By Annie Reuter
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Thousands are expected to attend this weekend’s Restoration Rocks Concert in Brooklyn, an event which will boast performances by the Brooklyn Philharmonic featuring Mos Def, Idle Warship, Pharoahe Monch and additional local talent.
The annual event will take place on Fulton Street between Marcy and Brooklyn Avenues in Bedford Stuyvesant.
The concert is the kick-off celebration of Bed-Stuy Alive’s week-long festival which promotes the culture, commerce and community of Bed-Stuy, explained Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
“Bed-Stuy is a wonderful, historic, beautiful community with a rich culture and we really want everyone to celebrate everything that Bed-Stuy has to offer,” Capers said.
Restoration Rocks is sponsored by Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, which is the nation’s first community development corporation. Started by Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob K. Javits, the corporation exists to improve the quality of life in Central Brooklyn.
“We have a variety of programs to improve Bed-Stuy and Central Brooklyn, but also uplift the people,” Capers said. “We’re really trying to build community and celebrate community. By lifting up the artists, we’re building up the community as well.”
Started five years ago as a rock concert with the hope to draw a younger audience, Restoration Rocks has evolved into featuring expansive genres of music from local talent.
Mos Def is from the neighborhood and a recent partnership with the Brooklyn Philharmonic led to their collaboration with Restoration Rocks. With a series of community concerts this year as part of their new season, their set Saturday is a preview of the larger concert they’ll perform at the Restoration Plaza in June, Capers explained.
“We realized there is so much indigenous, amazing talent in the community and we wanted to promote local artists from the neighborhood,” Capers continued. “Every year, the concert has grown and evolved and what we always try to do is have a combination of main stage artists as well as emerging talent in the community to perform. The goal is that all the artists have a tie to Bed-Stuy or Brooklyn.”
Annie Reuter is a freelance writer and the founder of YouSingIWrite.com.