Congratulations to The Fulton Art Fair on the golden accomplishment of 50 years of making art accessible in in Brooklyn. Here, from their website:
History of the Fulton Art Fair
Troubled by the media depiction of her neighborhood as being crime-ridden, mortician Shirley Hawkins, a resident of Bedford Stuyvesant, set about to correct that image. She, along with artist friends Ernest Crichlow and Jacob Lawrence reached out to other local artists in 1958. Among these were: Joan Bacchus Maynard, Onnie Millar, Leo Carty, Otto Neals, Tom Feelings, Al Hollingsworth, Olga Kandel, Violet Hewitt Chandler and the Hewitt family. The media focus on crime omitted almost all positive aspects of life in this close-knit, working-class community. Surely there was crime, but by no means did it overshadow the pulse of the community to rise above poverty; to be gainfully employed; to own homes and businesses; ensure their children the opportunity of good education, proper nourishment, religious and home training. This was the Bedford Stuyvesant known to Shirley Hawkins; a work in progress, much like neighborhoods throughout the world.
This outdoor celebration of art, live music and culture runs Friday – Sunday from noon to 6:00pm at Fulton Park, Fulton Street between Lewis and Stuyvesant Avenues in the “do or die.” On Saturday, July 5, A Tribute to the Elders honoring elder artists, Dolores Inniss-Carty, Otto Neals, Violet Hewitt Chandler, Edwards Bates, Miriam Francis, Emmett Wigglesworth, and Onnie Millar (who I happen to adore) commences at 1pm.
Each day from 2:00 – 5:30, Brooklyn artist Aisha Cousins reprises her performance piece, Diva Dutch, integrating the deeply rooted cultural traditions of hair-braiding and rope-jumping among African diasporic women. She performed the “hair” piece in communities of color in both London and Paris earlier in the year. Close your eyes, hear the rope-tapping rhythm, remember your old jumping songs and bring them to participate.
Aisha Cousins “diva dutches” in Bed Stuy.