Archive: Wed Mar 2021

  1. Supporting AAPI Communities

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    In the wake of ongoing racist violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, The LP would like to spotlight a number of AAPI-led organizations and groups whose work supports racial, social, and economic justice for AAPI people.
    As Yuri Kochiyama taught us, “We are all part of one another.”

    Chinatown Art Brigade
    The Chinatown Art Brigade (CAB) is a collective of Asian-American artists, media makers, and activists with roots in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood. Since 2015, CAB has facilitated a series of community-led responses to gentrification and displacement, created in partnership with the grassroots organization CAAAV & the Chinatown Tenants Union. CAB was in residence with The LP in 2019-2020 and founded by Create Change alumni Betty Yu and Tomie Arai (2012), alongside ManSee Kong.

    Founded in 1986, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities works to build grassroots community power across diverse poor and working class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City.

    Red Canary Song
    Red Canary Song is a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers, centering basebuilding with workers through a labor rights framework and mutual aid. Rooted in Flushing, Queens, they organize Asian sex workers across the diaspora in Toronto, Paris, and Hong Kong.

    Asian American Arts Alliance
    The Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) is a nonprofit organization working to ensuring greater representation, equity, and opportunities for Asian American artists and cultural organizations through resource sharing, promotion, and community building. They convene the Asian American cultural workforce around issues of race, identity, and artmaking.

    Welcome to Chinatown
    Welcome to Chinatown supports local businesses and amplifies community voices in Manhattan’s Chinatown through pro bono resources.

  2. Resource Guide: Radical Mapping

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    Dive in to our resource guide to learn more about community asset mapping, using data for social justice, and more. This guide was originally compiled as part of our April 2021 event, Radical Mapping: Making Meaning in Our Communities. Watch recordings of the event here.

    Black and white illustration of people biking, gardening, and relaxing on top of a city grid. By Julia Mata.
    Black and white illustration of people biking, gardening, and relaxing on top of a city grid. By Julia Mata.

    1. Reimagining Blackness and Civic Design

    “Black spaces can take an infinite number of forms. Black spaces are expansive—they can quickly move from tiny apartment to global phenomena. Black spaces are adaptive and can be made anywhere we show up as ourselves. [ . . . ] Through listening to each other’s memories and lived experiences, we are able to map the Black heritage of the built environment in a way that includes ephemeral, online, and tangible artifacts of the expansiveness of Black spaces.” BlackSpace is a national collective of planners, architects, artists, designers, and urbanists working to co-create and preserve Black culture in the built environment. BlackSpace member Emma Osore writes about the group’s approach to creative place-keeping, and preservation of public systems and urban infrastructures for Black people.
    > Read the full piece on our blog

    Purple-toned image of a person pointing at a map on a wall with their index finger.

    2. What is Community Asset Mapping?

    Asset mapping is a map-making methodology that allows the mapper to understand and appreciate a place through the perspectives of those who live there.
    > Read about how and why this practice builds community via our blog

    3. Do It Yourself: Community Asset Mapping Workbook

    Engage in your own community asset mapping process with the help of this workbook! The CAM workbook is a central resource in The LP’s Create Change program, developed in partnership with Ebony Noelle Golden.
    > Start mapping

    GIF of pages flipping in the Community Asset Mapping workbook.

    4. In Practice: Artists Share Their Community Asset Mapping Experience

    We invited artists from our Create Change alumni community to share their own experiences with the process of community asset mapping, asking them to reflect on a set of prompts:

    • What is community asset mapping and how does it show up in your practice?
    • What opportunities does asset mapping offer to working in-community?
    • What is the relationship between asset mapping and place-keeping?
    • What do democratically informed asset mapping practices look like?

    Hear from Claro de los Reyes, Xenia Diente, Jaclyn Reyes Amanda Everich, and Betty Yu!

    5. Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

    How can maps help tenants and tenants’ rights advocates in their fight for justice? In this short Q&A video, learn from Create Change alum Ariana Allensworth (Artist-in-Residence 2019-20) how she and collaborators at the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) use data visualization to help illuminate housing injustices and advocate for change. Ariana will be a panelist as part of Radical Mapping—register for the program to hear her in conversation about AEMP’s work!

