On Saturday, the Fort Greene community gathered at Commodore Barry Park for the opening of a photo exhibition that celebrates their own, local neighborhood heroes.
Initiated by Brooklyn-based art project Community Heroes NYC, the exhibition tells the stories of those everyday local residents who deeply impact their communities, and who too often go unmentioned and remain unseen.
"They are people who would likely hesitate to call themselves a hero, but if they suddenly disappeared or moved, their community would feel their absence deeply," explained freelance artist Jasmin Chang, who launched the project with activists Zac Martin and Darrell Cheng in 2016. "They are known by their neighbors and have made an impact in their community."
Over the last seven months, the three Brooklynites visited community boards, libraries and community organizations to find the local heroes. The response was enormous: Their outreach generated 140 nominations, and Community Heroes NYC had to deal with the difficult task to narrow the selection down. The 20 finalists were then teamed up with professional photographers to have their portraits taken. The beautiful results are now on view at Commodore Barry Park and Fort Greene Park.
"It's important that the final exhibition is displayed in a public space, so many can see these great stories and be encouraged to take ownership of their neighborhood," said Chang.
And this is just the beginning: The organization will continue to collect nominations for heroes and seeks photographers to take their portraits. Twenty more portraits will rotate into the exhibition until July 2019.
Brooklyn, take a look at our photos and meet your 2018 Fort Greene Community Heroes.