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Submissions open early spring 2017

Coming Friday, September 15th through Sunday, the 17th
to Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Press

“There are plenty of comedy festivals these days, but the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival has already differentiated itself by specifically seeking to diversify the lineup beyond the white men who tend to dominate the comedy scene.”
– Afar

“Next month, Williamsburg will be treated to stand-up shows from a hilarious collection of comedians when the inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival takes over the New York neighborhood.”
Axs

“Spencer organized the festival on her terms in order to challenge the ongoing status quo in the comedy world.”  
– Bedford + Bowery

“There are plenty of reputable comedy festivals out there, but a scant few that can boast a progressive political agenda alongside the laughs. The inaugural Cinder Block Comedy Festival, which kicks off tomorrow in Williamsburg and runs through this weekend, was explicit throughout its submission process about prioritizing comedians who didn’t fall into the SWM category. As a result, the roster features an excitingly diverse array of performers — not only in gender, race and sexual orientation, but also in style. There’s sketch, standup, improv, musical comedy and everything in between.”  
– Brokelyn

“This fest is sending a concrete message.”
– Brooklyn Paper

“It has garnered attention for its unorthodox approach to submissions: it utilized “wage-gap pricing,” in which performers who were not straight, white, and male received a discount for registering. Their tactic, though controversial, seems to have worked: the festival is filled with three full days of comics culled from diverse backgrounds… The festival really takes advantage of the Williamsburg locale, showing there are still fringe-y parts of the neighborhood that now has a Whole Foods and an Apple Store, and displaying Brooklyn comedy as it comes into its own.”
– Brooklyn Vegan

“Thanks to festival director Coree Spencer, a new festival is coming to the ever-burgeoning comedy that’s just happening in Brooklyn (there’s already a few comedy festivals that regularly happen in Brooklyn alone) within the already giant NYC comedy scene.”
– The Comedy Bureau

“This is going to be one amazing comedy festival!”
– Comedy Cake

“Get your comedy with a dose of diversity this fall.”
– DNAinfo

“Not sure how you’ll smile again once it’s (the Brooklyn Comedy Festival) over? The answer to maintaining happiness lies in The Cinder Block Comedy Festival”
– The Huffington Post

“In a move to diversify the world of comedy, this festival initially only accepted submissions from women and LGBTQ and non-white applicants. The result is four days of over 150 talented performers doing sketch, improv, musical comedy, and stand-up spanning all subject matter and perspectives.”
– New York Mag

“When this Williamsburg-based festival was announced earlier this year, it made headlines for charging female, minority and gay performers less to apply for the festival in an effort to diversify their lineup — with great success.”  
– New York Times

“This new comedy showcase seeks to correct the gender and racial imbalances of the industry by offering more spaces to diverse performers who happen to be excellent.”
– Time Out NY

“What makes this comedy festival stand out over others is that the organizers are deeply committed to providing a truly diverse array of performers, rather than just checking a “token minority” off of a list… The roundup of festival performers is quite impressive, and the 12 participating venues stretch from the Williamsburg Bridge up to McCarren Park.”
– Viewing NYC

“The Festival grabbed headlines when it announced that their submission process would have ‘wage gap’ pricing: female, gender nonconforming, queer, and trans performers and comics of color would pay 77% of the fee required for applications from straight white male comics. It was a pointed commentary on the homogeneity of comedy and a signal to performers that this festival would take a different approach. Unsurprisingly, it did not go over well with some corners of the internet, but large parts of the comedy world (and beyond) embraced the organizers’ radically tongue-in-cheek approach.”
– The Village Voice

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