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Thursday, November 7th, 2019
Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave
Queens, NYC

On Thursday, November 7th, BRIC hosted its annual gala to honor the Colene Brown Artist Prize recipients, including Manuel Acevedo, Nicole Awai, Xenobia Bailey, Nona Faustine, Alicia Grullón, Baseera Khan, Heidi Lau, Christopher Myers, Judith Simonian, and Kennedy Yanko. BRIC is Brooklyn’s largest non-profit organization presenting free arts and cultural programming. The gala, held at Knockdown Center in Queens, showcased contemporary art, media programs, and performing arts. The night began with a cocktail reception at 6:00, followed by dinner including an immersive art installation by Cuban-American artist Yara Travieso, as well as a curated exhibition of art for sale. The festivities continued on to the after party, BRIC After Dark, which had music by DJ Moma, a pop-up barbershop, portrait studio, eclectic artwork, and colorful piñatas, making for a light-hearted and fun evening.

The Colene Brown Artist Prize is an unrestricted $100,000 total grant given to 10 under-represented New York based visual artists. Curators, critics, and artists nominate 5 artists each who have yet to receive substantial support from other institutions. The Art Prize is underwritten by artist and BRIC Board Member Deborah Brown in memory of her late mother, Colene Brown, and is funded through the Harold and Colene Brown Family Foundation.

BRIC president Kristina Newman-Scott declared in her opening statement “this evening was created to honor artists. It was created by Brooklyn, for Brooklyn.” Gala co-chairs included Julia Kahr, Winston Song and Karen Synesael. Notable dinner guests included fashion influencer twins Cipriana Quann and TK Wonder, fashion designer Reuben Reuel of Demestik, celebrity photographer Barron Claiborne, artist Andrea Bergart, art collector Carla Shen, musician Antoniette Costa, artist Renee Cox, and model Ashley Hart, and commissioner of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl. Proceeds from the 2019 BRIC Gala enabled BRIC to continue serving upwards of 300,000 Brooklyn community members through BRIC’s free and accessible programming.

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