Art & History Celebration of Legendary “People’s Firehouse”
Williamsburg Art Gallery Open House Night
Friday, October 9th, 6pm
A diverse mix of long-time and new Williamsburg activists and residents will join together at the Engine Company 212 buildingâ€”the site of the future Northside Town Hall Community & Cultural Centerâ€”Friday October 9th for a public event that celebrates the remarkable history of the former “People’s Firehouse.”
The event will begin at 6pm at the firehouse, located at 134 Wythe Avenue (between North 8th and North 9th Streets next door to Slate Gallery) and will highlight the building’s local architecture and history using a series of short multimedia presentations and public art performances.
During the evening the site of the former People’s Firehouse will host a presentation of archival research provided by the Pratt Center for Community Development and film footage by local documentary maker Agnes Markeviciute interviewing past and current community activists. This oral history project includes participants during the years of events that have made the building an icon of mass democratic protest throughout the country. Local choreographer Jackie Moynahan will also present a unique, site-specific dance piece accompanied by violist Stephanie Griffin, that is not to be missed!
The former FDNY Engine Co. 212 building is being redeveloped into the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center by two community organizations–Neighbors Allied for Good Growth and the People’s Firehouse Inc. Local residents, businesses and artists have joined forces to raise the $1.9 million dollars needed to transform the building into community meeting space, job-training classrooms, exhibition space, and non-profit arts performance and event space.
About The Northside Town Hall: The Northside Town Hall is a non-profit endeavor of two respected local community organizations, The People’s Firehouse, Inc. and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) for the purpose of building a new community facility in the shuttered former Fire Engine Co. 212. The city awarded the development opportunity to the two organizations. After the needed funds are raised, the non-profit entity will be eligible to own and operate the building as a public resource, forever. Local businesses, such as Brooklyn Brewery and CitiStorage, as well as elected officials, have made generous donations as well as commitment to this beloved community effort. The Pratt Center for Community Development is the project manager. See www.nthccc.org for more information about the project.
About Jackie Moynahan: Jackie Moynahan is a choreographer/performer based in Williamsburg. She co-produces Studio AIR an experimental monthly performance series and has performed her work at various venues in and out of NYC since 2001. Jackie worked for the Williamsburg Art Nexus (WAX) until 2009 in various capacities. With a newly acquired MS in Urban Policy, Ms. Moynahan is now exploring her hand at community development and sits on the board of NAG and the Northside Town Hall. For her older work: www.jaxdance.com
About Agnes Markeviciute: Agnes Markeviciute is an independent documentary filmmaker, originally from Lithuania, using the medium of a documentary to explore herself and her connection to the world. Agnes started as an intern for a public television station in Arlington Va. She has since moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is producing and directing short documentaries. Recently, Ms. Markeviciute completed a project about Lithuanian emigrants, which should be released next year.
About Stephanie Griffin: Stephanie Griffin is acclaimed by the New York Times for her “fiery, full-throttle performance” and “virtuoso flair.” She performs internationally as a soloist and a chamber musician. Stephanie has worked with a variety of composers, such as Tony Prabowo, Kee Yong Chong; Arthur Kampela; and Tristan Murail. She is a founding member of the Momenta Quartet and is a regular guest with Continuum, and member of Argento, Transfiguration, String Orchestra of New York City (SONYC), the Riverside Symphony and the Princeton Symphony, where she serves as principal violist. An active improviser, she has worked with traditional Indonesian musicians and free jazz legend Butch Morris and performs regularly with Carl Maguireâ€™s avant-jazz band Floriculture.