NY1 continues its Hispanic Heritage coverage in Brooklyn, where a Bushwick artist is helping to mobilize and empower his community in the rapidly changing neighborhood. Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Anthony Rosado uses his choreography to help empower his community. He's a native Bushwick resident who says he has experienced displacement in the neighborhood, and he's collaborating with other performers who face similar struggles.
"Am I ensuring that I can provide marginalized artists of this community whose ancestors gardened this community to what all these gentrifiers want it to be? I feel like it's my work to ensure those artists get space to speak," Rosado says.
Rosado says art provides a platform to express their collective stories. He staged a work during Bushwick Open Studios weekend, where thousands of visitors take in the neighborhood arts scene, as a call to action.
"It's something that will create mobility. It will create action when you're recognizing that that person is going through the same thing that I'm going through," he says. "It's not just a testimony. It's a test-our-mony."
Now, his social justice agenda is documented in a newly released book, titled "Making History Bushwick," which was released Friday to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Bushwick Open Studios. The all-volunteer group Arts in Bushwick created the book not only to celebrate the creative community that lives here, but also to acknowledge the artists' role as a catalyst for gentrifying a neighborhood and its negative effects.
Many Bushwick artists are now affected by the rising rents, too.
"When I moved here, I had a whole studio for myself. Now, I'm sharing my studio and paying the same price of money when I had the studio for myself, but for half of my studio. I don't know how long I could afford that," says Cibele Vieria, core member of Arts is Bushwick.
Rosado became the first local resident to join Arts in Bushwick last year. His chapter in the book? "EverGentrifying New York City: Conversations on Displacement & Community Building." His artwork is also included in the group's show at David & Schweitzer Contemporary.
The book will available at the gallery through October 16.
Rosado will be hosting a panel discussion on gentrification in the space on Sunday.