No Free Walls: Art and Gentrification Collide In Bushwick

The Bushwick Collective

Uptown you NEED to see No Free Walls. The film is an in-depth look at Brooklyn’s changing landscape, through the eyes of Joseph Ficalora, the founder and inadvertent art curator of The Bushwick Collective. Joe, son of Italian immigrants, grew up in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn once ravaged by drugs, neglect and violence. Sound familiar? Of course it does. What is happening in Brooklyn is happening in Washington Heights and all over this country.

Joseph Ficalora lost his mother to cancer as an adult and rather than going into deep depression, he decided to honor his parents and the neighborhood that raised him. He started contacting muralists from all over the world and 5 years later, Bushwick is one of the fastest growing gentrified neighborhoods in New York.

As advertisers and new residents flood Bushwick, longtime residents struggle to keep up with rising rents and changing landscape. Complex News Documentaries asks: Can a community thriving off its native creativity survive all the change? Will the spreading wave of gentrification whitewash the now world-renowned art and who is at fault?

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The Wall

BY AJ Sidransky (@AJSidransky)

Wall

For me, immigration is personal. And I don’t like to call it illegal immigration either. I prefer immigration without choice. You see, my maternal grandmother was here illegally. She came on a visitor’s visa in 1930. She overstayed her visa. My mother was an anchor baby. Had she gone back to Europe and “waited” for her number to come up she would have died in Hitler’s concentration camps along with the rest of her extended family who weren’t lucky enough to have a sister here who figured out how to get her out of Europe. Obviously, had she gone back and waited, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this to all of you. I hope you enjoy “The Wall,” and that it helps you to spread the message. We still have the time and the power to stop this.

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Spread Love: The Red Bull Clasico De Vitilla Returns To The Bronx…

Vitilla - Red Bull - The Bronx

Vitilla is a form of street baseball that originated in the Dominican Republic and is traditionally played with a plastic bottle cap and broomstick. Red Bull Clasico de Vitilla brings the Dominican street game to the Bronx in a spectator-friendly tournament-style competition for serious players and recreationalists alike.  Vitilla is a classic game that has been attributed as a key factor for developing hand eye coordination for some of professional baseball’s great hitters. According to those who play, if you can hit a Vitilla, you can hit anything. Red Bull Clasico de Vitilla invites the members of the Bronx community to compete in a tournament that plays homage to Latin and Dominican heritage. Red Bull Clasico De Vitilla is a bracket style tournament.  There are two brackets – one for experienced players and one for amateurs.

Sunday – September 18th
Registration begins at 10:00 AM; Games begin at 11:00 AM
Joseph Yancey Track and Field | Bronx, NY 10451
ClasicoDeVitilla.RedBull.com

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09/19/16: Portraits of Community – People, Places Opening Reception

nomaa

The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), in collaboration with NewYork–Presbyterian – The Allen Hospital, presents Portraits of Community: People, Places. This exhibition showcases work by four Uptown artists that portrays an open, diverse, and multifaceted sense of community. The concept of “portrait” is defined broadly to encompass people and places that make up the Uptown community. Guest curated by Gabriel de Guzman, Curator of Visual Arts at Wave Hill. The exhibit runs from September 19th until December 19th, 2016. The opening includes a chamber music concert by Intimate Voices. Doors open at 5:30pm. Concert begins at 6pm. FREE admission. RSVP at +1 212 342-0219 or by email. Light refreshments will be provided.

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A Poet’s Mission: Buy, and Preserve, Langston Hughes’s Harlem Home | NY Times

By SAMANTHA SCHMIDT

The three-story brownstone on East 127th Street where the poet Langston Hughes lived for 20 years. (Uli Seit | NY Times)

The three-story brownstone on East 127th Street where the poet Langston Hughes lived for 20 years. (Uli Seit | NY Times)

As a young girl in Portland, Ore., Renée Watson immersed herself in the words of Langston Hughes, discovering that his poems about black identity mirrored experiences in her own life. Since moving to Harlem more than a decade ago, she has often walked by his old home — a three-story brownstone on East 127th Street with cast-iron railings and overgrown ivy.

The author spent his final 20 years, and wrote some of the most notable literary works of the Harlem Renaissance, in this house. It was designated a historic landmark in 1981. Yet in recent years, the property has remained empty. A performance space opened in 2007 but closed when the tenants were evicted about a year later. In 2010, the current owner listed the house for $1 million but found no buyers.

With her neighborhood experiencing rapid gentrification, Ms. Watson, 38, an author and poet, felt that too many crucial landmarks of the Harlem Renaissance, like Mr. Hughes’s home, were disappearing or going unnoticed.

“It feels like, whether it’s intentional or not, our stories are being erased,” Ms. Watson said.

Read more: A Poet’s Mission: Buy, and Preserve, Langston Hughes’s Harlem Home | NY Times

Related: The battle to save Langston Hughes’ home from gentrification | CNN Money

We invite you to subscribe to the weekly Uptown Love newsletter, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter & Instagram or e-mail us at UptownCollective@gmail.com.

Filmmaker Takes a Stand Against Anti-Gay Harlem Church | NBC News

by Alamin Yohannes

My Harlem

In his new film, “My Harlem,” filmmaker Jeff L. Lieberman takes a stand against Harlem’s anti-gay ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church.

The Vancouver native, who has documentary “The Amazing Nina Simone” under his belt, uses his new film to examine important themes including homophobia, gentrification and violence against the LGBTQ community.

In “My Harlem,” the two main characters, Nathan and Langston, initially bond over an anti-gay sign outside ATLAH, a real-life Harlem church that has made countless headlines due to its offensive messaging.

NBC OUT talked to Lieberman about his upcoming film, the intersectionality it portrays and his decision to include ATLAH.

Read more: Filmmaker Takes a Stand Against Anti-Gay Harlem Church | NBC News

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