Brooklyn’s evolving folklife is documented and preserved in BAC’s folk arts archive, online and by appointment at BAC. Traditional, ethnic, and diaspora arts express and preserve cultural custom, history, memory and identity.
Our physical folk arts archive (1988-present) is located in BAC’s office. Make an appointment with Folk Arts Director Christoper Mulé to visit and explore the archive. Highlights include rare audio recordings, transparencies and analog video documenting early folk arts projects (1988-2003), Williamsburg Bridge 100th Anniversary materials, and September 11 Memorial Project materials including photographs, films, poems and songs; and extensive documentation of traditional dance in Brooklyn (1988-2012).
The Black Brooklyn Renaissance Digital Archive (73 CDs/DVDs) documents over 30 concerts, performances, exhibitions, screenings, lectures, workshops and other public programs that brought to light and celebrated how Black artists have contributed to the Brooklyn's significance as a center of Black culture in New York since 1960. An accompanying oral history project recorded interviews with over 80 Brooklyn artists, community leaders and other people who have played influential roles in Brooklyn’s African-Diasporic cultural community over the last 50 years.Read More
The online folk arts archive (2003 – present) provides a record of BAC’s past projects, including video clips, photos, artist bios, event calendars, and program PDFs. Included: Williamsburg Bridge 100, Folk Feet, Brooklyn Maqam, Days of the Dead in Brooklyn, Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn, Black Brooklyn Renaissance, Half the Sky Festival.
Click through the links below to explore our online folk arts archive.
Brooklyn Arts Council’s The Sweetest Song Festival (TSS), is a month long focus on Brooklyn’s traditional singers and song styles. From April 26 through May 27, The Sweetest Song will present 12 concerts and 8 singing master classes at various Brooklyn venues. The programs will explore a range of singing traditions as practiced and performed in Brooklyn’s immigrant and diaspora communities and engage New Yorkers in a creative, cross-cultural exchange with some of the finest traditional singers living in Brooklyn.Read More
From April 21 – June 10, 2012, BAC explored gender and diaspora in Brooklyn women's traditional genres with six weeks of concerts, performances and workshops.Read More
A series of public programs and workshops featuring folktales, fairy tales, ghost stories, saints’ legends, personal experiences, spoken word, talking drum, narrative dance, and more from Brooklyn storytellers.Read More
Black Brooklyn Renaissance (February 2010 - February 2011) featured performances, exhibitions, symposia and workshops, a conference, an oral history project and an archive. BAC joined forces with artists and organizations across the borough to make Black Brooklyn Renaissance a truly collaborative and holistic endeavor.Read More