Caribbeing House reopens with a new look

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A report by Alexandra Simon for Caribbean Life News.

They’re back and with a new look.

The Flatbush Ditmas Park-based cultural center Caribbeing House is open again after its winter hiatus. The center which officially re-opened in April, is also sporting a new look leaving its signature red color behind for a metallic gold. The change of color is a change of direction for the hub, and a commemoration of the West Indian American Day Parade’s 50th anniversary, said the executive director.

“It’s the 50th year anniversary of carnival in New York City and we painted it gold because its also about us remaining in the space and thinking a lot about carnival in Brooklyn being in its golden year,” said Shelley Worrell.

“We wanted to tie into that legacy, which is one of the strongest symbols we have of Caribbean culture.”

Recently celebrating Haitian Heritage Month with a month-long exhibit and a concluding musical concert on May 19, there will be an array of summer activities in store at Caribbeing, added Worrell.

Worrell says several new things are also coming to Caribbeing, such as a monthly Saturday outdoor fitness with Wukkout — Caribbean dance fitness, and a change of setting for their film screenings of classic and contemporary Caribbean films in Flatbush-Caton market’s courtyard.

“For the first time we’re going to be doing outdoor screenings. Last year was the first year we were really trying to activate the Caribbeing house with our film program,” said Worrell. “We really want to get back to this and we’re trying to remix the format.”

In honor of Caribbean Heritage Month in June, the center is set to host similar events and more work from Caribbean artists, local and abroad, said Worrell. In addition, they will be collaborating with other organizations.

“Next month (June) is Caribbean Heritage Month, so we’re going to have more happy hours and more Caribbean-themed exhibitions and other related programming,” she said. “We’ll also be going back to Brooklyn Museum for target first Saturday in the summer.”

Caribbeing’s compact size makes it all the more easier to allow these types of gatherings, and give these artists a chance to get their artwork seen more locally, according to Worrell.

“One of the unique things about Caribbeing’s size is that it offers unique opportunities to connect directly with the Caribbean audience,” she said. “A lot of artists want to be in a museum because the hall is much larger, but we host it at our venue and there is an immediate feedback from our audiences.”

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