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A group of people playing music on an outdoor stage in Brooklyn.
¡Oye! Group's Summer Arts Festival. Courtesy of ¡Oye! Group.

When Modesto ‘Flako’ Jimenez hosted a party to celebrate the launch of his debut poetry collection in 2012, his worlds collided for the first time: life-long friends from Bushwick were mingling with his college classmates who just moved to the area.

As tensions around race and gentrification stirred, Jimenez knew that these “human connection problems” wouldn’t be fixed at any one party. But he was determined to address them through his art – the reason why they had all gathered together in the first place.

A group of people posing in front of a graffiti covered wall.
¡Oye! Group’s Summer Arts Festival

“It gave me the idea for the first festival,” Jimenez recalled. Artists, rappers, and actors from all walks of life showcased their talents in an eclectic collaborative space. Before long, one festival gave way to three more, and ¡Oye! Group was born.

Because of Brooklyn Org's support, we can actually start planting really good roots at each program and get more into relationship building. We can breathe. Modesto 'Flako' Jimenez, Founder & Artistic Director, ¡Oye! Group

Whether it’s teaching people the basics of theater directing and staging, or helping them roll out full-on productions like the deeply personal Taxilandia, ¡Oye! Group has cemented itself as a Brooklyn arts institution with community at its heart.

At Brooklyn Org, we are dedicated to understanding our communities’ challenges and investing in solutions, from the ground up.

This is a movement for Brooklyn—and Brooklyn needs you. Join us by making a donation to help Brooklyn communities thrive.


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