Talking With Joana Vicente, Executive Producer of Independent Filmmaker Project

Joana Vicente  photo via
Joana Vicente
photo via

“Brooklyn has had a long history of a vibrant and artistic culture that has existed long before the exponential growth that has made it a world-known destination in the past 5-10 years.

“The cultural happenings that made Brooklyn so cool have increased interest and prices in the area, which is great for Brooklyn’s growth, but has its downsides—those rising prices have the potential to drive out the artists and people who revitalized Brooklyn in the first place.

“Brooklyn’s ‘cool’ cache is now being mass marketed as a lifestyle, from a Bedford Stuyvesant café in Amsterdam to Roberta’s pizza being sold at Whole Foods nationwide, it’s become an international brand. That is good and bad.  Manhattan was able to capitalize on this for over a hundred years, and still—for a while at least—keep itself ‘New York.’  We can’t forget that only 40 years ago, people thought of New York the same way they thought of Detroit four years ago. It was over. Cities need success to thrive, and yet that success inevitably transforms the city.

“So, alongside the excitement that this great growth brings, it’s also sad to see things leaving the area, like Galapagos Art Space which is heading to Detroit soon.  Yet, when these companies move elsewhere, they are contributing to the cycle of urban revitalization that gave Brooklyn culture its initial ‘cool’ factor. In a sense, Brooklyn is moving worldwide.  And why shouldn’t it—the way Rome, Paris, London, Shanghai, and Manhattan did before it?

“The truth is, Brooklyn is still here, and Brooklyn culture continues to be exciting and the center of so much that’s happening in the city and beyond—from rumors that Hillary Clinton’s making Brooklyn her campaign headquarters to The Kings Theatre reopening after its extraordinary renovation—there’s no shortage of interesting ‘happening’ here. Brooklyn has always been, and continues to be, an ‘attitude.’  I don’t see that changing anytime soon, and I hope and wish that it is able to continue to grow ‘within character’ for the next hundred years!”


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