I am really looking forward to November’s Target First Saturday, which takes place on November 7th and highlights our special exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present. Rock music and rock journalism are two of my passions and I’m excited to see them coming together with the programming around this exhibit.
As a public programmer I’m always looking for new entry points into an exhibition’s content and how to make that content accessible and engaging for Museum visitors. In conversations about public programming for the exhibit with Gail Buckland, the guest curator, she discussed how one of her goals with the exhibition was to focus on the photographers and the images they have created, not only on the musicians and bands featured in them. She also wanted to have an event that captured what up-and-coming rock photographers are doing now and invite them to participate.
Inspired by Gail’s idea, and because we love Brooklyn photographers, on First Saturday we are inviting local photographers to come and shoot the bands that are playing and post their photos to the Brooklyn Museum’s flickr group. Afterwards, Bob Gruen, a rock photography legend who is featured in the exhibition and has shot the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and The Clash, will look at the photos and blog about his favorites here!
In addition, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the lineup of bands: The Beets, Grass Widow, and Crystal Stilts. In choosing the bands, my colleagues and I wanted to try to capture the feeling and energy of the Brooklyn indie scene that’s really taken off over the past few years. To select the bands and capture the feeling of shows in clubs alternative spaces around the borough we teamed up with New York City indie show organizer extraordinaire Todd Patrick (aka Todd P.). I first went to one of Todd’s shows in Portland, Oregon in the late 1990’s, and felt there was something special and community oriented about it. Since then, he and I have both moved to New York and he’s been organizing shows in Brooklyn for years. He really has his finger on the pulse of the scene here and able to spot talent as it emerges, while keeping that community vibe to his shows.
As a final note, even if you don’t take pictures you can participate by dressing up as your favorite rock star. I look forward to seeing you here with your camera and your outfit! You’ll know me, I’ll be the Brooklyn Museum staff member ensuring the bands have sound checked, the photographers are happy while dressed like a 1960’s French popstar.
Eleanor Whitney has been Academic Programs Coordinator in the Education Division since 2006. She began at the Brooklyn Museum as an Intern Educator in 2005. She received her BA in Cultural Studies and Education from Eugene Lang College. As Academic Programs Coordinator Eleanor works to link Universities to the great resources available to them at the Museum, implements academic focused public programs and runs an internship program for university students called Student Guides.