If you don’t know about them yet, now is the time to learn: 8-Ball Community is a collective that produces art, publishes media, and creates opportunities to share cultural programming. They’re a volunteer-run community space that aims to promote educational exchanges, cultural growth, and media autonomy. But, more than that, they are and continue to be a staple of DIY downtown creative culture.
After 7 years of “transience”, as they call it, moving around the city, in basements, and other spaces in Brooklyn, 8-Ball Community has finally relocated to a new HQ space, serving as a long-term home base for the collective. This new space is equipped to host their radio and television stations, publishing operations, zine library, and educational events in the heart of the East Village.
In celebration of Black History Month, 8-Ball Community’s Movieclub is hosting a screening series highlighting five NYC-set, Black directed films every Wednesday night for the rest of February.
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“We wanted to include a variety of decades to give a broader historical context for what these influential and underrated Black directors were able to accomplish in their times. An unfortunate subtextual theme emerged from the program: careers cut short,” an 8-Ball representative told us.
Tomorrow, on the 12th, they’ll be doing a retrospective of the legendary Hype Williams. The night will start with a collection of music videos and then transition to the screening of 1998’s “Belly.” Though it didn’t receive critical acclaim upon its release (a rating of 13% on Rotten Tomatoes), the film managed to garner a reputation as a “visually inventive crime” movie about Black identity and its relation to capitalism over the past twenty years. “Belly” is the sole feature from music video iconoclast Hype Williams, and is set one year in the future: 1999. It stars DMX and Nas as successful New York drug dealers who begin to reconsider and question their life choices and turn to The Nation of Islam and Pan-Africanism in this late 90s classic.
Spearheaded by 8-Ball volunteers Mason Wilson and Alex Berg – you don’t want to miss this great series of special films.
The event takes place at 59th E 4th Street. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. For more information, check out 8-Ball on Instagram here.