Bedford-Stuyvesant Based Arts Nonprofit Launches Cohort of Twenty-one New York City-based Artists and Cultural Producers of Color working in Communities of Color
BROOKLYN, NY – Today, The Laundromat Project (The LP) announced its 18th annual Create Change Artist Development Program. The Bedford-Stuyvesant based organization will work alongside 21 New-York based artists and cultural producers working in and with communities of color. The Create Change Artist Development Program includes Create Change Artists-in-Residence and Create Change Fellows, and each participant will receive between $1,000 and $25,000 to support the development of their participatory and community-attuned creative projects, along with a network of mentors and peer-support to help advance their creative, community-based work.
“This year’s cohort of Create Change Artists-in-Residence and Fellows have a remarkable depth to the type of work they are doing in communities across New York City and in our anchor neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,” said Ayesha Williams, Executive Director of The Laundromat Project. “They remind us that the creativity that sustains communities, are built in connection to our histories, our cultures, and to each other, and that it is incredibly important for our art to reflect and capture that. These artists remind us that the art we produce and observe is the basis for public memory and for advocacy efforts that move the dial forward, ever more important in a rapidly-changing city such as New York.”
The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Artist-in-Residence and Fellows programs supports artists and cultural producers who are developing and deepening collaborative, community-based, and socially-engaged creative practices. The Fellowship is philosophically grounded in peer-learning around art making, power analysis, and community building. Seven Create Change Artists-in-Residence receive up to $25,000 in funding for their four projects.
Faculty for The Laundromat Project’s 2023 Create Change Artist Development Program includes Ebony Noelle Golden (Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative), Shawnee Benton Gibson (Spirit of a Woman), Urban Bush Women, Kamau Ware (Black Gotham Experience), and Laundromat Project staff, among others.
“The LP has experienced tremendous expansion of our organization’s ability to invest in and support creative cultural producers who are making a positive impact across our city,” said Catherine Mbali Green-Johnson, Director of Programs at The Laundromat Project. “Each year I am increasingly impressed by the breadth of the people and projects that become a part of The LP’s community. As individuals they are each contributing to the preservation of our community stories in the most creative ways. Collectively, they are resisting the erasure that so often comes with gentrification and other adverse efforts that mar the fabric of communities of color.”
2023 Create Change Artists-in-Residence include:
Pedro Juan Cruz Cruz
Joseph (Solaris) Capehart
Kira Joy Williams
SHANNA SABIO, AISHA SHILLINGFORD, GENEL AMBROSE & FAITH ROBINSON
The Black Utopia Project: Community. Connection. Change.
The Black Utopia Project provides opportunities for rest, reflection, and replenishment to Black femme-identifying residents who have been cultivating their visions of cultural and economic power amongst Black Brooklynites.
PEDRO JUAN CRUZ CRUZ
Translocal Exchanges in Roosevelt Avenue
Translocal Exchanges in Roosevelt Avenue is a wayfinding installation that speaks to the sense of belonging in the immigrant enclaves of Central Queens. The project will take place in the multiple pockets of neighborhood plazas and underutilized lots owned by DOT and NYC Parks but used as small parks and areas of rest.
JOSEPH (SOLARIS) CAPEHART
Not in my House: A Multidimensional Attack on Gentrification in Bed-Stuy
A free course for residents of Bed-Stuy (natives and transplants) who wish to immerse themselves in the rich Black history of the neighborhood–further inspiring and equipping residents to protect that history from the rampant gentrification that seeks to commodify and erase it.
KIRA JOY WILLIAMS
Home is in the Stories
An artistic archive comprising portraits and oral histories of Black people that live in Bed-Stuy. In interviews, participants will discuss their experiences of home, while being photographed at and within the community. The goal is to record and memorialize the ways Black people have created different conceptions of home despite being forced into a diasporic existence as a result of the Atlantic slave trade and despite being, in the years since, consistently, systematically unwelcomed in America. In this living archive, historically underrepresented people are amplified and empowered to choose how their record is kept.
2023 Create Change Fellows include:
DaeQuan Alexander Collier
Steven Anthony Johnson II
For more information about The Laundromat Project, visit laundromatproject.org.
ABOUT THE LAUNDROMAT PROJECT:
The Laundromat Project is a Black-rooted and POC-led community-based arts organization dedicated to the advancement of artists and residents of New York City as change agents within their own communities. We envision a world in which artists and neighbors in communities of color work together to harness the power of creativity that has the ability to inspire and initiate meaningful change and that generates long-lasting impact. We make sustained investments in growing a community of multiracial, multigenerational, and multidisciplinary artists and neighbors committed to societal change by supporting their artmaking, community building, and leadership development.
Since 2005, The Laundromat Project has directly invested over $1M in over 200 multiracial, multigenerational, and multidisciplinary artists; nearly 90 innovative public art projects; and a creative community hub in Bed-Stuy, while engaging close to 50,000 New Yorkers across the city and beyond. The idea of a laundromat as a primary place for engagement has expanded over time. It now serves as a metaphor for a variety of community settings in which artists and neighbors transform their lives and surroundings. Our programming has evolved to take place in community gardens, public plazas, libraries, sidewalks, local cultural organizations, and other places where people gather.