A Bushwick local and theater wunderkind with a storied past is doing a crowdfunding campaign so that he can take his troupe on a world tour.
Modesto ‘Flako’ Jimenez, founder and director of Oye Group (O.G.), an artist collective made up of native and immigrant New Yorkers, is trying to raise $15,000 by March 3 and use that money to bring “¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn” to audiences worldwide.
The work is about Bushwick, and tackles issues of immigration and racism, cultural guilt, and language barriers. Flako and O.G. use a range of multi-disciplinary mediums in the performance: video projections, live phone feed, auditory manipulation, and soundscapes.
On Indiegogo, the site used for the crowdfunding project, Flako presents a detailed breakdown of what he and his troupe will use the money for.
“We’re not asking you to cover our fees for a little more time in the rehearsal room,” Flako wrote. “This show is ready. This show is happening. What we are looking to you for is to help us preserve our integrity and to allow us to tell the story as it is meant to be told.”
Flako was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Bushwick as a child with his family, Flako told us in an exclusive interview in 2016. He told us how he used his earnings as a street gang leader in Bushwick to buy books, school supplies, and a mini-fridge for his dorm room at Bennington College, which he attended on a full scholarship.
Since then, Flako and has created and produced numerous shows at The Bushwick Starr and elsewhere, such as Yoleros and theater festivals Ghetto Hors D’oeuvres and OYE! Avant-Garde.
“¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn” will premiere at Abrons Arts Center this March.
Cover image from the Bushwick Daily archives