Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC)

The Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC) is a team of NYCHA residents and neighbors from Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn who create values-driven arts programming by, with, and for their communities.

2023 ICAC Members

The ICAC is proudly supported by program partners BRIC and University Settlement’s The Performance Project.

We are pleased to announce the third cycle of the Brooklyn-based Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC), a multigenerational team of residents from Ingersoll, Whitman, Farragut, Gowanus, and Atlantic Terminal NYCHA houses and surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods.

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.

This cycle, running from February 2022 – June 2023, focuses on improving the health and wellness of the community through the arts, a theme selected by the members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

ICAC Background

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 made up 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 in summer 2022.

In its first year, the ICAC selected artist, educator, and poet Najee Omar as their first Artist-In-Residence; hosted arts-based events at Ingersoll Community Center; and produced the WE ARE BROOKLYN Community Block Party, a joyous summer block party celebrating the arts, culture, music, and community of Fort Greene.

The second cycle of the ICAC ran from November 2019 – June 2021, and was designed to build community and create opportunities for arts and culture in the neighborhood. The ICAC invited Najee Omar to return as an artistic guide and mentor. Throughout the pandemic, the ICAC transformed into a valued network of mutual support and creative inspiration, while continuing to produce relevant, adventurous, and joyful programs.

ICAC Names Pia Monique Murray as its 2023 Artist-in-Residence

Jan. 18, 2023 – BRIC is pleased to announce Pia Monique Murray as the artist-in-residence for the third cycle of the ICAC! Murray will work with the ICAC on developing Spread Love (working title), a series of performance events that will travel to four local community centers at local public housing developments in May-June 2023. The ICAC members selected Murray as this year’s artist-in-residence based on her extensive experience producing movement-based multidisciplinary performances involving community engagement and audience interaction, along with her emphasis on joy and collaboration.

Murray is a choreographer, performer, teacher, and producer working across dance and public installation and has a long history working in the surrounding communities of Downtown Brooklyn. As a teaching artist, she has worked with local institutions such as Brooklyn Arts Council, Cumbe Center for African Diaspora Dance, and Dancewave and produced We Are Here, an 11-week public art installation in Bedford-Stuyvesant in partnership with 651 ARTS and Photoville. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Bailey’s Cafe where she produces multidisciplinary installations. In addition, she formed Pia Monique Murray Dance Collective (PMMDC) to connect like-minded artists of various disciplines committed to making valuable artistic contributions to the world.

Selected ICAC Programs

June 14, 15, and 17, 2023



Arts and community united at SPREAD LOVE: A LOVE LETTER TO BROOKLYN, a free, all-ages celebration presented by The Intergenerational Community Arts Council (ICAC) celebrating the cultural legacy of our borough and the healthy futures we can create together. Participants experienced the music, performance, dance, and storytelling of their neighbors in a magical event created by, with, and for the residents of Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene. The festival took place at Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center, Fort Greene Park, and Atlantic Terminal Cornerstone Community Center.

Spread Love Music Video

Event Photos



APPLICATION PERIOD: November 1, 2022 – December 1, 2022

The ICAC seeks an environmental designer, set designer, or installation artist to help create the visual, physical, and interactive elements for SPREAD LOVE, a performance event that will travel to four local community centers in May-June 2023. SPREAD LOVE is being created by an intergenerational crew of artists, performers, and producers. The performance is grounded in the unique cultural history of Downtown Brooklyn, and builds on the ICAC members’ commitment to support community health and wellness through artistic opportunities. The performance events will be free to the public, and will include original music, video, live performance, a DJ and host, and interactive art-making experiences.

Summer 2022

SHARE! Resources for Joy

On June 23, 2022, ICAC members and neighbors gathered in Fort Greene Park for a celebration of joy, summer, and community. The event featured dance, music, and poetry performances by neighbors and artists as well as a participatory altar to the ancestors. Copies of “Resources for Joy,” a community-sourced guide published by the ICAC, were also shared.

Najee Omar: Poet, Educator, and ICAC Artist-in-Residence (2018-2021)
Freakquencee: Hip-Hop/Funk/Soul artist
+ performances by ICAC members, youth artists, and special guests





Spring 2021

Resources for Joy: Offerings from the ICAC


ICAC members created a community-sourced resource booklet unlike any other to distribute to friends, neighbors, and partners. It features some of the songs, poems, creative prompts, and practices, friends, foods, and places that kept them joyful during the difficult days of the pandemic. This booklet highlights the wealth of resources in the community and acts as an offering towards the healing we all need to do, together. Resources for Joy was created in partnership with artist/designer Yazmany Arboleda.

Winter 2020

Brooklyn’s Own: A video chapbook


In the Fort Greene/Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood, a group of dedicated residents known as the ICAC have been weathering the pandemic by sharing resources, supporting their neighbors, and creating artwork that celebrates the power and connectedness of our communities. Join ICAC members for screening of the ICAC’s video chapbook Brooklyn’s Own, alongside conversation hosted by the ICAC’s artist-in-residence, Najee Omar. Videos produced in partnership with filmmakers Marc Enette and Nijah Spice.

Spring 2020

How’s That For a Check- in?


In NYC’s darkest hours of Spring 2020, ICAC AIR Najee Omar introduced a creative exercise he created called How’s That For A Check-in? ICAC members created a video poem out of the prompts that was broadcast during BRIC’s Brooklyn USA Live episode. As Najee writes: “I opened Facebook one day, and my dear friend, the ever so brilliant Victor Vazques, shared the most beautiful update about him and his partner in the heart of the pandemic! Directly inspired by his writing, How’s That For A Check-In? is an opportunity to reflect on all the joy we have access to, even when the work around us is cluttered with chaos.”

Summer 2018

We Are Brooklyn: A Community Block Party


In August 2018, The ICAC presented WE ARE BROOKLYN: A Community Block Party. Building on the long-standing legacy of summer block parties in Brooklyn, WE ARE BROOKLYN was an arts-filled event where neighbors of all ages joined together to dance to DJs and live music, create collaborative artworks, access Fort Greene neighborhood cultural and social resources, participate in games, sports, and creative workshops, connect with one another, and celebrate the ICAC’s core values of passion, liberation, family, courage, vision, and truthfulness. The block party took place outside the Ingersoll Cornerstone Community Center at the intersection of Myrtle Ave and Fleet Street.

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.