Brooklyn Arts Council’s Alive with Art benefit celebrated local artists

Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) is keeping art alive and thriving in the community. On April 29, nearly 200 people attended BAC’s annual Alive with Art benefit at Giando on the Water in Williamsburg, thronging to an event designed to raise awareness and funds for to support local arts, as well as celebrating local artistic talent.

“For over four decades, Brooklyn Arts Council has provided resources and support to artists that have shaped and enriched the cultural landscape of Brooklyn,” said Ella Weiss, president of BAC, in a statement. “Our annual Alive with Art benefit allows us to recognize the contributions of talented artists such as José Parlá, while raising awareness and much needed funds to help the art scene thrive in this great borough.”

The funds that are raised go “to continue art initiatives throughout the borough of Brooklyn,” said Malika Granville, marketing and communications manager at BAC. “We service a variety of art organizations. We teach artists that are based in Brooklyn and Brooklyn residents rely on us to provide resources and grants.

“We aid artists and arts organizations that are based in Brooklyn,” she said. “There’s a sense of pride in community of Brooklyn. It keeps the borough alive with art and every sense of word.”

Granville stressed the significance of BAC and preserving the arts for children in the borough, which is often neglected by schools. “(Art) is absolutely important. People flock to Brooklyn and rely on Brooklyn to be an artistic hub,” she said. “Studies show that children that have an art curriculum do better in class. They receive better communication skills. Art also keeps the kids out of trouble.”

During the ceremony, Parlá was recognized for his cutting edge creativity. “He’s had a great impact on visual arts scene in borough,” said Granville. “We were extremely happy to honor him.”

Parlá, whose resume includes a 70-foot painting displayed at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, and mural paintings at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as well as various exhibitions held in Japan and London, received a commemorative drum set.

Centerpieces created by artist Carlos Mare, who is well known for his New York City subway art movement in the 1980s, were also a big draw during the night.

Attendees were encouraged to wear festive attire. Among the performers were the Nathan Parker Smith Trio, Vado Diomande and the Kotchegna Dance Company. A live auction was also held.

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