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New Victory in the City: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Alongside Americans for the Arts, we’re celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month to highlight the many ways in which the arts impact communities. We’re thrilled to showcase a few neighborhoods where you can see the New Victory in New York. The next entry is Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn!

New Victory Snapshot

We’re very proud of the work that we do both onstage and off—spanning across most of New York City’s vibrant neighborhoods.

In Bedford-Stuyvesant (or Bed-Stuy), we partner with two schools to bring their students to the theater to see live performing arts. Our Teaching Artists also visit their classrooms to lead free show-related workshops.

Bed-Stuy is also home to three of our New Victory Ushers, just one of four paid employment opportunities of the New 42 Youth Corps, our program to annually mentor and inspire NYC youth with jobs in the performing arts.

The Neighborhood’s History

Bed-Stuy’s history is still visible today—this neighborhood is renowned for its largely untouched Victorian architecture. With about 8,800 buildings built before 1900, this Victorian enclave is the largest in the United States. Many of these buildings are landmarked, with more under consideration for landmark status every day.

Ever since the late 1930s, Bed-Stuy has been an important cultural center for Brooklyn’s African American community. Thanks to the construction of the Fulton Street A and C trains, African Americans left the crowded Harlem neighborhood for more housing prospects in Bed-Stuy. 

The unique name for this thriving neighborhood comes from a combination of the village of Bedford and the Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood. The word Stuyvesant was inspired by the last governor of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant.

The Neighborhood Today

With the beautiful turn-of-the-20th-century brownstones and a sharp drop in crime, Bed-Stuy has become increasingly gentrified since the late 1990s. Many home buyers migrated to Bed-Stuy for better deals on enviable properties.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the influx of new arrivals, the neighborhood has banded together for a number of community art installations. This includes a series of wallscapes, or large outdoor murals, that honor famous community members, including community activist and poet June Jordan, activist Hattie Carthan and rapper The Notorious B.I.G.

Bedford-Stuyvesant covers a wide area (2.784 square miles to be exact), so transportation varies depending on where you’re trying to go. One area is served by the A, C and G trains, while further east, you may be closer to the J and M trains. 

Happy exploring!

Categories

Schools, Youth Corps

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