A beautiful tomorrow: Local arts group celebrates new leader, unveils vision for its future

I’ll take it!: Janice Barnaett and daughter Zora admired pieces hung inside Dumbo gallery Usagi NY at the Brooklyn Arts Council’s breakfast ahead of the group’s Access Art sale on Thursday, where the artworks will be sold for $350 each.
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Leaders of the do-good Brooklyn Arts Council — which provides grants, training, and resources to Kings County creatives — unveiled a new road map to guide the more than 50-year-old group through its next half century and beyond at a Tuesday breakfast where they also honored its newly elected chairwoman.

Roughly three-dozen guests including elected officials and other local leaders joined Arts Council bigwigs to toast chairwoman Antonia Yuille Williams, who previously sat on the group’s board of directors for 20 years, as she takes the reins at amid the rollout of what a spokeswoman called the organization’s first-ever strategic plan designed to focus and grow its operation throughout the borough.

The Arts Council’s new path forward will ensure it can continue to support local creators, and allow all Brooklynites to appreciate the art made in their backyard, its executive director said.

“With our strategic plan, we’re poised to become a centralized resource of support for the artists of this borough, and when artists succeed, Brooklyn becomes more rich and vibrant for everyone,” said Charlotte Cohen.

The recently laid out vision adopted by the group in part calls for taking a deeper look at local cultural organizations that have sprung up since the Arts Council formed in 1966, in order to gain an even more comprehensive overview of the borough’s creative output; bringing more programming to culturally barren neighborhoods, such as a recent exhibit at East Flatbush’s Wyckoff House Museum that showcased pieces by Caribbean immigrants to Brooklyn; and generally getting the word out about its mission to provide residents of all means access to art, according to the spokeswoman.

And to aid in the latter effort, the Arts Council held the breakfast at the Dumbo gallery where it is hosting an annual art sale tonight that will feature 85 works by mostly local artists, giving guests a sneak peak at the pieces that will all be sold for $350, the spokeswoman said.

Culturally curious locals can purchase tickets to the Access Art sale, which kicks off at 7 pm at Usagi NY at 163 Plymouth St., online or at the door for $30.

Brooklyn Arts Council’s Access Art sale at Usagi NY [163 Plymouth St. between Pearl and Jay streets in Dumbo, (718) 801-8037). Oct. 25 from 7 to 9 pm. $30, tickets available online at or at the door.

Updated 3:06 pm, October 25, 2018
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