Artist Assistant Catherine Feliz reports from our site visit and potluck with commissioned artist Elvira Clayton in Harlem.
The Laundromat Project leads their every action with a guiding principle of love. It was impossible not to feel like you’re in the company of family during the mid season check-in on Wednesday, July 8th. Create Change Fellows, interns, and staff came together to explore ideas and culture via sharing food.
Elvira Clayton rung in the night by leading a brief creative walk through the Little Senegal section of Harlem to introduce some of the local landmarks that inspire her sculptural oral history project Dioko. A stroll through the 116th St. African market, and a generous tasting of Senegalese cuisine at Le Baobab served as glimpses to an intrepid legacy of African immigrants whom made Harlem their home.
Glad to walk to work off our full bellies, we made our way to the HART House on 1st Avenue for yet more food. The space which houses the Harlem Art Collective became our home for the next few hours as we shared our dishes on the rooftop and sank into that ethereal state that one enters at the arrival of urban outdoor space.
Fellows took turns presenting ideas they are developing in their Field Day groups, varying from reflections on jazz and sexual trauma to documenting a community’s struggle for environmental justice. Important questions were raised that sparked further conversations about community-based artist practices. By the end of the night, lasting interpersonal connections were made, and we reflected and grew as community partners because a space filled with love made it possible.
Learn more about Dioko, a commissioned project by Elvira Clayton.
Read The LP Interview with Catherine Feliz here.