Arts in Bushwick is a visual and performing arts platform using our visibility to help connect and advocate for people of color, natives and local artists from all walks of life while keeping the cultural relevance alive within Bushwick. Our main goal is to respect the diversity of our community and hold ourselves accountable while maintaining social responsibility for our impact in the neighborhood we serve.
The first Bushwick Open Studios was held in October 2006 as a one day “open to all” festival celebrating the creativity of the artists in Bushwick. There were 85 open studios, a film festival, a group show for those who did not have studios, a community parade and a cabaret, music & variety act closing party in the Nut-Roaster warehouse that is now the Brooklyn Fire Proof Film Studio. The idea for Bushwick Open Studios came out of an event in Nov 2005 called “Bushwick Open Source” (BOS) organized by Bushwick Art Projects. This event was a one night, curated event that linked together multiple art spaces. Back then there were only a few event spaces in Bushwick. There was going to be a second “Bushwick Open Source” event in Oct 2006 with the addition of an Open Studios component, but in late September the event was cancelled.
On September 30th 2006, a small group of artists under the name Gemini Artist Productions purchased the domain name bushwickopenstudios.com and put out the word that B.O.S. 2006 was still on! That a small group of artists and volunteers organized what became the first Bushwick Open Studios in only 21 days and on October 21st 2006 Bushwick Open Studios was born.
Following the success of the first Bushwick Open Studios, it was decided that an open and all inclusive organization should be formed to produce the Bushwick Open Studios annually and to make sure that it would be self sustaining. In January 2007 open meetings were held by the artists and volunteers involved in the 2006 B.O.S. and out of these meetings, Arts in Bushwick was founded in order to organize the 2007 B.O.S. Thus in June of 2007, B.O.S. became an annual summer festival organized by Arts in Bushwick and has continued to grow every year to become one of the largest open studio events in the world.
While all of things have been true and phenomenal one of the things the past AIB/BOS has failed to do is create an inclusive art scene by failing to do the proper outreach to the people who are born and raised here as well as create the aesthetic so many move here for. It is our responsibility as the new AIB programmers to be accountable to our involvement in gentrification and displacement within the Bushwick community.
Arts In Bushwick has two core functions – producing neighborhood arts festivals, and facilitating community projects and dialogue. All of our activities are produced by volunteers and at no cost to the public.