Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn

Creative Time

Funding Received: 2013
Brooklyn, NY
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 3, 2013


Over the past month, project curators have continued conversations with artist-participants to develop their proposals. One of the major points of discussion has been how best to identify potential local partners for each artist’s proposed project, as we seek businesses, organizations, or other nontraditional artistic partners who are invested in the community and already part of the social fabric of the neighborhood. Once we identify potential partners, we need to evaluate the practices and potential for engaged relationships between them and the artists, exploring how we might make positive contributions to various partners. Furthermore, we are considering how these dynamic partnerships might yield new projects or useful connections that serve the long-time residents of these communities – and not simply newcomers or visitors. Answers to these questions require thorough “on-the-ground” research, including, of course, meeting with potential collaborators in person and assessing their needs and desires.

Recent Wins

The Creative Time and Weeksville teams have collaboratively defined several outcomes that will make this project a success, from sustained and broad community engagement to producing art projects with real and lasting impacts.

Since Weeksville and Creative Time’s experiences as organizations are vastly different, due to mission, location, audience, histories, etc., we’ve also had differing opinions and experiences about what makes a project most successful. We have worked together to define success, learning a good deal about each other and, in the process, clearing major hurdles to form a strong partnership!

In terms of place-based wins, Weeksville’s recent jazz concert—part of its “Brilliant Corners” series of performances—brought together artists, community members, and stakeholders for an intimate gathering that also served to build audience.


Our process has revealed several provocative questions and insights. At the moment, the key focus is on how responsibility is shared between curators, artists, and project managers to develop relationships among community partners. What are the best practices for involving potential partners, and how should initial conversations be guided?