"This concert was organized by one of the business improvement district groups, one of our community partners, the Flatbush Avenue Development Corporation. There are about 35 similar groups that came to us and said, 'We’re very active in this neighborhood, and we want to take part, and we will help to coordinate the locations,' and sometimes, you know, 'We also have musicians.' This is the first time Flatbush Avenue Development Corporation was involved. It’s in Southern Brooklyn along Cortelyou Road, and they put together a few locations, one of them outside the Brooklyn Public Library. I believe this is a local band that they were able to find as they tried to spread the word that they were going to be part of Make Music New York this year. We got the permit and promoted the events and did our normal things, but this is sort of a new neighborhood for us. When it’s not a neighborhood with a lot of music venues … it’s pretty surprising to people, and you get a lot of impact.
"Business improvement districts throughout the city, often in places like Sunset Park and Astoria and Fort Greene, these are places that in some ways are most eager for cultural programming because these aren't neighborhoods like Midtown Manhattan or the West Village where there's an established tradition of lots of cultural activity. So in these business improvement district areas, they'll put up maybe 15 options for venues. Musicians will sign up for them, and they'll have a kind of matchmaking process where they can propose different things, and accept them or reject them. And you end up with these unusual partnerships between musical groups and the owners of bodegas, or an auto body shop, people who don't really have a lot of history of artistic presenting. But they see a band that they like, and they choose them. Then they start to sort of figure out where the band is going to play, how they're going to get equipment there, and all of the other things needed to have a concert take place. Often it's a musician sort of teaching the venue how to throw a party, and how to have a concert…A lot of those situations have turned into regular gigs for the musicians."
All quotes by Aaron Friedman
Photo by Berlotte Antoine