State of Art Weekesville Center to Open

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin will join the Weeksville Heritage Center’s Historic Society of Free Americans Wednesday, Dec. 11 to cut the ribbon on a new Brooklyn Transformative Arts Education And Cultural Arts Building

Dance Africa’s Council of Elders will preside at a special traditional libation ceremony 9:30-10:30am at 1698 Bergen St. (building entrance is on Buffalo Avenue) in Crown Heights, to mark the occasion.

Playwright Lynn Nottage, students from P.S. 243 – The Weeksville School — and representatives of the NYC Department of Design and Construction will join the leadership of the Weeksville Heritage Center for the ceremony.

Opening to the public in the Spring of 2014, the striking 23,000 s.f. LEED Gold-certified building – the first in Central Brooklyn — will serve as a new gateway to the historic houses on the grounds of the original 19th century community of free African Americans. It would enable WHC to significantly expand its research, education and programming capabilities – making it one of the nation’s leading centers for African American history, art and culture the Society says.

Designed by the acclaimed NYC firm Caples Jefferson Architects, the award-winning building features classrooms, an oral history recording studio, a resource center, a 200-seat performance space, and a 700 s.f. contemporary art gallery. Outside is a new 1.5 acre outdoor interpretive landscape, highlighted by a sculpture commissioned through the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program, “Sugar in My Bowl II,” by artist Chakaia Booker and a micro farm and heritage-based botanic collection. The project was managed by the Department of Design and Construction.

WHC is a multidimensional museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the 19th Century free African American community of Weeksville. Using a contemporary lens, WHC activates this unique history through the presentation of innovative, vanguard and experimental programs.

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