WNYC Studios and The Nation present “There Goes The Neighborhood"
With a special evening at the Brooklyn Restoration Corporation featuring comic Aparna Nancherla
(March 2, 2016 – New York, NY) – WNYC Studios and The Nation today introduced There Goes the Neighborhood, an eight-part weekly podcast series exploring the remarkable and destabilizing phenomenon of gentrification. The preview episode is available here. The first episode will be released on Wednesday, March 9.
Hosted by The Nation features editor Kai Wright, the podcast offers a kaleidoscopic look at the pace of change in our own backyard: Brooklyn in 2016, now the least affordable housing market in the country. Taking listeners into neighborhoods in the midst of dramatic social, economic, and cultural upheaval—from Bedford-Stuyvesant to East New York, Clinton Hill to Williamsburg, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and more—we ask what happens to those who are displaced, how gentrification is experienced on a daily basis, and whether or not Mayor Bill de Blasio can do anything to keep a runaway real estate market in check.
There Goes the Neighborhood introduces the audience to a range of people who are living the reality of gentrification, including long-time residents, business owners and community organizers, as well as developers and neighborhood newcomers, including:
- Tanya, a current resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant. “I was walking in my neighborhood, and I saw a black, elderly gentleman that I hadn’t seen in a couple months…his eyes flew open, and he said, ‘You’re still here!’ and I went, ‘Yeah, and you’re still here’… and we were like, ‘Yeah.’ Black folks are disappearing.”
- George, a Williamsburg restaurant-owner. “After maybe the second year we were there, tour busses started to come and drop people off… What do these people think they’re going to see? …Now, it’s not a surprise. It happens all the time.”
- A Bedford-Stuyvesant resident. “I don’t know what my white privilege is. That’s part of it, right? It’s ignorance. It’s about not knowing the benefits that I have because I’m white.”
- A developer based in Williamsburg, prospecting for property across Brooklyn. “Our agreement on the lease was that I will get it completely vacant -- and that’s how I got it.”
There Goes the Neighborhood features an original score by renowned jazz artist and composer, Terence Blanchard (Do the Right Thing, Chi-Raq, Mo’ Better Blues).
Karen Frillmann is executive producer, alongside Rebecca Carroll, WNYC’s producer of special projects on race. The podcast is reported by WNYC reporters Jim O’Grady, Sean Carlson and Jessica Gould, and D.W. Gibson, author of the prize-winning book The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the 21st Century.
On Wednesday, March 9 from 6-8pm, WNYC will host a kick-off event at the Restoration Corporation in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The evening will be hosted by comedian Aparna Nancherla (Late Night with Seth Meyers, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell) and will include presentations by Darnell Moore of Mic.com and filmmaker Elizabeth Wood (White Girl), as well as a Q&A with community leaders. Further information may be found here.
An audio trailer is available here. The first episode of the eight-week series launches on March 9, 2016 and will be available to national audiences on wnyc.org and thenation.com, while segments will air on WNYC’s local radio programs including Morning Edition and prompt discussion on The Brian Lehrer Show. Throughout the series, WNYC will deploy its “TalkBox” in select locations across the city, a repurposed phone booth that New Yorkers can use to share their experiences directly with WNYC’s newsroom.
“There Goes the Neighborhood gives voice to a story central to the lives of New Yorkers, who face disturbingly steep rent hikes and whose properties are often viewed as international commodities rather than homes,” Frillmann said. “This is a phenomenon now playing out across the country in major cities such as Oakland, California. To offer a full scope of the issues at play, we’re thrilled to partner with The Nation, which brings to this project a long history of focus on issues of economic justice.”
“The Nation has a long and proud tradition of exposing just how profitable racial injustice can be. Partnering with WNYC on this podcast, in our home base of New York City, seems such a natural outgrowth of that mission,” adds Wright. “I covered the subprime lending and foreclosure crises for The Nation, and There Goes the Neighborhood is very much a follow up to that reporting. The gentrification and displacement we see today is possible only in the wake of the economic crisis that has choked our neighborhoods for more than 15 years. And it’s part of a decades-long history in which housing in black and brown neighborhoods has been manipulated for the profit of others. These stories we’re telling are the real and tangible consequences.”
“We hope to create a sort of time capsule that preserves the current conversation, livelihood, policy change, and cultural cadence of an entire municipal shift,” said Carroll. “It is a moment where Brooklyn as we know it is being reimagined, while deliberately displacing primarily black and brown people, and simultaneously serving as a model for cities not just nationwide but all over the world. There Goes the Neighborhood is bearing witness to an ongoing cycle of urban depopulating and repopulating in which race plays a central role. We are narrating history in present terms.”
KICK OFF EVENT DETAILS
When: Wednesday, March 9 from 6-8pm ET
Who: Participants will include comedian Aparna Nancherla, Darnell Moore of Mic.com, spoken word performer Kai Davis and a Q&A hosted by The Nation’s Kai Wright
Where: Skylight Gallery at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, 1368 Fulton St., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
RSVP is mandatory to firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for There Goes the Neighborhood has been provided by the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
ABOUT WNYC STUDIOS
WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio. Born from the team that created some of the most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts of the last decade, WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with high-quality storytelling that informs, inspires, and delights millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. WNYC Studios creates some of the most beloved audio series, including “Radiolab,” “Freakonomics Radio,” “Death, Sex & Money,” “Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin,” “Note to Self,” “On the Media,” “The Takeaway,” and “Studio 360.” Their programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit http://wnycstudios.wnyc.org.
ABOUT THE NATION:
Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015, and its tenure as America’s oldest weekly magazine. A critical, independent voice in American journalism, The Nation provides a platform for investigative reporting and spirited debate on issues of import to the progressive community. Through changing times and fashions, The Nation and TheNation.com offer consistently informed and inspired reporting and analysis of breaking news, politics, social issues and the arts—never faltering in our editorial commitment to what Nation Publisher Emeritus Victor Navasky has called “a dissenting, independent, trouble-making, idea-launching journal of critical opinion.”