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Downtown Brooklyn megaproject will include studio space for artists through BRIC partnership

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The donated digs will allow BRIC to double the size of their visual arts residency

Pavel Bendov

A rare bit of good news for artists in Brooklyn: in advance of its enormous project at 80 Flatbush—which also includes 900 mixed-income apartments, two public schools, and commercial space—Alloy Development is partnering up with BRIC to turn a vacant building at 505 State Street into free studio space for grantees of the arts organization’s visual arts residency program, BRICworkspace.

The program, now in its fourth year, provides a materials stipend, curator visits, and—most importantly here—gratis studio space for emerging and mid-career artists who “live, work, or were born in Brooklyn.” The newly donated digs will give the program space to double the number of artists in residence this summer, up to eight from the usual four, and will allow the program to take function year-round, according to a release announcing the year-long deal.

“As developers, we feel a responsibility to add to the cultural fabric of the neighborhoods we work in, which is why we’re excited to provide rent-free space on our site for BRIC's artist-in-residency program.” said Jared Della Valle, CEO of Alloy, in a statement. “BRIC has been a tremendous cultural asset to this neighborhood and borough for decades. We look forward to supporting their continued growth.” Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, called the set up a “win-win for everyone.”

BRIC isn’t the only Brooklyn group Alloy has enlisted to “activate vacant spaces” on the 80 Flatbush site. Recess Assembly and Brooklyn Justice Initiatives are sharing the storefront at 370 Schermerhorn, which houses a workspace for local artists as well as classrooms for “an art-based diversion program for court-involved youth,” and last month, it was announced that local taco purveyor Jalapa Jar will be setting up a pop-up taqueria and “groceraunt” at 384 Schermerhorn in partnership with Brooklyn FoodWorks.

The developer also recently issued a call for submissions for a large mural project along Flatbush, and will be accepting artist proposals until June 12th.