Crown Heights Anthology: Sidewalk Stories

Created by Xandra Clark
Music composed and performed by Taja Cheek and Josh Marcus

Photo credit: Olivia Lloyd

Photo credit: Olivia Lloyd

Crown Heights Anthology: Sidewalk Stories is a collection of true stories, memories, and encounters on the street told by residents and neighbors of Crown Heights. Pick up the telephone on the sidewalk and hear the voices of people you may pass everyday.

The interviews were collected as part of Anthology: Crown Heights, a performance project exploring what it means to be a neighbor in the rapidly changing Brooklyn neighborhood. Anthology: Crown Heights was presented in April-May 2016 at Weeksville Heritage Center. It was produced in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center and DIVAS for Social Justice, and was collaboratively created and performed by Crown Heights residents Xandra Clark, Taja Cheek, Josh Marcus, Molly Mingey, and DK Wright.

Anthology: Crown Heights was made possible in part by funds from Brooklyn Community Foundation's Neighborhood Strength Crown Heights Grant initiative, disbursed by Weeksville Heritage Center; a Stanford Young Alumni Arts Grant; and with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council.

Xandra Clark (Creator) is an actor and performance-maker based in Brooklyn. She has performed at Dixon Place, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the BEAT Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Wild Project, the cell theatre, Connelly Theater, and Lincoln Center. Her work has been presented at The Tank, The Bowery Electric, Brooklyn College, and The Green Room (a performance salon she curates). She completed a BA (Honors) in Drama and MA in Journalism at Stanford University; studied with Anna Deavere Smith and Amy Freed; and has worked with The Public Theater on two Shakespeare plays. Xandra is committed to telling stories with urgent resonance. In October, she’ll be presenting Everything You’re Told, a new work about dogma, doubt, and conviction, at The Tank. To learn more, visit

Taja Cheek (Composer) is a multi-instrumentalist, music curator, and art producer with deep roots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She is currently recording material for her solo project, Throw Shade.

Josh Marcus (Composer) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger from Lexington, KY. After obtaining a Bachelor's in Jazz Studies from Eastern Illinois University, he moved to the Greater NYC Area in 2011. After moving, Josh pursued a Master's Degree at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. During his tenure, he studied and performed with such greats as pianist Mulgrew Miller, saxophonists Rich Perry, Vincent Herring, Benny Golson, Joe Lovano, David Demsey, and many more! Currently, Josh maintains an active teaching and performance career in the New York and New Jersey area. For more information on Josh Marcus, please visit

Thank you to Ida Benedetto for loaning the telephone, and to Mitra Kaboli for finding it.