Bronx River Art Center
Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is a culturally diverse, multi-arts, nonprofit organization that provides a forum for community, artists and youth to transform creativity into vision. Its education program, exhibitions, artist studios, and presenting programs cultivate leadership in an urban environment and stewardship of a natural resource — the Bronx River.
Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) was founded in 1987 to bring professional arts programming to a culturally underserved population. For more than 20 years (including several years of arts programming under the umbrella of the first Bronx River Restoration project), this multi-arts center has filled the West Farms community of the Bronx with art and environmental experiences. Programs are designed to encourage residents to engage in creative activism towards the revitalization and future of their neighborhood.
During a two-year renovation of its facility that began in fall 2010, BRAC has taken its afterschool and Saturday classes into Bronx public schools and community-based organizations and its gallery to a new location in the heart of the Bronx Cultural Corridor at Bronx Art Space.
BRAC will maintain temporary headquarters in the West Farms Square area, from where it will continue recruitment and registration, as well as offer digital media classes. The new gallery location is 305 East 140th Street, #1A, Bronx, NY 10454.
Youth programs are offered after school and on Saturdays. The classes are taught by professional artists, and they include painting, drawing, cartooning, ceramics and more. Please refer to the education section for more info, fees and scholarships. BRAC offers a free Teen Instituteas well.
The Exhibitions Program has become known for both its deft curatorial vision and its ability to produce ambitious, energetic exhibitions with ingenuity and immediacy. The Exhibitions Program also provides a resource for artists and guest curators, by giving them a platform inside a reality that has not been fully acknowledged by academia or traditional institutions.
The year-round performing arts productions offer the local West Farms community an eclectic mix of cutting-edge talent from the Bronx and beyond. This series of interdisciplinary performances embraces popular, contemporary, experimental and classically-inspired music, dance, performance art, and poetry. Additionally, the annual June Performing Arts Festival, “Bronx River Sounds,” acts as a catalyst for emerging and established groups to showcase their work to a multicultural community in a comfortable and open setting.
Ten to thirty percent of the center’s programming for adults, teens and children is in Spanish in addition to English. Some of the fine arts and digital media classes are taught by bi-lingual artists. Signage and brochures are available in Spanish.
Programs for Seniors
Seniors may take classes at BRAC. Caretakers can accompany them to assist, free of charge. Senior centers and community organizations can arrange customized art classes in a variety of art media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and others.
Families can visit the center’s gallery during regular hours. In addition, the Bronx River Art Center offers affordable fine arts and digital media classes for children, teens and adults. A great option for parents and children is the Saturday combination of classes: parents can take Painting & Mixed Media for Adults while children take Drawing & Painting for Kids. These two classes are offered at the same time and place, at the Mary Mitchell Family & Youth Center at 2007 Mapes Ave at 178th Street (near the intersection of Southern Blvd and E. Tremont Ave). For more info or to sign up for classes, please call (718) 589-5819 or visit www.bronxriverart.org.
Bronx River Art Center offers hands-on workshops for groups and organizations in a variety of professional art media, including Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics, Filmmaking and Digital Media. It also offers custom-built art curricula focused on environmental issues or specific academic subjects.
All classes are two-hour sessions with a professional artist and include basic material costs (unless otherwise noted). There is a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 20 participants per class. All groups and organizations working with children must supply chaperones at a ratio of one adult for every eight children. All child participants must be over the age of eight.
For more info about these classes and workshops, please call (718) 589-5819, x15.
Art gallery tours are guided discussions conducted by the curator focusing on the works in the gallery exhibitions. To schedule a gallery tour, please call the Gallery Director at (718)-589-5819, x14.