    Header Image: The Red Line Labyrinth, Walis Johnson. Aerial image of a person walking amongst a labyrinth made from red ropes, installed in a grass lawn.

  3. Meet Board Member Jessica Lee

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    Join us in welcoming Jessica Lee to The LP fam! Jessica recently joined our board of directors—read our short Q&A to get to know her.

    The LP: As a supporter of the arts, why does art matter?
    Jessica Lee: The arts are at the core of everything—art is activism, art is empowerment, art is inspiration. Art is the medium through which so many express themselves and their experience and the medium through which so many finally understand the experience of others. For me, art is what I turn to at the end of a day or week (or sometimes in the middle of it) to lift me up.

    LP: What attracted you to The LP and excited you most about joining the board?
    JL: I’ve heard about the work of The Laundromat Project for years and have been looking for ways to get involved. My board service has focused on the intersection of art and education. The LP takes that a few steps further, layering in activism and community empowerment. It’s everything I have been looking for from a board opportunity. I’m excited to be joining at this moment when the new space is opening and I look forward to seeing all of the new opportunities that will create.

    LP: What is your neighborhood? What’s your favorite thing about it?
    JL: Fort Greene is the neighborhood where my heart lives. Even with all of the gentrification that has taken place, you can still feel the old Brooklyn energy running through it. Fort Greene Park and the Greenmarket are my favorite places to spend a Saturday.

    LP: Can you tell us about a project/event/moment that was a particular highlight of your personal or professional work?
    JL: One of my proudest moments was a pro bono case I handled many years ago. I won asylum for a person who had been the subject of persecution based on sexual orientation in Jamaica. We were outside of our deadline to file, but she had begun a gender transition in that period and we were able to argue that that created a material change that essentially waived the timeliness issue. There was no precedence for this at the time. The US isn’t perfect, but I knew she was safer here and that win was a career highlight.

    LP: What song gets you moving and going when work gets hard?
    JL: “Apeshit,” Beyoncé

    LP: What’s your favorite home-cooked dish?
    JL: None. I am the cook in my house, so my favorite dishes are takeout.

    Jessica Lee helps companies in the US and around the world launch, market, and monetize their digital products and content. She advises on everything from interest-based and addressable advertising, data analytics, location-based tracking, smart devices and wearables, to the use of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, VR and AR, and facial recognition. Named one of Crain’s Notable Women in Law for 2019, Jessica is routinely called upon to speak on the privacy and cybersecurity concerns in advertising, media, adtech, and health tech. Jessica contributes her time to a number of community service projects and mentorship initiatives, including the Museum of Modern Art’s Friends of Education Committee.

  4. Meet Board Member Panthea Lee

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    Join us in welcoming Panthea Lee to The LP fam! Panthea recently joined our board of directors—read our short Q&A to get to know her!

    The LP: As a supporter of the arts, why does art matter?
    Panthea Lee: bell hooks once said, “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it’s to imagine what is possible.” This resonates with me deeply.

    Much of my work revolves around advocating for just and equitable policies and bringing diverse communities together to co-create change. So I think a lot about how to shift societal structures and norms. Yet too often, I see that many folks are good at pointing out what is not working and what we don’t want, but struggle to be visionary around what it is that we do want—that is, we can’t imagine what a radically better future looks like. This, I believe, is because too often, we accept what’s offered by governments and powerful institutions as the starting points. But by letting them set the foundations and define the parameters, we’re often fighting for reforms that are too little, too late.

    Fighting for crumbs is exhausting and demoralizing. And we’re seeing the real price of these impossible uphill battles. Around the world, surveys show that people are incredibly pessimistic about the future. Young people don’t expect to be better off than their parents, and don’t believe they can really influence the future. We face crises of imagination, especially when it comes to how we reverse our democratic and environmental crises. And our media ecosystems, where business models are incentivized to sow fear and divisiveness, exacerbate our sense of hopelessness. It can be paralyzing.

    In this climate, art is more important than ever. Art holds immense power to reinvigorate our imaginations, and to rally diverse communities around bold visions for change.

    Because people act not based on facts, but on emotion. And artists operate in the realm of meaning-making and emotions. They can help articulate and construct the new worlds that we know are possible, and help us experience and inhabit them. Even when these worlds are temporary, like at a show or a gathering, they still shape and move us. And if we can taste what liberation and justice feel like—for deliciousness and joy can’t be thought, they must be felt—then we’re more likely, more able to fight for them.

