Brooklyn's Bric | Revel in Diversity

by Maceo Bastien

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

Brooklyn’s most stylish and creative partied at REVEL in Prospect Park to celebrate BRIC’s 40th anniversary. The fashionable evening  marked the launch of the cultural organization’s signature free concert series, which this year kicked off with a powerhouse performance by the iconic Patti LaBelle. Comedian Wyatt Cenac, Lynn Nottage, Aminatou Sow, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and Brooklyn celebrities celebrated the organization’s history, and toasted to its future: BRIC’s new president Kristina Newman-Scott, the first person of color and immigrant to hold the role. Newman-Scott glittered in a black sequined two-piece by Nanette Lepore, the evening’s fashion partner, as she addressed the crowd of 500 well-dressed guests— many of them also wearing sequins in honor of the festive occasion.

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

“At the core of the festival’s DNA — and all of BRIC’s offerings in arts, media and education — is an overarching commitment to create programming that is inclusive, diverse and welcoming. We look forward to hosting thousands this summer for what promises to be one of the most exciting concert series in Brooklyn for all of New York,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, BRIC President.

Blaring renditions of LaBelle hits, a brass band snaked through a crowd including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, President and Park Administrator of Prospect Park Alliance Sue Donoghue, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitch Silver, NYC Democratic Council Member for the 35th District Laurie Cumbo, drag queen Merrie Cherry, art collector Carla Shen, Executive Producer Aziz Isham, and BRIC TV Host Brian Vines.

“We’re not going to stop playing until you sit down,” one of the band members joked. We did, and dinner ensued. After the plates were taken away, and a round of charity bingo, the guests walked the few feet from the tent to the Prospect Park Bandstand, where 8,000 New Yorkers waited for LaBelle. First, Nellie McKay sang a tribute to Hilary Ackermann, BRIC’s outgoing board chair.

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

After more drinks and dinner, as the sun went down, the globe lights strung from the park’s trees, the godmother of soul took the stage. Dressed in red and with earrings cascading like wedding cakes, she sang all her hits, including “Luv N Happiness” and On My Own.”

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos

At the afterparty, DJ Natasha Diggs played a set for all who remained under the stars. REVEL raised essential funds for BRIC, which year round serves a community of more than 300,000 artists, media makers, students, activists, and families through their accessible arts and culture programming.


Photographed by: Vikram Valluir/BFA Photos