On Thursday May 25th the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center held our 7th annual Arts to End Violence gallery opening where over 200 community members, elected officials, friends, families, and neighbors came together to appreciate the anti-violence inspired art, share food, and enjoy live music from Reverend Ken Bogan’s jazz band. The many works of art presented at the gallery addressed issues such as gun violence, police brutality, domestic violence, and many more important subjects. Two YO S.O.S. participants, Alexandria Lewis and Dwight Young performed spoken word poems for the crowd. Dwight spoke about finding love, belonging, and acceptance and Alexandria spoke about her experiences growing up in Brooklyn as a young woman. “Our street team does phenomenal work to help young people survive from gun violence, but our ultimate goal is not only to help people survive, but to thrive,” said director Amy Ellenbogen.  “The showcase is an opportunity for people who are passionate about the arts to contribute to the efforts of changing norms in the neighborhood.” Arts to End Violence reminds us that the power of art resides in its ability to bring people together in celebration and resistance and in its ability to heal and unite people by looking pain and trauma head on, without flinching.

The gallery showcase took place at the Ron Taylor Gallery located at 1160 St. John’s Place in Crown Heights and will be open to the public for viewing on:

Thursday June 1st 11am-2pm

Friday June 2nd 11am-2pm

Monday June 5th 3pm-6pm

Tuesday June 6th 3pm-6pm

Wednesday June 7th 11am-2pm and a closing party will be held from 5-7pm that evening

Here are some pictures from the gallery opening and be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post where we will announce the winner of the youth artist contest.