After fighting an unsuccessful six-year battle to reclaim Clinton Hill's Broken Angel House as his own, 82-year-old artist Arthur Wood will mark his last day in his home of 34 years with a party.
Neighbors will hold a celebratory benefit for Wood beginning Friday afternoon to raise funds for his legal fees, help find him a new home and to commemorate his and 4 Downing Street's legacy.
From 4-8 p.m., the Broken Angel House's backyard and stoop will host a "peaceful, sober, DIY afternoon gathering of individuals who wish to give support to Arthur as he peacefully moves on to a new life outside of his building," the event's Facebook page notes.
Musicians including a brass band, dancers, an auction of some of Wood's art, dancing, sign-making, costume-wearing, celebrity guests, food, non-alcoholic drinks and surprises are promised.
After 8 p.m., the adult festivities begin. Until 1 a.m., those aged 21 and older are invited to join Wood's supporters for a $10 dance party fundraiser at the Irondale Center at 85 S. Oxford St. Costumes are encouraged but not required.
The event was quick to note that this day should not be considered a protest. "We are here to raise money for an elder of the Brooklyn DIY arts community who is in a situation that hundreds of our peers who have had difficulties with DIY housing in Brooklyn sympathize with," the page explains.
"We are also here to have a conversation about the role of large real estate developers, such as Madison Realty Capital, in the radical inflation of Brooklyn housing prices and the displacement of long-time residents," the page noted. "Should the authorities ask us to disperse from our peaceful assembly, we will do so without resistance or issue."
And come Friday, where will Wood go? "I have no idea," he told Patch. "I'm going to take this hand, this hand and my brain. That's all I need, even at 82."
The artist and inventor, who said he would not want to impose on his son or daughter, is tinkering around with the idea of finding a completely new landscape to call home. "I'm thinking about going to China," he said.
Though Wood's attitude about the future is upbeat, the fact that he will be without a home remains and is not lost on him. "There's no recourse for an elderly senior citizen to get any justice," he said. "They're taking [more than] 30 years, and they're going to throw me out on the street with nothing."
As of Thursday morning, more than 600 people have noted they will attend the event through its Facebook page, and more than 4,600 still have yet to respond.
For those who can't make the party but still wish to contribute to the Broken Angel fund, donations can be made to its online page. So far, $105 has been collected and 17 days remain to reach the $50,000 goal. The page also notes Wood needs a lawyer willing to work with him pro bono.