JACK Arts Venue Moves to Larger Space With New Co-Director
After ending its seven-year lease at its original space, performance venue JACK will be moving to a new, larger home at 18 Putnam Ave., also located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn. JACK has signed a 10-year lease at the storefront space, which is a five-minute walk from the current space. This move affords JACK, for the first time, space for a backstage area, audience lobby and an administrative office, with an increase in audience capacity as well. Located next to the Putnam Triangle Plaza, the new JACK will have a central spot in the community.
At the same time, JACK is thrilled to announce the appointment of theater director and arts administrator Jordana De La Cruz to join founder Alec Duffy as Co-Director. De La Cruz comes to JACK from the Park Avenue Armory, where she worked since 2015, most recently as Program Manager. As an independent director, she helmed, among other projects, Cristina Pitter'sDecolonizing My Vagina, which premiered at JACK in January 2018.
From Jordana De La Cruz:
"I am ecstatic to join Alec Duffy in his unyielding mission to present unique artistic works for the benefit of the entire community. JACK exists as a gathering space to innovate and expand all fields of performance and civic engagement. As a longtime admirer, it is an honor to join the leadership team as we continue to build a rising arts center with limitless potential."
From JACK founder/Co-Director Alec Duffy:
"Over the last few years, I have admired Jordana's role in creating transcendent experiences at Park Avenue Armory, involving some of our nation's most prized, revolutionary artistic voices. I then got to know her as an extraordinary theater artist when she directed in our space last year. When thinking about a partner at JACK who would be an eager co-conspirator in fueling experiments in art and activism and help take JACK to the next level, I realized Jordana was a perfect fit. I look forward to working with her to build a shared vision of what JACK can be, and how JACK can grow."
MORE INFO ABOUT JORDANA DE LA CRUZ:
Jordana De La Cruz is an Afro-Latina director, curator, and creative producer. She collaborates with active participants across multiple generations to examine and dismantle the stigmas that hold society captive. She creates performances, gatherings, and public programs sparking cross-cultural dialogue, empowering individuality, and expanding the concept of community with theatrical responses, workshops, and interdisciplinary conversations. Her work continually questions what it means to be free and, more urgently, how we help each other achieve this freedom. In 2015, she was instrumental in the creation of Public Programs at Park Avenue Armory and has continued to cultivate affordable, community-focused art and dialogue through 2018. She has previously directed and produced with JACK, La Mama, The Flea Theater, IATI Theater, INTAR Theatre, The Story Pirates, and Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, among others.
JACK has launched a fundraising campaign for the new space, with a goal of raising $25,000 before April 30 to help transform the raw space into a theater. Support will go towards construction costs and making the space wheelchair-accessible.
MORE INFO ABOUT JACK
JACK is an OBIE award-winning multidisciplinary performance venue founded in 2012 by Alec Duffy and a small group of co-founders in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Our mission is to fuel experiments in art and activism, collaborating with adventurous artists and our neighbors to create a just, vibrant society. JACK's vision is to cultivate an arts organization with racial equity at its core, reflected in its artists, audiences, staff, and governance.
JACK's primary activities are centered around our 50-seat performance venue and community hub -- conceived as an inclusive space for innovative creative experiences and transformative community works. JACK presents theater, music, and dance performances and holds forums on issues of importance to the neighborhood, including racial justice, gentrification, and police/community relations. Our intention with multi-disciplinary programming is to foster connections between artists and diversify and intertwine audiences.
In an effort to ensure that the voices of our local community are present as part of JACK's programming and planning, we have collaborated with several organizations throughout our neighborhood, including senior centers, community centers and churches. Through these relationships, we have engaged our neighbors in helping to curate programs, most fully with our ongoing series, Reparations365, focusing on distributive justice for Black Americans. Before the series began, we held public gatherings to collaborate on essential questions for the series, topics for community discussions, and to generate a list of artists/thinkers/activists to invite to present as part of the series.
JACK is named after Duffy's grandfather, Jack Duffy, who was a labor activist, minister and great lover of the arts.