Sankofa Residency

Looking back to envision a thriving BedStuy

The Sankofa Residency is a multi-phase project that is both rooted in the history of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY, and an afro-futurist imagining of BedStuy moving forward. Taking the Ghanian concept of Sankofa-looking backwards in order to move forward-this project will use research, oral history, and collaborative imagining to facilitate a plan for residents, businesses, and stakeholders to emerge from COVID in a place of healing, thriving, and progress.  In collaboration with local business LifeWellness Center, the project will culminate in an interdisciplinary immersive dance experience that transforms the partnering business into a living gallery of the past, present and future of that business placed in the context of the journey of BedStuy. This exhibit’s goal is to share lessons, resources, make connections for mutual growth and invite those in attendance to envision and work towards a thriving community.

Interested in participating? There are 3 ways

"Tea"  Party
Imagination Station
The Show
"Tea"  Party

We've done our research and noticed some big gaps in information about BedStuy in the 80s and 90s. We are seeking long time residents and information holders of BedStuy to share stories about our beloved neighborhood. Come spill the 'tea' as we fill in gaps of our research that will be used in a cumulative performance that imagines a bright future for BedStuy. Join us for conversation, tea, and snacks!

Join us in person or via Zoom on Sunday, January 31, 2021 from 2-4pm at LifeWellness (376 Tompkins Ave.) to commune with others. Those joining via Zoom will have tea delivered.   Can't join us for the gathering? We still want to hear from you. We can meet you for socially distanced masked tea, chat via Zoom, or on the phone.

Imagination Station

Where can we go from here? In this movement based workshop we will share the information learned through the previous phases to help us fish out the lessons and discover how we can use that information to shape the future.  Open to an intergenerational group, we are specifically looking for youth and those newer to the neighborhood to imagine future BedStuy and carry out our collaboratively created plan. From this phase we hope to create a manual, fables, movement creations or other artistic material to serve as a guide for the community and root material for the presentation.

Join us in person or via Zoom on Sunday, February 7, 2021 from 2-4pm at LifeWellness (376 Tompkins Ave.) to commune with others.   Can't join us for the gathering? We still want to hear from you. We can meet you for socially distanced masked tea or chat via Zoom or on the phone.

The Show

 Using all the information gathered from the previous Phases, a collaborative team of professional artists will transform LifeWellness into   a living gallery of the past, present and future of that business placed in the context of the journey of BedStuy. The exhibit’s goal is to share lessons, resources, make connections for mutual growth and invite those in attendance to envision and work towards a thriving community.

Join us in person or via Zoom on Friday, April 2, 2021 (time TBD) at LifeWellness (376 Tompkins Ave.) 

This project is made possible through The Neighborhood Project with 651Arts in partnership with LifeWellness Center.  Kendra J. Ross is a 2020 Resident Artist of The Neighborhood Project.

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