    Art questions, invites, and incites. It can help us understand one another, find common ground, and shift culture. These ingredients are foundational for transforming our world, and that’s why art matters.

    LP: What attracted you to The LP and excited you most about joining the board?
    PL: I’ve admired The LP for some time, but it was only in getting connected to Kemi [Ilesanmi, Executive Director], who is a force of nature—so visionary, so electrifying!—that I started digging deeper into the work. And each layer I dug into blew me away and gave me so much inspiration. For example, many organizations have values statements, but these either just sit in a document somewhere or only serve as abstracting guiding principles. I quickly realized this was not the case here. With The LP, I saw that “be propelled by love” and “write our own histories” weren’t just statements in a filing cabinet—the team lives and breathes these daily. Each gathering of The LP affirms these values, and shows how nurturing creativity, reclaiming agency, elevating love, and celebrating abundance aren’t just things we do because they’re nice—we practice these values because they’re central to realizing the world we deserve. Engaging with The LP community has nourished my spirit, and pushed me to interrogate and expand how I understand the process of social change. I’m so grateful to now be a part of the fam, and to get to help advance its beautiful, critical mission.

    LP: What is your neighborhood? What’s your favorite thing about it?
    PL: I live in Bed-Stuy, which is also where the new LP home is—it’s amazing to be just a 15 minute walk away. What I love most about Bed-Stuy is the sense of community here and how folks watch out for one another. When the weather’s nice, I love just hanging out on our stoop, catching up with friends, and waving to and chatting with neighbours walking by. That’s a perfect day for me, and there’s nothing like it.

    LP: Can you tell us about a project/event/moment that was a particular highlight of your personal or professional work?
    PL: Honestly, it was being able to take a sabbatical last year, after 10 years of running an organization, to focus on caring for my community, my family, and myself. I’m a naturally excitable, high-energy person and really passionate about my work, so I tend to throw myself in 150%. And as we know, 2020 was a year where Everything Was Happening. I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions—head and heart, work and community—so I decided to take a step back from my professional work to tend to heart and community work. My team was really encouraging, and I was so grateful for their support.

    I was able to focus on organizing work I’d been doing nights and weekends, and on family stuff I’d let take a backseat. And I spent a lot of time just reflecting and exploring. I went to a cabin in the woods by myself, with no phone or internet access, to slow down. I took long walks in nature, read, cooked, and wrote a lot—but just for myself, no briefings or reports, no flags to fly or people to persuade. It was cathartic and joyous, and a good reminder of Audre Lorde’s words: self-care is self-preservation and thus inherently political. We have to make space for it, even (and perhaps especially) when it feels like the house is on fire. It’s how we sustain ourselves, reclaim our North Stars, and then keep going with renewed clarity.

    LP: What song gets you moving and going when work gets hard?
    PL: I’m a huge Janelle Monae fan, and when she dropped “Turntables” last fall, I felt like it was *exactly* the anthem/hype song we needed right then. Soooo good. I’ve definitely watched/played it on repeat. Such a vibe.

    LP: What’s your favorite home-cooked dish?
    PL: That’s tough. Well, on the end of my block is the best fishmonger in all of Brooklyn, and so we’re really spoiled for seafood. On Friday nights, we love just walking down to Joey’s and grabbing a nice piece of Arctic char. We pan-sear that—the skin crisps up like nothing else—and make a ginger scallion sauce, buttery juicy roasted radishes and greens, and rice to go with it. That’s the ultimate easy-decadent comfort food. Well that, or tonkatsu.

    Panthea Lee is a strategist, organizer, and facilitator, and the Executive Director of Reboot. She is passionate about building transformative coalitions between communities, activists, movements, and institutions to tackle structural inequity—and working with artists to realize courageous change. Panthea is a pioneer in designing and guiding multi-stakeholder processes to address complex social challenges, with experience doing so across NYC and in 30+ countries. The global co-creation efforts she’s led have launched new efforts to protect human rights defenders, tackle public corruption, strengthen participatory democracy, advance equity in knowledge access, reform international agencies, and drive media innovation. Panthea began her career as a journalist, ethnographer, and cultural producer. She has been featured in Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, CNN, Fast Company, New York Times, MIT Innovation, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, and has lectured at Harvard, Columbia, and NYU. She also serves on the boards of RSA US, Development Gateway, and People Powered: The Global Hub for Participatory Democracy.

