Intergenerational Community Arts Council Announces Its Third Cohort


James Michael Nichols, BRIC / 718.683.5980 / [email protected] 
Elisa Smilovitz / A&O / 551.486.3273 / [email protected]
Dave Hughes / University Settlement/ 619.709.4043 / [email protected]


Intergenerational Community Arts Council Announces Its Third Cohort

Team of NYCHA residents and neighbors produces values-driven public art programming in Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn

(BROOKLYN, NY — May 24, 2022) — BRIC is pleased to announce the third cycle of the Brooklyn-based Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC), a multigenerational team of residents developing joyous, values-driven arts programming by, for, and with members of the Ingersoll, Whitman, Farragut and Atlantic Terminal NYCHA houses and surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods. This cycle running from February 2022 – June 2023 kicks off with an impressive cohort of 17 members, 9 of whom are new to the program this cycle.

The members of the ICAC Cycle III are:  Melissa Apedo, Zolanlly Brunson, Andrew Ceneus, Denise Evans, Alyssa Forte, Chastity Fryer, DaQuan Herring, Mutale Kanyanta, Nicole Norton-Evans, Squala Orphan, Brandon Payne, Julius Roberts, Tanja Richardson, Desiree Rucker, Shawna Ryals, Celeste Staton, Ketriana Yvonne.

This cycle’s focus will be on improving the health and wellness of the community through the arts, a theme determined by the members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cycle will kick off with a public event in June, providing an opportunity for community members of all ages to gather and celebrate together. More information on the event is forthcoming.

Since 2018, ICAC has gathered monthly to support leadership development, creative project planning, and local community engagement through the arts. In addition to professional development workshops and opportunities, members receive monthly stipends to compensate for their time and expertise. Meetings are comprised of creative exercises, program planning and production, and a shared meal provided by a local, independent restaurant. Each cycle, the members elect an Artist-in-Residence to join and lead a project of their choosing. ICAC will have an open call to select their next Artist-in-Residence this summer. Past projects have included hosting arts-based events at Ingersoll Community Center, producing the WE ARE BROOKLYN Community Block Party in Fort Greene, creating a community-sourced resource booklet titled “Resources for Joy,” and engaging in community mutual aid work during the pandemic.

“I grew up in Fort Greene and wanted to be involved with the community either as a mentor or tutor for quite some time. As a creator, I liken my experience with the ICAC to being booked to tour with an amazing ensemble where I improved by playing (creating), but learned more by watching others (play) create. We were each proficient, but at the start we were just playing our parts, at the end we were truly harmonious. I think my time with ICAC has made me a better person, a more instinctive creator and prouder than ever before of Fort Greene.”  – Desiree Rucker, ICAC Member


“The ICAC is really helping me become more comfortable in my talents. They have a very subtle way of getting you out of your own way in order to be able to tell your truth. I am not only gaining confidence in myself and my own stories, but learning how to direct and guide others. It’s so refreshing to be a curator and artist and have a place where I can softly grow.” – Chasity Fryer, ICAC Member

ICAC is supported by local organizations BRIC and The Performance Project @ University Settlement,  in partnership with Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center. BRIC and University Settlement provide production support, stipends, and other resources that enable the ICAC to bring their creative, community-driven ideas to life.

To learn more about the program:

About the ICAC
The ICAC is a joint program of BRIC and University Settlement. The ICAC is designed to support NYCHA residents as central stakeholders and decision-makers in the artistic and cultural life of the community, and facilitate connections with neighbors, resources, and local business outside the housing developments—ensuring Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn remain communities where both longtime and new residents of all income levels can live, work, create and belong. Through monthly planning workshops, the ICAC uses art-making, storytelling, and discussion to identify shared values and goals to guide arts programming in their community.

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 the community, BRIC ignites learning in people of all ages and centers diverse voices that take risks and drive culture forward. BRIC builds Brooklyn’s creative future. Learn more at bricartsmedia.org.

About University Settlement
University Settlement is one of New York’s most dynamic social justice institutions with deep roots on the Lower East Side. Each year University Settlement’s diverse programs impact 40,000 low-income and at-risk people as they build better lives for themselves and their families. With an impressive legacy as the first settlement house in the United States, University Settlement has been an incubator for progressive ideas for more than 130 years, offering pioneering programs in mental health, early childhood education, literacy, the arts, and adolescent development that set the standard.

Public support is provided by The New York State Council on the Arts and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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