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Meet the Arts Org: Roots and River Productions

Brooklyn Arts Council

Jun 2007

Original Post

Posted on:
October 2, 2012
Posted in:
Featured Arts Orgs

Azure D. Osborne-Lee, Artistic & Executive Director of Roots and River Productions

When was the organization founded and by whom?
Roots and River Productions was founded by Azure D. Osborne-Lee in June 2011.

Where in Brooklyn are you located?
Roots & River is based in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, but also has a Philadelphia branch.

Who is your primary audience?
As we exist to support the work of queer artists of color, our primary audience is queer people of color; however, we hope that our work reaches a wider audience as well. All are welcome at our events.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of running an arts organization in Brooklyn?
Time management! Brooklyn is an exciting and dynamic place, and because there's so much going on, it's often difficult to fit in everything that I want or need to get done. Plus, we all know that it's not always easy to get from one part of Brooklyn to another.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of running an arts organization in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn has so many resources to offer -- almost every sort of person, organization and space can be found here if only you know where to look. I think that's beautiful because it means that there are infinite creative and collaborative possibilities here, myriad ways of making work and serving the community.

What do you see as the biggest issues facing the arts community today?
I feel that the biggest issues facing the arts community of today are all to do with financial resources. Of course, this should come as no surprise. The uneven distribution of money in the arts community reflects the current state of the U.S. economy. I see it as our responsibility to fight for what's important to us, to work to shift the balance. And just ask any artist -- what's more vital than our work? We at Roots and River Productions are here proudly proclaiming that not only do we exist, but that our voices are necessary. We are gathering resources and distributing them to those artists who have been traditionally least likely to receive them.

Do you have any major events, projects or expansions on the horizon?
We are beginning work on an exciting project with the working title “On Love.” It's an intergenerational project for which our artists will interview and work with lesbian elders of color on the topic of love. Our company is comprised of artists from various disciplines -- visual art, poetry, theatre, music. “On Love” will be shaped by the skills of the artists and the elders working on the project. Look for “On Love” in December of 2012!


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