyn such a bustling community.” said Regina Myer, President of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE also serves as a reminder that Downtown Brooklyn is a place where artistry, history and innovation come to life, and we are grateful that the NYC Department of Small Business Services has helped us bring this project to the neighborhood.”

“THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE is a celebration of the strength and resilience of women in hip-hop,” said artist April Walker. “It’s an honor to work on a project that shines a spotlight on the incredible contributions of women who have shaped this culture.”

“BRIC’s commitment to the education, expansion, and expression of Hip-Hop continues through THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE and this powerful statement about the female pioneers in the genre,” said BRIC President Wes Jackson. “BRIC is excited to continue our celebration of Hip-Hop culture through this collaboration with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and April Walker and to continue to bring the story of Hip-Hop’s impact to the streets of Downtown Brooklyn. April’s lifelong commitment to Hip-Hop Culture, from fashion to advocacy to entrepreneurship, is an inspiration to us all, as well future generations.”

“SBS is proud to support the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership as they honor the important contributions, resiliency, and strength of women in hip-hop through THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE multimedia installation,” said NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “Through projects like this, our Commercial District Lighting Grants help our communities shine and showcase the unique diversity of New York City.”

Commissioned by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and BRIC and NYC Department of Small Business Services, THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE will celebrate the district’s rich connections to Hip-Hop. The multimedia project is comprised of several components, including a large scale projection of historic images, lyrics and quotes by women artists, leaders and innovators of Hip-Hop on a wall adjacent to Albee square; a large vinyl wrap on one of the curved benches in Albee Square; links to a playlist of music by female Hip-Hop artists and video interviews with April and other innovators; and a series of complementary community programs at Albee Square. On the heels of the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, FUTURE/FEMALE      (literally) shines a light on and honors the women of Hip-Hop. The installation serves as an electrifying reminder that the “future been female,” — a phrase coined by artist April Walker. 

THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE was conceived by the world-renowned fashion icon, entrepreneur, educator, author and Brooklyn native April Walker. As the trailblazer behind the urban fashion brand “Walker Wear,” Walker is one of the innovators and pioneers of the urban fashion and streetwear movement that catapulted into a multi-billion-dollar industry. 

THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE was funded by the NYC Department of Small Business Services’ Commercial District Lighting grant awarded to Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The grants provide money to design, produce, and install customized and creative lighting projects      across the City and address neighborhood concerns of insufficient lighting at night while improving public safety and vibrancy in commercial corridors.

The official unveiling will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 7:30PM in Downtown Brooklyn’s Albee Square, located at the intersection of Fulton Street and Bond Street. THE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE will be on display for four weeks from June 18 to July 9, 2024 from 7:30 to 11:30PM. In addition to the projections, BRIC is programming four evenings to engage the community:

  • June 18: Opening Reception with DJ Kay Kay 47 & Special Guests
  • June 25: Community Dance Class with Jamiyla Burton (TBC)
  • July 2:  Playlist & Projections – Curated playlist for personal viewing & listening 
  • July 9: Community Chalking with Street Artist TBD 

More onTHE FUTURE BEEN FEMALE, digital content, and programming can be found here: https://www.downtownbrooklyn.com/future-been-female/

 

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ABOUT APRIL WALKER

April Walker is a fashion and Hip-Hop icon, entrepreneur, educator and author whose work has been featured in Forbes, In Style, Essence, The New York Times, Vogue, and CFDA. Walker has been featured in award winning documentaries such as “The Remix Hip Hop X Fashion” and “Fresh Dressed.” As the first woman with an urban fashion brand, Walker Wear, Walker helped to create a multi-billion-dollar industry around what we know as streetwear. Walker was one of the first to start a styling division, working with clients like SHAQ, Wu-Tang, and Hype Williams, and dressing icons like Tupac, BIG, Jay-Z, and Aaliyah. Walker has curated and participated in exhibitions at Storyville, Brooklyn Museum, the Museum at F.I.T., and Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Walker is a TISCH/NYU adjunct professor, producer, and contributor to Parson’s “Streetwear Essentials.”

 

ABOUT BRIC:

BRIC is a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. For over forty years, BRIC has shaped Brooklyn’s cultural and media landscape by presenting and incubating artists, creators, students, and media makers. As a creative catalyst for their community, BRIC ignites learning in people of all ages and centralizes diverse voices that take risks and drive culture forward. BRIC builds Brooklyn’s creative future.

 

ABOUT Downtown Brooklyn Partnership:

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is a not-for-profit local development corporation that serves as the primary champion for Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination. Managing three Business Improvement Districts

(BIDs) that cover Downtown Brooklyn – the MetroTech BID, Fulton Mall Improvement Association, and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID – the Partnership’s diverse activities include attracting new businesses and improving the environment for existing companies, facilitating the construction of public spaces and streetscapes that promote an active and cohesive community, supporting and promoting Downtown Brooklyn’s cultural assets, and encouraging a sense of place and an engaged civic community.

 

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