Local creators show up in the backyard and on the big screen


Allison Kastner

– VOL. 3

Spaces physically make up a neighborhood, but it takes people, partnerships, and creativity to make it a community. To help people feel a sense of belonging in their homes and neighborhoods, Venn helps to connect its Neighbors to everything that makes their neighborhood great, from fellow Neighbors to small businesses to every nook and corner. It is all about connection!

Which is why Venn in Bushwick partnered with CreateART to develop a film event series – CreateART Film Night – by bringing together local artists and filmmakers with Venn Neighbors. CreateART is an artist-led multidisciplinary performance and residency platform connecting artists and audiences in diverse venues in NYC. Their events offer an opportunity for exciting artistic encounters and advance a new way of community engagement in the arts. 

Image of Bushwick Film Screening

Neighbors, filmmakers, dancers, and creatives of all types gathered in the backyward of Venn’s cowork for the first CreateArt screening.

When many local dancers and artists were hindered from performing in the traditional sense during the pandemic, CreateART devised a way for the creative community to come together for a series of short films that use art and dance to express emotion. On May 24th, CreateART’s Founder Georgia Usborne, along with Venn Host Jessica Prestia, brought these exciting communities together to screen the filmmakers’ and performers’ work for Venn Neighbors

The overall mission of CreateArt is to create a sense of community … It’s this kind of value alignment that makes it a perfect partnership for Venn

Artists of the neighborhood were able to turn Venn Cowork into a passionate, creative space with captivated audiences of ~30 people, right in the safety of the outdoor backyard. The audience watched the films with the filmmakers and performers present, followed by a Q&A and afterparty. Neighbors and artists alike were excited to be together in person and in such a positive, creative atmosphere, while also supporting local artists in the neighborhood. 

Image of Bushwick Film Screening

Venn Neighbors were able to hear from the CreateART filmmakers and ask questions. 

Dancer and filmmaker Hannah Garner shared how the film project helped her through the pandemic, saying, “What makes a space beautiful is the people. Having the ability to have a space offered is so valuable. It creates a community space and supports local artists making a huge impact that is so valuable to local artists.”

Hannah transferred her skills as a choreographer into directing her first film. Her film Pony was created with five dancers and she shared that it was gratifying to showcase her work in front of other people. Each of the several films screened at the event incorporated dance as CreateART is a performance collective.

Image of Bushwick Film Screening

The following month, Venn hosted a CreateART fundraiser in its General Irving space, which included special dance performances.

The overall mission of CreateArt is to create a sense of community, allowing artists and audience to work on a more personal level. It’s this kind of value alignment that makes it a perfect partnership for Venn, so much so that they did a second event, a live performance fundraiser for CreateART, at Venn’s general store, General Irving. Keep an eye out for more of these creative opportunities for maker and Neighbor alike–coming soon to the neighborhood.