A Prospect Heights collective for creative experiments,
renewal, stillness and celebration. Welcome home.
Be. Play. Make. Offer. Join us.
Our mission is to provide space for the collective unleashing of our most radically creative, textured, generous and unafraid selves. Our eclectic selection of programs–-storytelling evenings, cooking classes, meditation gatherings, literary readings, divorce workshops, pop-up art shows, and conversations about the issues governing our days, all hosted as our schedules permit–-make these ideas visible. We believe in listening. We believe in unconfined joy. We believe in the shelter of each other. We believe, in a technology-addled age, in the power of being present. We believe in grieving as necessary. We prize vulnerability and the delicious, unwieldy chaos that is part of any true creative endeavor. We believe that every one of us has “original medicine” from which others might benefit.
A few years back, a prominent teacher of African spirituality looked across a table at Jenny Douglas and told her: “You must make yourself like a cottage.” The instruction intrigued her. She’d been hosting monthly meditation evenings out of her Prospect Heights brownstone for some time and now, newly divorced, was looking for ways to multiply the alchemy of these gatherings. She wanted to take her degrees from Sarah Lawrence and Columbia Journalism School, her experience as a producer of television and radio journalism, her childhood lived around the world, and serve as a kind of urban farmer of the heart. And though she’d been raised largely in Tokyo, the summers she’d spent at her grandparents’ cottage in the wilds of Ontario stayed with her still. “You must create a new sense of home and power and belonging,” the teacher continued. Jenny listened.
Yazmany Arboleda is the Creative Director of The Brooklyn Cottage and its first Artist-in-Residence. Raised partly in Colombia and the founder of Glassless Glasses Studio, his global orchestrations often blur the lines between art and sociology to give viewers and participants a new way of framing and understanding reality. In the spring of 2013, as a continuation of his Monday Morning series, Yazmany–together with hundreds of on-the-ground volunteers–launched his most ambitious project yet: a public art manifestation in the city of Kabul which sought to create a vital bridge between Afghans and the rest of the world. That same week, Yazmany was selected as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100, which each year honors one hundred incredible people moving the world forward through “doing.”
In 2011, Yazmany and Jenny each journeyed to south India to volunteer at The Shanti Bhavan School, but one left just before the other arrived; they only met face-to-face when Yazmany showed up at Jenny’s house for tea in January 2012. Yazmany asked Jenny: “What do you want to do?” Jenny replied: “I want to build a Brooklyn Cottage.” And so–with Jenny curating and Yazmany designing–that is what they did.