To celebrate the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 221st birthday, which takes place during Black History Month, we’re looking at the past and present of Black trailblazers and innovators at the Yard. Join this panel discussion as we examine the vital role played by Black sailors and shipworkers since 1801, and how the Yard has been an engine for economic empowerment since it became a city-owned industrial park in 1969. We will be joined by entrepreneurs, artists, and craftspeople in the Yard today, as well as staff from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. Special guests will include Kyiesha Kelly of Hip Hop Closet and Gina Riley of Rebel Designs.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day as we share some of our favorite love stories from history from the places that we work. We will share long-distance love letters from World War II, milestone weddings in Prospect Park, workplace romances at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and people who found their loves in public markets. We will share artifacts, newspaper clippings, oral histories, and more from various archives, and we invite participants to share their own love stories and family histories in this Zoom meeting.
- Weddings in Prospect Park
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History Collection (Center for Brooklyn History)
- Jennifer Egan, “Reading Lucy” in Brooklyn Was Mine
- “Navy Yard Visitors Share Memories and Mementos”
- “100 Years of Refuge at the Brooklyn Army Terminal”
- “RIP Essex Street Market Vendor Ron Budinas” (The Lo-Down)
- Jacques Torres Chocolate
- Uncommon Goods
Inspired by travel and her Kentucky roots, Brooklyn Navy Yard-based jewelry maker Carrie Bilbo creates collections combine inspiration from the natural world with carefully-crafted porcelains and precious metals. On this virtual program, Carrie will showcase her work and creative process, discuss building her business, and share some of her newest work, including custom-made pieces and her sister brand Sweet Caroline Wedding Adornment. A graduate of nearby Pratt Institute, Carrie launched her company in 2010, and her work has since appeared in magazines, fashion runways, movies and TV shows, and on celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg and Isabelle Fuhrman.
Earlier this month, we hosted a group of retirees from central New Jersey on a tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. On nearly every tour we lead, we have visitors who have personal connections to the Yard – they’ve worked or served there, or had family members who did – but this tour was special for the sheer number and depth of people’s connections to the site.
One woman said she used to babysit the children of naval officers at the homes along Admirals Row; another went on a date at the old Officers Club. Two women had fathers who worked at the Yard, and in their spare time (and with a little spare metal), they fashioned jewelry for their daughters in the Yard’s workshops, which they still have – one was even wearing it on the tour!