  5. Meet Board Member Patton Hindle

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    Join us in welcoming Patton Hindle to The LP fam! Patton recently joined our board of directors, so we sat down with her for a short Q&A.

    The LP: As a supporter of the arts, why does art matter?
    PH: Art uplifts stories. Art elucidates connections. Art incites dialogue.
    The things that have seemed overlooked, hard to address, or challenging to connect over can all be tackled through the power of Art. And of course, there’s that feeling in your gut, the one when you see a piece/exhibition/project that moves something within you that is irreplaceable and that words fail to describe. Art is the space we turn to when we’re in want, and for that we owe artists a lifetime of support and care.

    LP: What attracted you to The LP and excited you most about joining the board?
    PH: Many years ago (I think a decade, in fact!), when I was a director of a gallery in the Lower East Side, two young women came in and handed me a xeroxed flyer for an exhibition up in a neighborhood laundromat. I was so taken with their goal of centering art in an everyday space so that their neighborhood could have access that I began to follow this somewhat nascent organization, The Laundromat Project, who facilitated this important work. Over the years, I’ve been moved watching the LP support and offer tools to artists and organizers to implement change in their own communities. These resources have allowed for joy and equity to be created right in their own neighborhoods and have proven generative. I’m truly excited to formalize my longtime support of The LP by joining the board and championing the great work of the organization.

    LP: What’s your favorite home-cooked dish?
    PH: I grew up in London, also a large city, but my parents always managed to find a flat with some small outdoor space so that my mother could grow her own herbs and tomatoes. We’re fortunate to have some outdoor space at our home in Clinton Hill and have followed suit, growing our own vegetables and herbs this past year. From our basil harvests, I make my mother’s pesto (often over pasta or some salmon)—a dish I always crave! Our 5 year old son is now starting to help in this process and we love sharing with him both this tradition but also the importance of nurturing and caring for plants that provide for you.

    Patton Hindle is the Head of Arts at Kickstarter, where she oversees the Arts and Film team whose specialists work closely with visual and performing artists, filmmakers, arts organizations, museums, and cultural institutions around the world to help them realize creative and ambitious ideas. She is a co-author of the second edition of How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery and was a 2019 Catherine Hannah Behrend Fellow at 92Y Women inPower in New York. Additionally, Hindle regularly advises for-profit and nonprofit arts organizations on strategic business development. She was raised in London and attended university in Boston.

  6. Meet Board Member Alison Cuzzolino

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    Join us in welcoming Alison Cuzzolino to The LP fam. Alison recently joined our board of directors—read our short Q&A to get to know her.

    The LP: What is your neighborhood? What’s your favorite thing about it?

    Alison Cuzzolino: I live in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. I love the vibrancy and diversity—and of course the Caribbean food! As another multiracial, multigenerational, and artist-filled Brooklyn neighborhood, PLG shares many elements with The LP’s home of Bed-Stuy that I value so deeply.

    LP: What song gets you moving and going when work gets hard?

    AC: Lizzo’s Good as Hell. I loved seeing her perform while I worked at PS1’s Warm Up a few years back.

    LP: What’s your favorite home-cooked dish?

    AC: Hands-down my grandma’s homemade lasagna, followed by her icebox cake for dessert. She’s still going strong at 92, but hung up her apron a while back. I’m grateful to have learned some of her recipes, especially her homemade sauce.

    Alison Cuzzolino is a financial management leader who prides herself on supporting arts and culture through her work.  She is currently the Director of Finance at MoMA PS1, a nonprofit arts center devoted to today’s most experimental and thought-provoking art.  Prior to MoMA PS1, Alison held a similar role at Lehmann Maupin, where she worked closely with the gallery’s diverse roster of artists. Alison started her career in financial services, spent seven years working in London, and took a year-long detour through Asia before returning to New York and pivoting to the arts.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Business from Villanova University, and completed the Art Business certificate program at New York University.  Alison is also a 2021 Women inPower Fellow at 92nd Street Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact.